If you are already in retail then you have already done 90% of the work needed to set-up your own selling web site (also known as a ‘transactional’ web site). Having your own web site represents a remarkable opportunity to sell in the world’s fastest growing market place; the web market place is currently estimated to be growing at around 30% per year.
There is however one very large difference between the retail and web selling models. In the real world customers can only buy what’s available on your shelves. In the web world they could buy anything you display on your web site, even if it’s now out of stock. Being unable to deliver an item ordered and paid for is definitely not good; clients will quickly begin to look elsewhere. To sell successfully on the web therefore you must have accurate stock control – it’s a ‘must’.
To leverage the stock you already have therefore a web site should share data with all your other locations; above all it needs to know what’s in stock and what’s out of stock. This process should be seamless and invisible. Before deciding to buy a stock management system check that as your company gets busier your stock management system can be link to your web site in virtually real time. This means tills feeding data invisibly and automatically to your HQ system and your HQ system feeing it invisibly and automatically to your web site.
So far so good, but as with so many aspects of stock management there are other factors to consider. Factors such as the system’s ability to track web sales separately from retail sales or to automatically manage selling shop stock via the web site. Do you have to reserve stock for each web site or not? If you have multiple web sites check that the system can show the sales made by each site separately.
Ask if the system will link to any web site or just to ones supplied by the stock management company. This can be a very important factor because the web design you present to the world will have an important part to play in the sites success. Now or later, being able to choose your own web design company could be very important. Similarly you may want to exploit the power of eBay and Amazon at some stage. Many retails have developed a whole new aspect of their business by selling on eBay and Amazon or at least found it a profitable way to move their end of season stock. Does your system allow you the flexibility to develop and change in this way as you grow and adapt?
Year-on-year since 2002 we have added more and more web support features to Top to Toe. 2012 will be no different. Take a look at Top to Toe and you will be able to see how flexible the system is. Top to Toe can meet all your web demands, now or in the future.
- Top to Toe, Senator House, 2 Graham Road, Hendon, London NW4 3HJ
- +44 (0) 845 130 3535