When a business has paid its dues and built enough of a customer base, reputation, and rapport between itself and other components of a local economy it is said to have bureaucratic inertia. However, this inertia is simply not enough to keep a business top of the hill or as leader of the pack in today’s modern and technologically based marketplaces. But, at times it can seem like finding the right location and conditions to facilitate an expansion proves to be somewhat impossible.
For businesses that are not governmental in their nature to exist and grow in the competitive arena of a globalized marketplace there has to be more than brick-and-mortar success. E-commerce is a critical component to a business model that not only keeps up with the times but adjusts and grows in future days yet to come. However, adding this component to an already successful brick and mortar business model does not have to be a bother or even risky at all if a few simple steps are taken to ensure is done correctly.
The first step
The first step and concept in this process is to realize that there is a huge difference between a website and an e-commerce platform. The bottom line remains that a platform is designed specifically to generate traffic and sales for a business. To make this happen, there are teams and designers in play that produce results based off their expertise and technique. So, picking the right e-commerce platform team to design what you need for a business is crucial.
Style and Design
A familiar concept of successful e-commerce that a brick-and-mortar business owner should already understand is presentation. It really is key if not everything. There are two ways to go to make sure that an e-commerce platform fits the style and design of a brick-and-mortar business already in play. The first choice is to go with a professional design team that can facilitate every client need. Or, with enough research and confidence a business owner can use e-commerce platform design templates along with a little patience and perhaps some learning to make their own online tool.
A concept that may not be as familiar to a brick-and-mortar business owner is that of the mobile web or mobile devices. Understanding that a lot of times, for many people, using the internet is no longer a laptop or desktop activity, and for a large percent of the general population they are only online when they are using their mobile devices. What this boil down to is that an online platform generating revenue for a business has to be mobile-friendly to be of any use at all. A simple way to remember this fact is to equate the mobile web to decaffeinated coffee. Ones had to ask for it when designing a site platform, and remembering to account for mobile access is totally worth it.
Once a commerce platform fits in place and there allows access for customers to buy items and become regular sources of sales there is one more concept that serves an absolute must have to make things work smoothly. This is integration, and unless a brick-and-mortar business with an e-commerce line of revenue has this integration the entire staff will be juggling tasks and almost fumbling orders due to no fault of their own. When a system is integrated, all the sales, inventory information and customer interaction goes to one page so to speak. An integration of systems is something like killing two birds with one stone.
With an integrated system in place, business owners or even administrative figureheads can take advantage of remote access administration and reporting. What this means is that with the right business tools in place, it is no longer necessary to actually stay at a physical location to make sure that things are running right. Making sure that employees are punching in on time, tills are ringing up balanced, deliveries are coming in when they should be and items that are marked for shrinkage are actually damaged can be done by one person from anywhere.
If there is one thing that is more important than tracking sales and the regular day today duties that keep a business running well, it is keeping track of your customers in kind. Making sure that they are satisfied, seeing how often they frequent your site or business and listening to there request and reviews is absolutely a make-or-break function when it comes to brick-and-mortar businesses conducting e-commerce. No business can withstand the damaged a legion of negative reviews can do to their revenue. Even big boys in business such as Walmart bow down to the power that customer satisfaction wields.
Securing Integrated System
Lastly one of the most important things that a business owner who has a physical location and an e-commerce platform needs is to understand is that when it comes to securing their integrated system they cannot do it alone. That is to say they have the right to do it on their own but it is highly recommended to work with managed security services whose business is to secure your assets. These organized and highly trained professionals provide services that business owners might not even know that they need and find ways to tighten up a ship. These Services can include but are not limited to strategy, transformations, penetration testing and managed security.
So, a successful marriage of a brick and mortar traditional business and cutting-edge technology requires five simple steps. These steps are picking a platform, designing the right presentation, allowing for mobile access, designing the right integration systems, tracking the daily duties of business and customer activity, and finding the right security team to make sure everything stays locked down. Once this is completed the only thing left to do is to remain on track within your one, five and 10 year plans of growth. Actually there might be one more thing left to do, which is to franchise your business and set up another more efficient e-commerce platform for the years to come.