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Convenience and cut-rate prices are driving more and more customers to shop online for consumer goods. You could see this evident in the way various online retail networks are favored by a whole lot of customers who go to Amazon for books, Etsy for homemade items, and eBay for just about anything. In fact, it has become second nature for many shoppers to go online for their retail item needs and wants so much that this has taken priority over making actual store visits.
So much so that if you are into the brick and mortar retail business, adding an eCommerce component to your existing retail method infra seems a worthwhile consideration to make. Before you get into the online retail bandwagon however, there are a few things that you need to take care of to make it a successful online retail process expansion.
How to meet the demand
Online retail inventory is managed so differently from that of a storefront. You would need to find suppliers that can sufficiently provide you with quality goods that are priced competitively and with the capability to fill in orders as quickly as they could. Online shippers tend to compare prices and that’s why you need to be good at pricing your gods the right way. Bulk orders are common in online sales transactions so you need to adjust pricing alternatives along that likeliness.
Secure payment methods are crucial to ecommerce both for business owners and customers since there would be no face-to-face financial transactions to be carried out. You could choose between accepting credit card payments online or to team up with a third party like Paypal.
Although customers could confirm shipping schedules with you online or via telecom services like a RingCentral PBX, there are other shipping and delivery issues that you need to attend to like the following:
- The shipping provider to use
- The option to ship out of the country or to offer multiple services
- The shipping charge amount
- The free shipping offer for a specified purchase order value
- Package tracking
Social media engagement
Interacting with customers online via social media networks is important to retail activities now. How markets behave and where consumer groups reside could be deciphered and spotted via meaningful conversations with customers in the various social media platforms judging from the various responses they make to different calls to action. You need to have the serviceable savvy to do all this or have someone capable of doing so in your behalf.
Your website needs to have the right amount of unique, useful and shareable content so that customers who visit the site in search of product/service information, price ranges, promos, deals or rewards find their visits worthwhile to make purchases. Product photos, demo videos and the like need to be made available. If you can’t do all this by yourself because you don’t have that competence, it’s time to get professional help to attend to that.
Products that are defective or those that have performance issues and need to be returned to you by customers have to be provided with a system that could take care enable them to contact you via email, customer service network phone call, or an online chat. A system to have the goods shipped back to you also needs to be created.
You also need to make customers confident about your business as an eCommerce entity. Creating a communication system that enables customers to get in touch with actual humans they could interact with like a customer service network is a reassuring infra that customers often find trustworthy. Integrating security badges in your website such as Verisign or McAfee also helps heighten the trustworthiness rating.