Brick and mortar stores are feeling the pain from online competition. Meanwhile, more successful online retailers are opening up brick and mortar stores. So, what’s going on? Do customers want to shop online or in-store? The answer is simple: Yes.
“Hybrid” retailers are finding customers where they are by offering both experiences. With today’s tools, that’s easier than it seems. The process to set up a good-looking Shopify or Woo Commerce web store is surprisingly simple.
The trick is managing both channels from a single inventory dashboard that can direct traffic between the two. We at Shopventory happen to offer just that, and it’s given us a behind-the-scenes look at the top reasons to add an e-commerce channel to your storefront.
1. People are more mobile.
The Millennial generation is moving around way more than previous generations. The US Census Bureau actually performed a study finding Millennials accounted for about 24 percent of the total population of the U.S., but they made up over 43 percent of all movers.
This means the value of those traditional face-to-face retail relationships is beginning to fade. Even if my customer prefers my store, I can’t expect them to drive over from across town (or cross-country) to come and shop.
An e-commerce offering lets them keep shopping with me, even if their circumstances change.
2. Customers are well-trained in e-commerce.
It used to be getting a customer to try a retail website was an uphill battle. But those days are long gone. These days, people are a lot more open to shopping online and waiting a few days for products to show up at their door.
E-commerce is built around not needing the usual face-to-face interaction one would expect in the store. That’s a feature, not a bug for the vast majority of people. It’s a different way of doing business, but typically, the retailers have a harder time adjusting than the customers do.
3. It increases sales.
When you have more than one way to sell products, you’re likely to sell more products. Netflix provides us with a perfect example here. Netflix allows its users to watch movies and TV shows any way they want. Whether that means on their mobile phones, tablets, smart TV’s or laptops, a Netflix user has many ways to watch a movie.
Likewise, a customer should be able to shop with you from anywhere at any time. A dedicated smart TV app is probably a bit much, but a simple, clean website is a great first step.
4. Setup is likely easier than you think
If you already have inventory data in an inventory management platform like Shopventory, you can likely just connect your e-commerce channel and start managing right away.
Inventory lists are easy to replicate once they’re created, so don’t overestimate the process. That being said, there could be other aspects that need to be ironed out, so don’t expect to launch the site in a single day, but getting the initial setup done shouldn’t be too hard.
Shipping solutions are also a smaller hurdle than one might think. With options like stamps.com that cater to small business, getting your product out the door is also less of a hassle than it used to be.
These days, there’s really no reason a brick-and-mortar retailer shouldn’t have an e-commerce channel set up. Even a small handful of sales per month typically means e-commerce pays for itself.
E-commerce allows you to market more effectively on social media and by word-of-mouth. “My sister from out of town would love this store” used to be a nice remark. Now, it’s a potential sale because that sister can click onto our website anytime and order whatever she wants from wherever she is!
Right now, Shopventory offers plans for as low as 79¢ per day, with e-commerce hybrid options including Shopify or WooCommerce starting at under $1.69 per day. Right now, you can sign up for a no-risk 30-day full-featured free trial of Shopventory with no credit card required. We also back Shopventory with a 30-day money back guarantee. That means a total of 60 days risk-free!
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