To ensure no business opportunities are missed, many retail companies realize the need to operate brick-and-mortar and e-commerce shops. However, any manager or chief executive officer (CEO) knows how strenuous this can be. But when the right systems and strategies are adopted, managing both business store models can seamlessly succeed.
Your physical store and online operations require managerial demands and specific operational workflows. Although it’s essential to instigate standard procedures, each business model comes with a unique work process. Still, simultaneously operating both platforms is made possible by effectively managing sales, inventory, promotions, and payments.
Check out this essential guide to operating a physical and online store at the same time:
1. Fine-Tune Your E-Commerce Site
Operating your online store relies heavily on how you structure your e-commerce site. After all, this acts much like your physical storefront, and you want everyone to visit your shop, navigate and browse for products with ease, and make a purchase.
With that, it’s essential to create a website that’s compatible with mobile users and comes with a user-friendly interface. It should also have a good loading speed, especially since you may lose conversions and have abandoned shopping carts due to poor user experience and slow loading times.
It’s also crucial to make your website well-organized and navigable. Incorporate precise product descriptions, and work on your SEO approaches, such as keyword optimizations, to boost your site’s online visibility. You can devise your SEO strategies with the help of digital designers in London or one in your locality for your online store.
Moreover, don’t forget to use high-quality multimedia on your e-commerce site and social media posts. Since people would most likely view and share them, ensure that you incorporate unique concepts in your content. All these and more can attract your target audience to check out your e-commerce site and increase your conversions.
For some inspiration, check out the DoFasting website. It has an easy-to-navigate and well-designed homepage that loads quickly. The copy is persuasive and synonymously optimized for SEO.
2. Prioritize Customer Experience
Customer experience should be prioritized in both of your sales channels. In your physical store, this can be achieved by having a sales assistant attend to the customer’s needs. They should be attentive to their requests and answer queries diligently. As for your online platform, you can enhance customer experience through your website’s usability and navigation features.
Essentially, there are many ways to enhance customer experience. But the priority is to create actions that lead to customer satisfaction. One strategy you can adopt is to allow a customer to make a purchase online but pick up the item from your store. This works for people who don’t want to wait for shipment.
Another strategy is to strengthen your communication platforms, such as your email, social media, and chatbots on your website. Whether a potential customer has questions about the products or a current client has some concerns about item replacement or refund, your team should be able to respond to them as promptly as possible. Prioritizing customers before and after their purchase can go a long way in elevating the overall experience you can offer to your clients.
3. Optimize Inventory Management Across All Avenues
Optimizing inventory is another must when operating a physical and online store simultaneously. By doing so, you’ll likely be able to meet the demands of your operations and satisfy customers, making them repeat patrons of your brand.
For one, it’s vital to know how much stock your store has so that you can maintain a healthy inventory level. And suppose you have multiple physical stores.
You’ll want to be able to check if other branches have extra stock, size, or color, should you be running low on that specific product. This way, you can either recommend an alternative store or have the items shipped to the customer. This is where having effective inventory management in place comes in.
With such tools, monitoring inventory levels and tracking all your stocks from your warehouses to virtual and physical stores can be more efficient and streamlined. In addition, most tools offer cloud features, allowing everyone in your company to acquire real-time inventory data to serve and satisfy customers better.
4. Design A Standard Process
Standard procedures are essential when running different selling platforms, as it defines how employees will work, what the return policy is, how to coordinate inventories, what kinds of payments will be accepted, how to handle customer complaints, and so on. Workflows can also become more efficient when there’s a standard to follow.
Essentially, it can make it easier to keep track of what’s going on at each store and ensure operations are running smoothly. That said, don’t overlook the importance of setting company guidelines and standards to ensure your physical and online stores are well-coordinated.
5. Integrate Payment Methods
In any retail operation, keeping track of sales is important. After all, this allows you to check whether your business is earning well. Hence, another critical aspect for your business is to integrate payment methods.
You can use cash registers and a POS terminal to aid you in running your physical shop and record and compute all sales. As for your virtual store, you should have a payment system that is safe and secure to be used online. One option is to work with third-party online payment systems. But the key here is to integrate both methods to help you manage your business finances more effectively.
For this process to be as efficient as possible, you can utilize accounting software designed for the retail industry. Such tools can generate financial reports and sync all data for easy viewing. This can be a good financial management system, enabling you to keep track of sales from your online and brick-and-mortar store. And since you have all your financial data in one place, making informed decisions regarding your company’s future can be easier.
Managing a physical and online store simultaneously is no easy feat. Essentially, there are various factors you need to consider and aspects to prioritize. And to help you manage both sales channels effectively, knowing a few tips and adopting the right strategies can go a long way.
Hopefully, this post has covered insights that can help you strengthen your brand across different platforms.