The increasing popularity of online marketing has give brick and mortar stores new advertising opportunities and revenue streams. It’s almost mandatory these days that your shop has an online identity if you want to draw customers.
People have a tendency of surfing the web for the better part of the day. Window shopping is less common now which is why it is important to offer your customers a steady stream of online updates on new products, sales, and general news.
Multichannel retailing is the way to go if you want to increase sales and expand your customer base. However, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Multitasking is hard enough and if you’re unprepared it can be even harder do to from a business perspective.
One of the first things every retail business owner gets familiarized with is Omnichannel marketing. It is advertised as an easy strategy of getting your message across as many platforms as possible. It also entails that you sell your product across multiple platforms at once.
While it sounds good in theory this can have some serious drawbacks. If you’ve built your brand or your store’s identity around a certain demographic or theme chances are you won’t be able to keep it if you use Omnichannel.
Details are often overlooked when branching out a brick and mortar store into the online world. It can be hard to maintain the same level of customer support for a web store. For one there’s a lack of human interaction. Not only that but it can be hard to manage hundreds of incoming requests and questions from online visitors, whereas people generally wait their turn on site.
Also, keep in mind that not all items are easily sold online. Clothing articles, certain large electronics, furniture, these are items that most customers will want to see for themselves and test before buying. This is why having equilibrium with your marketing is just as important as having a good inventory management system.
Your small business inventory management suddenly becomes more complicated once you’ve moved past the average brick and mortar retailer. You will have to keep track of sales made on location, orders fulfilled online, and demands made by partners.
Yes, pushing your products via online platforms usually means that you’re getting new partners or distributors. Now you have one more thing to keep track of with your inventory management software. You definitely want to have one that can handle the extra workload.
A good example of this would be DataQlick. The software is very user-friendly and can be integrated with most of the popular online retailers like Amazon and eBay. It also works well with Shopify and Magento.
Monitoring your sales is more difficult when you’re operating in a multichannel setting. That being said, an inventory management software can take on most of the tasks for you. It will work especially well for you if you like to micromanage everything.
It will prevent you from spiraling out of control if you can’t physically keep up with the new demands. Not only that, but it can be customized so that you feel in total control over your inventory management system. You can access the information from anywhere which means you can enjoy some time off even when it feels like you’re spread too thin.
As previously stated, when you do make the transition from brick and mortar to online store you can lose your shop’s identity. Using something like DataQlick to handle the bulk of the work will give you more time to interact with customers the same as always, if not more. That way, even if your online sales aren’t going through the roof you know that people still gladly walk through your shop’s doors every day.
The main takeaway is that once you decide to expand your shop with a web presence and by implementing a few online selling platforms, you will be faced with even more work. When you start getting more and more customers you have more people that require your constant attention.
There’s also the matter of balancing your stocks to be able to keep up with demands. Using inventory management software can help you in your balancing act. It can help keep track of orders, products, deals, and so much more. It will never be a fully automated process but it will take on most of the work for you so that you can pay more attention to the customers and less attention to what’s happening in storage.