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The Digital Business Kit for Retailers


Learning Outcomes

Retailers will understand the different technology and strategies that can assist their retail businesses to begin or improve selling their products and/or services online. [printfriendly]

mod-arrow Benefits

Pros

  1. Expand customer market size
  2. Save time
  3. Diversify product offerings
  4. Low overheads
  5. Low start up cost options

Cons

  1. Learning new technology
  2. Training staff
  3. Customer buy-in
  4. Security
  5. Increasing management
    skill requirements

What about cost?

Online sales eSolutions vary in cost from free (pay for credit card fees) to a % charged per sales, set up cost and/or transaction and/or monthly fees.

Improve your market reach


Increase your reach beyond your borders:
Selling Online allows vendors to reach customers outside of their town, state, even country, which increases the pool of possible customers.

Attract after-hours shoppers: This group is commonly forgotten. If your retail company’s current hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. you may be missing out on customers in your region who cannot easily shop during regular business hours. Counting on customers to wait until they can make it into your store vs. buying online when it is convenient is not a safe bet.

Attract vendors/partners/agents that demand online interfaces: Many buyers and agents now want access to an online portal, as it saves them time and provides better customer service.

Increase your product diversity


Add new products:
Selling Online can include taking some or all of your current stock and selling it online. However, you may also choose to add new products that are optimised for online sales.

Increase your profit margins: Some products may have a better ROI (Return on Investment) for online sales, and they may be a good up-sell for current product inventory.

See the resource page for product ideas, drop-shipping, affiliate-program concepts and more.

Be competitive


Danger of status quo:
If other companies are sharing product availability, making bookings and closing product sales online, they are capturing customers that could be yours. If you are not online, you are not competing with this growing sales channel.

Niche away: Competing with big-box stores online can be a pricing challenge. Focusing on niches or specialty items where your company can stand apart, adds value and increases your competitive advantage.

Meet your customer needs


Give customers what they want when they want it:
Make sure your customers have the information they need and the ability to buy online. Customers are shopping at all hours, both from their computer and increasingly on mobile devices. They want to know about your product details and your website. Your online store can serve them when your main store is closed, or when your staff are busy. Online forms can capture customers, which can save your administration time and allow customers to share the level of information they need to gain an optimal experience.

Data: By tracking what customers have ordered before, viewed, liked, etc., your online sales system (or in-store staff using a connected CRM) can offer more customized sales experience and/or up-sell additional products.

Save time and money


Save administration time and re-invest it:
Allowing customers to buy online saves time. Take a tourism product as an example. Without online sales, clients have to call about availability, requirements and prices. Just offering availability online can save companies a lot of time if, for example the average call for availability can last 5-10 minutes and occur hundreds of times. More importantly the customer may choose to skip a company that does not offer this level of information online and move onto the next company in the search results.

Real time data tracking: Can save expensive inventory stocking, conservative underselling to avoid overbooking, customer trends for stock optimisation and more.