With the current economic downturn it is important that if you are running a "bricks and mortar" operation to look at expanding your service to your customers allowing them to order your products from an online store. It is also an opportunity to engage with your customers more effectively in the future when the lock down is lifted and the convenience of an online store becomes part of Business as Usual.
Now is also a good time to consider how an online store will work with cloud based back end systems such as Xero in your business. Streamlining your sale process from order through to your accounting system reduces the cost per order and reduces errors and double handling.
And of course time to market is critical as well. If customers are searching for the products and services you offer, but are unable to make a purchase or it isn't clear what your offer is or there isn't a natural flow to purchase from you they will go elsewhere, typically in seconds.
Whilst many web designers can develop some seriously innovative web sites, which can be great, is it appropriate for your company? Most certainly your web site is the first port of call for Customers using online search tools such as Google. You will most likely have a presence online already, so linking your site or social media to an online store that works in parallel would be a major step forward for your business
A focused approach can deliver an on line store, integrated with your back end systems which could be up and running in a week. This would immediately benefit benefit your customers, business and cash flow.
What do I need to take account of before opening an online store?
The primary steps are:
- Who is my customer?
- What is my offer?
- How will I fulfil my Customer's order
- When can I take and process my first order and receive payment?
If you are clear on these then the transition for your business can be completed very quickly. It can sound very daunting and if your in-house skills are limited then we recommend you contact an e-commerce specialist to help you with:
- a web site (if needed or existing site needs updating)
- an online store with the look and feel of your existing website
- integration to order and stock management
- integration to payment processing platforms
- integration to accounting services such as Xero
As more and more businesses move online now is the time to develop your e-commerce store and stay ahead of the competition.