Leveraging A Physical Store Online
VALUABLE TIPS FOR WINDSURFING RETAILERS - CHAPTER #7
Undercutting competitors is almost a guaranteed formula for failure. If you've taken all the steps above then you're in a great position to optimise your position even further online.
You've bought 'wide' and have a good stock of smaller items that are both great for servicing walk-ins, plus easy to-hand for selling quickly online. The next step is to leverage your supplier's stock levels to your advantage by listing everything you can online and having them drop-ship that for you direct to customers.
If you read part 3 you will see how there are profit benefits to be gained from what appear to initially unatttractive margins. (Especially compared to the tighter, commission-based, affiliate models offered in other, more sophisticated industries selling online.)
Of course a lot of suppliers will offer this facility, but will they have the stock year-round - and can they be reliable partners in the modern content-driven, search-lead e-commerce environment?
There are even more intricate solutions available such as a Stock Export Integration (SEI).
Populating store pages with an entire range (a strong supplier will offer a robust Content Pool to allow you to dispay critically-performing SEO-optimised text descriptions, images, clip embed codes and data etc.) that access a SEI to show the suppliers stock levels as your own - even though you do not physically have much or indeed any of it physically on your shelves.
Utilising this further step of integration means you can significantly streamlined the way you process sales with confidence, knowing that items ordered can be expedited directly from the supplier without the aded and time-consuming added communication steps of checking and confirming availability or sourcing alternatives.
And because you bought deep in value and 'wide' in assortment with that producer, now your re-order discounts are likely to be higher at this stage too, which will bring a further margin advantage on the agile-supply sales you are competing strongly for and winning online.
Since you had a basic webstore page anyway, the investment was merely time to populate the content.
Yes, there may be marketing costs, but of course most of the money you spend on online ads should be related to Cost Per Acquistion of clients. So why pay to walk clients to the checkout for products from unreliable suppliers that cannot help you gain that potential revenue?
What's more, all the 'sweet spots' of longer shelf-life, faster turnaround products you have selected allow you to take the unique, niche offerings you have to a wider audience.
Plus, when you chose to work with a select few suppliers (and saved your time thanks to less points of contact and accounting) you eliminated the amount of instances of multi-brand orders you may receive from the webshop, which will create headaches of consolidation - not to mention added shipping costs.
Since web marketing is largely about content (where you get to have fun, 'you being you', blogging about your favourite new toys!) that is where you need to and are now free to focus your time and effort instead of chasing up disparate stock on random items from a tonne of distributors.
- Leverage your supplier price advantage after 'deep in value - wide in assortment' ordering for drop-ships
- Keep time free to focus on content marketing and physical walk-in sales
- Streamline 24/7 online sales process with SEI