Does it feel like it takes more effort than ever to run your bricks-and-mortar retail store – especially with customers demanding ecommerce as well?
Operating both a physical store as well as an online store is a smart thing to do – but only if you set it up so it lets you work smarter, instead of harder.
It’s all about streamlining your processes, and using the right software tools to reduce errors and time-consuming manual intervention.
Common challenges in transitioning to the ecommerce space
Expanding your bricks-and-mortar store into an additional ecommerce operation is not without its challenges. Here are some of the common issues you’ll need to watch out for:
- Many web designers can create pretty websites, but do they understand stock management and your accounting and reporting needs?
- Fulfilment and stock management: your in-store systems will need to be fully integrated with your ecommerce platform to manage stock levels.
- You’ll need smart stock level reporting, that factors in lead times, so you avoid the risk of being out of stock of key lines. An ecommerce website by itself won’t do this.
- The ability to analyse which products are profitable for you – and which are just taking up space.
- Offering suitable payment processing platforms. The needs of online customers are different to those in your store – and you’ll find that the more options you offer, the better your website is likely to convert visitors into paying customers. However, this also creates accounting complexity – unless you have systems in place to help with this.
- Managing and measuring a wider variety of payment methods makes managing your accounts more complex – so integrations with your accounting software are a must.
- Managing cash flow is key in the retail sector: after all, you need enough in sales to cover future stock purchases as well as your overheads. Adding ecommerce can make this more complex – unless you have the right tools at your fingertips to easily run reports and calculations.
How to work smarter, not harder
At Empower Business, our team includes a management accountant with a love of technology tools to make life easier, together with an experienced website designer. Together, we’ve constructed a tried-and-true combination of software tools that help retailers put their bricks-and-mortar stores online – with minimal effort, now and on going.
The tools we’ve selected are:
- Rocketspark for eye-catching ecommerce websites. That takes care of the sales and payment aspects.
- Vend cloud-based point-of-sale software enables you to process both sales in-store sales and your website sales, giving you the latest data across your whole business. Vend can be used with the iPad, Mac and PC and syncs across all three. It’s intuitive to use – you can train your staff in minutes and get them up and selling in no time.
- Xero – the cloud accounting solution that delivers tons of functionality and reconciles with your bank feeds and other payment methods.
Best of all, these three software tools integrate perfectly to give you a wide range of tools and functionality at a price that’s affordable.
Contact Empower Business for a free one-hour consultation to see if taking your retail store online is the right option for you – and find out what’s involved.