Another store location? I must be kidding, right?
Not at all. E-commerce is a wonderful extension for many businesses; for some businesses it is their only location (think Amazon.com). One of the first key things that your business needs to understand is that an e-commerce presence is an additional location for your business; it is much more than just an extension of your website. An e-commerce site should be treated as if it is a distinct location for your business.
Whether you are looking to sell your entire range of products or simply trying to promote a few of your “hottest” items, treating your e-commerce site as if it were a separate physical location for your business will aid you in achieving the success you desire. Think of it this way, if you decide to add another location to your business, you also consider things such as staffing, marketing, procedures, inventory management, logistics and a host of additional things. When you open an e-commerce location it is much more than a simple addition to your existing website; it is a distinct location for your business.
Last week I was talking to a small business owner who wanted to add e-commerce functionality to his site. On the surface, this is a relatively straight forward process and we began discussing various aspects of the addition such as:
What products should I sell?
Will we have “web only” specials?
Who will manage the specials?
Can people buy online and pick-up at our location?
As the conversation continued, it became clear to the small business owner that there are a number of things that need to be considered as you plan for your e-commerce site. “I guess it is almost like opening another store” he commented.
Yes, opening another store – whether a physical location or online – requires some planning to succeed.
What questions do you need to ask in order to maximize the success of your e-commerce site?