Things have changed. Over the last decade the digital demands on businesses have increased more than perhaps many companies at first appreciate. Yes, far more business is carried out via the web, but for expanding businesses something more is needed to tie up the digital aspects of a business with the bricks and mortar elements of that business. Websites running in parallel to a main physical presence is a start – but what retailers really need to think about how their digital and physical presences link together.
Many retailers we speak to have this exact problem. They have disparate web, shop and accounting systems that result in increased administration, greater difficulties in managing customer service, and as a result, lessened opportunities to grow.
The problem retailers face is that looking at integrating eCommerce, accounting systems, and a retail and/or a warehouse takes a lot of work – and a lot of commitment from the retailer – both financial and in terms of time/effort. Tackled at once, it can be too large and costly a project, as well as simply take too long. Often businesses choose a quick fix option of simply creating a new website with the same setup as the business had previously – just adding a new face to an old problem that doesn’t get resolved.
There are a few things that can be done to try and avoid this problem in the creation of a new ecommerce website. The first is to accept and understand that the shop face itself is only the first part of a bigger picture if you want to get your digital plans to work for you right through the business. The second is to look at how you can break up those plans to tackle each core part individually, and the third is making sure – wherever possible – that each element takes a short a time as possible, but of course keeping the focus on quality and not cutting corners.
Guitar Village is one retailer that was looking at how to approach their whole digital plans and we are working with them on how we drive things forward for their business. There are some big plans in place to design and develop a solution that crosses each area of their offering. You’ll read more from us over the coming months about what we are doing for them and how they are using digital to help manage their successful and fast growing business.