Creating an E-Commerce website
E Commerce has become a part of our way of life.
We take it for granted that whatever we want we can nearly always find it and buy it online. Online shops range from tiny home operators selling only a few speciality products to monster outlets with catalogues covering tens of thousands of items.
If yours is one of the small shops then you have lots of options for pre-built or package stores that you can “move into” very quickly and economically. The MindVision team will be pleased to help get your shop open.
Integrating e-Commerce to existing retail or wholesale operations
However, it is when your online store needs are substantially bigger that MindVision and over twenty years of experience becomes really valuable. You probably already have at least one physical store. You may have a number of stores and a warehouse. No doubt you have a stock control and accounting system. For you, your online store is an important part of your business but it is not your only business, and it is imperative that all parts of your business work smoothly together.
We will work with you to understand your business. How it works now and the operation of the elements that need to connect with your online store. We will explore with you what elements works well and what elements you would like to improve on if possible. We’ll consider the available strategies to integrate with your stock control and accounting.
Probably the most critical aspect of an online store is fulfilment. Your orders need to be shipped quickly and reliably. Your customers expect to be kept informed of their order progress. And you need a system that is efficient and economical as possible so that you can offer the lowest cost of delivery to maximise sales.
Maintaining your virtual storefront
That’s a lot of things to consider and get right – and that’s without even touching on the actual selling! How will your store work? Are your products seasonal? Do you need to set up new product lines in the background ready to market. Do your customers already know and understand your products and just need a supplier? Or do you need to replicate the work of a salesperson genuinely helping customers to choose and buy the right product?
Do your products attract repeat business and so need strategies to ensure that future purchases are also from you? How competitive is your market? Do you need to maintain your market position or seize market share from others? Are you trying to grow new markets?
What is your plan for stocking the shelves? In other words, adding new products. Is your product catalogue fairly static, making it a big but mostly one-time job or do you have a continuous stream of new products that need to be added? Who will do the store layouts? When you have a sale, you’ll want the slow moving discounted items placed near the “front” to clear them. Will you do that in-house or do you need help?
Custom Tailored e-Commerce
We could go on forever, because selling online is like selling from a storefront and so all of the strategies and considerations apply. Your physical stores are special to you. You know them best and they are probably unique in many ways. It’s no surprise that there is no out-of-the-box system that will be exactly right for you.
After we have spent a long time understanding your business, we will design an online solution for your business. Sometimes we build e-commerce stores from scratch. Other times we will start with existing software and tailor it to match the way you work or want to work. The scope of our tailoring will cover presenting and selling of products, getting paid, fulfilling and delivering orders to happy customers, integrating with your stock control and keeping the numbers straight in your accounting system. Your business may have some other interesting twists as well, but that’s ok… whatever it is we have probably done something like it before.
If you already have an online store but would like to do it better, then we are up for that as well. After we have taken whatever time is needed to fully understand how your business works, we will give our best advice on how to improve your online sales and management.
Just as planning and opening a new physical store takes a bit of time and effort, so too does an online store. It’s never too early to begin discussions with MindVision!