You’re thinking about opening an eCommerce store…that’s so exciting! Making the jump from brick-and-mortar to eCommerce can be daunting for retail store owners, but it doesn’t have to be! By taking the time to prepare for the big transition of selling online, merchants are able to avoid many of the common pitfalls that can lead to potential failure.
Everyone wants to expand their business, but rarely do business owners really sit and think about the obstacles that may pop up along the way. Let’s discuss some of the most trying pitfalls that store owners might encounter when expanding the business to eCommerce and some tips on how you can set your store up for success.
Manual Data Syncing Nightmares
Opening up another revenue channel in your business will bring more options for profits, but it’s also definitely going to add more data points. If you don’t have a properly managed system in place, you’ll quickly find yourself bogged down with the tedious task of manually syncing data between your eCommerce platform, accounting software, and inventory management system.
Human errors and lost data could cost you more than just a headache, it can eat into your bottom line.
If you want the best chance at succeeding online, you’ll want a system that can automatically sync both your brick-and-mortar store stock and online inventory in real-time. With SKU IQ, inventory will be updated in real-time as our technology works in the “background” from a single dashboard on autopilot, ridding your business of another system you’re required to log into every day.
Failure to Optimize for Mobile
If you’re not thinking about the mobile version of your store before you get to work, then you’re already behind on the times.
79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
This number is only going to increase as humans rely more and more on technology and as mobile devices become more ubiquitous. It is imperative to make sure your eCommerce store is properly optimized for mobile or you’re going to miss out on a large quantity of potential sales.
When you close your eyes and think about what you would want your mobile website to look like, what do you see? Gathering your thoughts and ideas on the website design ahead of time will allow you to have a vision in mind to communicate to your web designer from the very beginning. This will help your store development process concentrate on mobile with the desktop version as a secondary plan. The biggest eCommerce platforms SKU IQ partners with, like Shopify, already have mobile integrated into the website experience.
Overselling & Overstocking Inventory
It might be tempting when moving to eCommerce to sell on as many different platforms as you possibly can. Where the people are, the money will follow, right? Wrong. Without a program to keep track of all inventory, selling on too many platforms can lead to overselling or overstocking inventory.
You might only have one product left but two different people add it to their carts to purchase on two different channels at the same time. This situation can happen quite often since smaller sellers don’t have the capital for investing in copious amounts of backstock.
You’re better off slowly adding new sales channels and understanding each channel’s buying trends by using software that allows you to track your entire inventory from retail to eCommerce, like SKU IQ!
A Complicated Tech Stack
Many business owners make the mistake of trying to expand to eCommerce without taking the time to set up the necessary systems and procedures. This can lead to a number of problems in your data and with your staff.
Using tech is difficult enough but when you’re trying to create a chain of software that is dependent on each other you’re making your system vulnerable to glitches and breakdowns. Have a clear strategy ahead of time about which tech is the most important for your eCommerce goals. Create plans for the obstacles you plan on encountering throughout the process.
Most business owners are also the “Head of IT” and need support when solving technology challenges. When you add new software to your tech stack make sure you understand the vendors customer service hours of operation and how hands on their team will be in getting you set up and supporting your business.
Your Online Store Isn’t User-Friendly
You might be setting up your store and have a design you believe to be a great reflection of your brand. The problem is, you’re not the only one who has to use it. Think about the qualities you like most about your favorite user-friendly sites.
Creating a store that is too complicated or isn’t user-friendly will quickly lead to customers becoming frustrated and giving up on your site without making a purchase. Ask your staff or friends to test new pages for feedback.
Keep the purchasing process as simple and streamlined as possible. The biggest mistake is to overthink the checkout process.
Setting Up For Success
Expanding to eCommerce can be a fantastic way to grow your business but you must be prepared for the challenges that come with it. Define a clear plan of action and a solid strategy to follow and execute. Following our tips can make the process more efficient and you’ll be able to quickly find success online. SKU IQ is ready to help you leverage technology and insights to adapt and grow your business.
SKU IQ has helped thousands of small to medium businesses like yours get ahead and sync inventory and reporting between their Point-of-Sale and eCommerce platforms.
“Experience is great, and customer service (Which I am a bit anal about it) is timely and well mannered. Fun and interactive tool and would definitely promote any way possible.” -Charles M
Give it a test drive risk free. Kick-start your eCommerce business with a free trial.