With the COVID-19 pandemic closing NZ storefronts, it’s a race to convert from brick-and-mortar selling to online sales. Could E-tail be the healthy boost our economy needs while we take care of our physical health? Here we discuss how your Business-to-Consumer (B2C) operation can sell online…
1: Conventional online shopping
Internet sales have been happening since 1979, but many of us were not aware of this phenomenon until 1995 when Amazon started selling books online. B2C customers are a discriminating bunch. Where once we were content to buy what we could find close to hand, we’re now accustomed to having a world of choice at our fingertips. This buying model enables you to type your requirement into your browser and get 2,390,000,000 results in 0.62 seconds. You browse through the appropriate websites; choose your item and it’s delivered to your door – possibly the next day.
You can supply the world, the Southern Hemisphere, the whole of New Zealand or just your city with conventional online shopping.
What defines click-and-collect is that once your customers have purchased from your website, it’s up to them to collect from your premises or another designated collection point.
The main limiting factor is how far your clients are willing to travel for your goods. Your service radius can be extended by making use of postal service or couriers to deposit orders at remote pickup points. The big advantage to consumers is being able to have same day pickup so it’s important to have your processes streamlined.
Whichever e-Commerce model you choose, here are a few pointers for your website and your distribution centre.
1) Consider offering the top 20% of your best-selling items to start with.
2) Your website should have clear product images.
3) Include size, quantities, price and other details in your product description.
4) Implement an easy ‘shopping cart’ experience.
5) Make sure that checkout is a breeze.
6) Follow up abandoned shopping carts.
7) Have a question and answer section or chatbot on your website.
8) Post a phone number online as well as on a sign outside your store for click-and-collect so that customers can let you know when they arrive. This will minimise mingling of staff and clients.
Behind the scenes
9) Make sure you have enough inventory and that stock can be replenished quickly.
10) Train staff to handle orders effectively – whether for click-and-collect or shipping.
11) Receiving. Invest in box pallets and custom frames that perfectly suit your needs. This will result in product moving quickly to where it’s needed.
12) Predictability is key. Be aware of the time it takes to process and fulfil orders.
13) Fulfilment times must be realistic. Don’t offer a 3-hour pickup or one day delivery if you can’t do it.
14) However, a ridiculously long lead time could mean an abandoned cart and a purchase made elsewhere.
15) Speed up your act with conveyor systems. We love our use-anywhere, do- everything flexi-conveyor. Great for getting your new venture on the rails quickly.
16) Streamline order picking with appropriate trolleys and map out a one-way order picking route for employees to follow.
17) For click-and-collect, demarcate a pickup zone for clients to receive their goods where the safety of everyone is ensured by separating vehicles and pedestrians.
18) Figure out your logistics if goods are to be shipped.
We suspect that when it’s all over, nothing is going to be quite the same again.
According to ACI Worldwide, eCommerce transaction volumes for March 2020 in most retail sectors saw a 74% growth compared to the same period in 2019.
Are these figures an anomaly or a new habit? It’s a good time to catch the wave. If you need help getting set up, call Ferg Deck directly on 021 224 8802 or REQUEST A CALL BACK