Dec 17, 2018
4 MINUTE READ
Dec 17, 2018
4 MINUTE READ
Establishing an online retail component should be thought of as a simplified second location. It requires work to launch, maintenance to keep running, and it may require extra staff to operate. You will need both delivery drivers and sales staff to manage phone calls or online orders. In exchange for the extra investment, you will get a platform that has the potential to deliver increased sales on the scale of a second retail location. Most importantly, you will be embracing the future of retail and be ready for the impending age of e-commerce alcohol sales. When launching e-commerce, it’s best to go with a partner with experience and influence. Drizly is the largest e-commerce platform for alcohol sales in the United States, and is best suited to bring your store into the digital age.
Stocking your Online “Shelves”:
The first step to setting up an online component to your retail business is to organize your inventory for browsing on an e-commerce platform. The strategies are different from stocking shelves, but the goal remains the same: Keep similar products together. You want customers to be able to find what they’re looking for, and, ideally, a few extra products to add on. Unlike traditional retail, e-commerce offers the bonus of knowing what your customers buy when they enter the “store.” Customer history starts with the first item they add to their cart, and the picture of their preferences grows from there. E-commerce partners like Drizly have the organization of an e-store covered, but it is still up to retailers to make sure their platforms have accurate inventory. Customers can’t buy something online if they don’t know that you have it. The process of regular inventory, such as adding new items to your database, or replacing old ones, should be extended to your online store. When you add a new SKU, your online component should be updated as soon as possible.
The potential to promote your business on e-commerce platforms far extends what you could do with print ads. Weekly email newsletters are a great way to keep your business exciting for customers. This gives them a weekly reminder to come to your store. With an e-commerce platform, customer email contacts will be retrieved to extend the reach of your contact list. Sale prices that are “online only” can direct more business to your e-commerce channel. Traditional retail customers will order more frequently when the convenience of delivery is brought into their lives.
Promote your Web-presence:
Encouraging existing customers to utilize your e-commerce platform adds a new dimension to your business. You should promote your e-commerce platform in your store with a link to your website on receipts and a few well placed fliers directing customers to “find you online.” Make sure to have cashiers remind customers that you are now selling online as well. A logo or decal from your e-commerce platform in front of your store is a great way to direct traffic to this new channel. Familiarizing your patrons with your e-commerce platform has customer service benefits as well. For example, customers can get quick up to date answers on questions about inventory or product by directing incoming calls to the Drizly app. This frees up your staff to focus on customers that are in the store.
Delivering a Quality Product :
E-commerce will increase your sales, but customer satisfaction depends on your ability to fulfill orders without incident. Simply put, if customers receive the same product that they receive in your physical store, they will continue to take advantage of your delivery service. Send them your best product. Items with damaged labels should never be pawned off on delivery customers. This will certainly be perceived as an act of bad faith. Delivery orders must be protected from clanking around in backseats or being wet or warmed by the elements. Sealed bags are highly recommended, and paper is usually not recommended. Items requested cold must be delivered cold. Carbonated beverages must especially be handled delicately. Timely delivery of products is still the most important thing, and the best way to ensure that the products arrive undamaged. Customers that receive their order within an hour of ordering are X more likely to repeat your delivery service.
E-commerce offers more than just increased sales, it offers an opportunity for priceless customer information that can help you with everything from more accurately targeted marketing to an improved selection of inventory. E-commerce partners like Drizly have honed their platforms for data collection and can inform your business with records of who is buying what. It’s important to use this data to better serve your customers and maximize profits. Data retrieved from e-commerce isn’t just useful for online transactions. It can help you anticipate your customer’s needs in all settings. Imagine knowing what your customer is looking for before they even walk in the door. That’s what data can deliver.