Making use of the best eCommerce solutions for small businesses
It was not long ago that eCommerce solutions were often limited to the biggest and most successful retailers. These platforms were generally quite expensive, which gave larger merchants a competitive edge against startup sellers or smaller retailers. However, just as the Internet leveled the playing field by allowing merchants to reach global audiences digitally, the advance of eCommerce solutions have similarly enabled even the smallest sellers to gain access to valuable tools.
Additionally, people have become more tech-savvy in recent years. As Forbes observed, it was not long ago that technologies such as mobile phones and computers were still relatively niche. Now, everyone uses these tools in their personal lives, which has driven an interest in utilizing technology in a professional capacity as well.
This acceptance of digital tools and solutions could not have come at a better time either. With many retailers looking to become available across all sales avenues, technology will play a critical role in aiding that transition. Inventory management, order fulfillment, product information management and mobile devices have all become important considerations for retailers both big and small.
Here are a few considerations small retailers should look at when looking at eCommerce solutions to help them better serve customers:
1. How does the solution enable a cross-channel shopping experience?
Many small retailers are not making use of all of the sales avenues to engage prospective customers. They may have brick-and-mortar stores or online shops, but they are often not where they need to be. This usually occurs for two reasons. First, it is hard to manage all these different channels. Second, many merchants are just not aware of all the different ways people shop.
For example, take a look at all the popular marketplaces that exist and continue to crop up as well. Many merchants simply sell products through their websites but ignore the numerous opportunities these marketplaces bring to the table. Just think of all the customers who go to these marketplaces, but may not have heard of a small merchant.
Fortunately, there are a number of product information and inventory management solutions that merchants can utilize to help them quickly create listings in all these high-traffic destinations. ECommerce software also allows them to manage the influx of new orders more efficiently so retailers do not disappoint new customers.
2. Does the solution improve efficiency of the retailer’s operations?
One of the biggest challenges of being a small retailer is operating efficiently. They often have fewer resources and less manpower, yet they have to compete at the same level as larger competitors if they want to stay relevant.
Fortunately, eCommerce solutions can help in that regard. They can automate many time-consuming tasks that would have taken retailers hours or perhaps even days in the past. Going back to the previous example, there are solutions that will allow merchants to publish multiple product listings to numerous online marketplaces at the touch of the button – this would have been a manual task for some sellers in the past.
Other tools can automate processes, such as submitting purchase orders to manufacturers when stock runs low. This helps retailers ensure they do not run out of stock, even if they are busy addressing other mission-critical tasks.
At the end of the day, technology has quickly transformed how small retailers can compete. It is absolutely pivotal they look into the the best eCommerce solutions that fit their needs and implement the tools that make the most sense.