Are you thinking of setting up or expanding your online store? Why not? You know your business and your customers are already online purchasing and researching everything they can. By simply leveraging your day-to-day brick and mortar showroom business you can be THE player online.
Before finalizing your online business plan, below are some questions that are not always included in online e-commerce business plans that are leveraging a successful brick and mortar showroom.
Please take a moment to review your target online customer and their unique needs.
- Why are you adding an online purchase point to your retail showroom?
- Make life easier for your current customers.
- Reach new customers that shop for your core products only online
- Create a new online brand that focuses on a special niche of your product mix that you think offers an online opportunity.
- What special terms will your online customers be looking for that you might not be currently offering in your bricks and mortar showrooms?
- Free freight
- Expedited delivery
- Free returns on all products
- What factor will you markup prices from your cost?
- Will you have to increase your inventory to meet your online customer’s perceived needs?
- What kind of customer service will they expect?
- Email and text only
- Personal telephone support
- AI chatbot with personal chat support
- Any mix of the above
- Will you have to add any people?
- What do your direct competitors offer?
If you have incorporated all of these in your business plan, bravo. If you have not, I suggest you take the time to dig into answers from te to your business plan, you will have a more complete idea of the numbers and what you need to reach your income goals.
P.S.: In the E-commerce world it is easier to start small with one profitable, under served product niche. This path allows you and your team to market your E-store to an needy market and learn the unique challenges of the E-commerce game. Those that open their E-stores with thousands of SKUs covering many product categories can get quickly overwhelmed and damage the brand they worked so diligently to build.
Image by Donald Trung Quoc Don (Chữ Hán: 徵國單), Wikimedia Commons