Whether your store began as a brick and mortar setup and you added e-commerce functionality over time, or you began your retail journey online and opened a physical store, you need to ensure that you provide a consistent customer experience in both mediums. Operating both a physical and an e-commerce store simultaneously might seem daunting at first but nowadays many retail businesses are doing this successfully and you can too.
To manage your inventory efficiently, provide the best customer service, manage your finances and market your business, you will need to have the right systems in place to streamline and integrate your different business processes. You will need to find the best way to schedule your employees, to provide the best in-store experience and you will need to build your brand both online and in-store. With so many different components to consider, you need to ensure you are organised and prepared to manage a physical and e-commerce retail store at the same time.
Let’s take a look at a few things you need to keep in mind to keep your physical and online retail entities operating efficiently.
Consider The Customer Experience
Although your e-commerce store and your physical store are two separate entities, they need to work seamlessly together to provide the best possible experience. For example, if your customer orders something in-store they should receive an email receipt of the transaction on your store app. Likewise, if a customer orders something online, they should have the option to collect from your store. Ensuring that both of your retail outlets work perfectly together will ensure the best possible user experience, encouraging more loyal, long-term clients.
Integrate Your Payment Systems
To manage your business finances with ease, it’s wise to integrate the payment systems of your online and physical retail stores. Collecting all of your financial data in one place will help you to make more informed decisions regarding the future needs of your company. There are plenty of software tools designed specifically to meet the needs of the retail industry that you can use to make this process as simple as possible. Take some time to research your options to find a system that will provide you with the functionalities you need at a price you can afford.
Hire A Fulfilment Company
If your business carries a lot of stock, you will need a space to store your inventory. Most brick and mortar stores only have enough storage space to house the stock for the store. To store the additional stock you will need for your online orders, consider outsourcing to a reliable fulfilment company that will store, package and ship your products to your clients on your behalf. With a fulfilment company looking after these tasks, your in-store staff can focus on tending to the needs of your customers and selling your products instead of packing and shipping items sold online.
Focus On Customer Service
Whether your customers are buying from your online store or your physical store, you need to provide reliable customer service for your clients. Using CRM software you can track your communications with your customers so that whoever is dealing with that customer again in the future can access notes regarding the previous conversation. This helps to provide a seamless customer support service to your clients, making them feel valued and appreciated, which will help to increase brand loyalty over time.
Manage Your Online And Physical Stores Seamlessly
Managing both an online and a physical store is no easy task and the challenge might seem overwhelming at first. However, with the right systems in place and by intertwining these two elements of your business, you can manage your completed retail business with ease. With each component of your retail operation supporting the other, you will be able to provide the best possible customer experience in-store and online to build credibility in your brand going forward.