Guide to online shopping #1

Author -  Allan Kent [Guest]

If you already have some sort of physical offline presence – i.e. a shop(s) or a third party channel distribution network, the first thing you need to do when considering setting up online shopping (e-tailing) is to establish the objectives.

  • Is the aim to sell directly?
  • Is it to increase sales through the shops and or channels?
  • Is it to build long term customer loyalty by offering them more choice in how they shop?
  • Is it to reduce costs – perhaps to close all or some of the physical network?
  • Is it to expand the reach of potential customers i.e. service those that would otherwise be unable to purchase from you?

Once you have a grasp of the objectives, you need to consider the impact of e-tailing on your existing network and whether what you’re doing will work in conjunction with these objectives, or against them.

For example, it’s quite possible that unless you structure your e-tailing in a particular way, it could actually decrease sales through the shop(s) or channel rather than increase them! If they are measured against sales or profitability KPI’s, a fall in their sales figures caused by e-tailing will make them very anti, and their overall motivation may fall, further impacting on sales performance. 

Fundamentally, setting up a successful online shopping environment comes down to 2 key areas;

  1. Getting the infrastructure right - See #2
  2. Maximising sales generation - See #3

Of the two, most people are great at creating ideas to boost sales, but infrastructure is often the area that gets forgotten about.  We'll discuss that in more detail in this next article. Getting the infrastructure right »

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