Are you planning to sell both online and offline? This is multi-channel trading.
At the time of writing E-commerce accounts for over 30% of all retail sales worldwide and demonstrates that mixing the two sales channels can be explosive when working in synergy; especially when you run marketing strategies such as ‘Buy Online, Collect-in-Store’.
When Trading Through Multi Channels There are a Number of Elements to Consider when building your website and in Preparation for Hiring a Web Designer and Employees:
What overall budget are you allocating to the initial setup of your website? Have you compared this with existing and similar live websites, ensuring it is a realistic figure?
Are you planning to offer the same, selected or additional products on your e-commerce site compared to your offline store?
Will you be synchronizing your online and offline prices to between website and offline systems at all times, including sale periods?
How much overlap will there be between your online and offline sales operations, deliveries to stores and returns to stores?
Will you be offering a Buy Online, Collect-in-Store service?
What shipping options and methods do you plan to offer your online buyers and will these be additional to your existing arrangements?
Have you budgeted for all online and offline running costs and how will you measure the profitability of the site against that of your offline channel?
What contact points will you have on the site? For example, an address and landline phone number is important for credibility.
How much time have you budgeted for testing the site before going live?
Will you be selling to US, UK, Europe or Worldwide and do you need to consider setting up international languages and currencies?
Do you have a compelling launch event planned to promote the tie-in of your new site with your existing offline business, which will attract the local press?
An e-commerce website should be updated often. How will you manage and coordinate design and product updates between your online and offline operations?