Because you already have a system in place to run your traditional business, creating a website and selling online requires that you change your system around.
Getting your business up online is still cheaper than creating a new location. Also getting your business online will initially require some work but once you have a system in place, the revenue will outweigh the cost of operation.
Managing Your Inventory
If your business deals with a lot of inventory you are more than likely have some sort of system to keep track of the entire inventory. If you’re going to put your business up online, you’ll need a system that can keep track of your entire inventory from offline and online sales.
Connecting an online and offline store is not simple and requires an expert more often than not.
The following websites can help assist you with integrating your online and offline stores together:
Allowing Your Customers To Track Their Orders
You’ll without a doubt get customers calling in or emailing and asking how the delivery of their orders is going. Many shipping companies now have tools that you can implement into your website to allow customers to track their orders.
The following companies offer product tracking:
Does your store have enough room to deal with packaging and delivery?
Will you need to train your employees to handle online orders?
Will you need to hire a full time employee to deal with online orders?
Initially fulfilling orders can be done entirely in house but as your online presence grows you’ll have to consider and create solutions to deal with this part of your business. More than likely, you’ll be selling more products because of your online presence and you’ll therefore need to taking into consideration stockings and sending out more orders to suppliers.
Outsourcing the fulfillment process is one solution to deal with this problem.
Dealing With Returned Products From Online Purchases
You’ll eventually get a few local customers coming to your store to return a product they purchased from you online.Dealing with returns can be difficult since it’s very easy for people to be fraudulent.
If your business already has a return policy with a system able to manage it then this may not be a problem. Your return policy can be customer centric in which the user can return the product without difficulty. Be prepared to be taken advantage of, if you decide to use this type of policy.
Often times a receipt is required in order for a customer to return the product. If the user purchased the item online a different system is required. Remember to attach a receipt and a form indicating your return policy.
To simplify your business you may choose to have a no return policy, expect to have the occasional angry customer but expect a much easier time not having to deal with the training, systems, and procedures required to deal with it.