Are you planning to sell both online and offline? This is multi-channel trading.
At the time of writing Ecommerce accounts for over 30% of all retail sales worldwide and demonstrates that mixing the two sales channels can be explosive when working in synergy; especially when you run marketing strategies such as ‘Buy Online, Collect-in-Store’.
When Trading Through Multi Channels There are a Number of Elements to Consider when building your website and in Preparation for Hiring a Web Designer and Employees:
- What overall budget are you allocating to the initial setup of your website? Have you compared this with existing and similar live websites, ensuring it is a realistic figure?
- Are you planning to offer the same, selected or additional products on your ecommerce site compared to your offline store?
- Will you be synchronizing your online and offline prices to between website and offline systems at all times, including sale periods?
- How much overlap will there be between your online and offline sales operations, deliveries to stores and returns to stores?
- Will you be offering a Buy Online, Collect-in-Store service?
- What shipping options and methods do you plan to offer your online buyers and will these be additional to your existing arrangements?
- Have you budgeted for all online and offline running costs and how will you measure the profitability of the site against that of your offline channel?
- What contact points will you have on the site? For example, an address and landline phone number is important for credibility.
- How much time have you budgeted for testing the site before going live?
- Will you be selling to US, UK, Europe or Worldwide and do you need to consider setting up international languages and currencies?
- Do you have a compelling launch event planned to promote the tie-in of your new site with your existing offline business, which will attract the local press?
- An ecommerce website should be updated often. How will you manage and coordinate design and product updates between your online and offline operations?