Ok the whole world is selling online and he’s asking the dumb question – can companies afford to do it?! The answer is it depends on what you sell and which channel you want to sell in, or importantly which channel your customers want to buy in.
So retail’s changed – from a logistics enabled model to a consumer-driven, mobile-enabled approach. Yes, but that does not mean you should be opening up every possible channel someone thinks of. It gets back to that well known saying, it isn’t what you do it’s how you do it. 3 critical things to look at, before you set out on the journey:
- Why are you doing e-commerce? A new channel all on its own? To complement your store? As a way of getting people to visit your store? Offering a range that isn’t in your store? A drop-ship category builder? An online marketplace? A complementary eCommerce partnership?
- What are you going to sell on the platform? Type of product? Brands? Margin? The last thing you want is for online or social channels to cannibalise profitable in-store business
- How are you going to fulfil online orders? From store? From the distribution centre? From a dedicated warehouse? At home? Abroad? In multiple markets? With different payment solutions and tax jurisdictions? With free fulfilment and unpaid returns? Because that’s what the customer wants or because that’s the way Amazon does it.
In today’s world, the retailer has got to have a keener eye on margins than ever before and not be pushed around by consumers or tech providers into doing something, because that’s what the market wants.
At Pierhouse Technologies we specialize in digital channel engineering – and helping retailers to use tech to drive profit. We are experts in multichannel retail.
Take a look this report by Alvarez and Marsal and check out eCommerce profit impact for yourself.