Hidden Costs of Omnichannel that Impact Independent Sellers

Hidden Costs of Omnichannel that Impact Independent SellersNew research identifies and solves the major problems limiting the effective use of omnichannel selling

We’ve joined forces with Retail Systems Research (RSR), the only research company run by retailers for retailers, to unveil new research that identifies and solves the major problems limiting independent retailers’ effective use of omnichannel selling. The report, “Three Hidden Costs of Omnichannel that Impact the Independent Retailer,” is available for free download. We’re also looking forward to hosting a free webinar with the author of the report and RSR managing partner Nikki Baird on Thursday, March 2, at 11:00 a.m. PT. Register now.

Baird told us, “One of the biggest obstacles of being a small, independent retailer is that you have all of the challenges of big retailers, but none of the resources they have to tackle these challenges. Omnichannel—the act of serving customers holistically across multiple touch points—is no different. New #retail #research identifies and solves the hidden costs of #omnichannel selling Click To TweetConsumers don’t care if the retailer is big or small. They just want to shop how, when, and where they want, in an interaction with a retailer or brand that is seamless and consistent. In this new research, we identify the top hindrances for independent retailers and offer practical solutions that will empower them to make the most of the omnichannel selling environment.”

This new report tackles key issues facing independent retailers including:

  • Inaccurate product availability: Small retailers struggle to “see” their inventory. Indeed, RSR found that only 8% of respondents with $250M or less of revenue can see inventory levels across their business, and can promise with confidence that they can sell an item to consumers across multiple selling channels.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Focus and Sell More Online

3 Ways to Improve Your Focus and Sell More OnlineGo multi- (or omni) at your own risk, or follow these steps

Recently it has become clear that multitasking can be detrimental to both our productivity and our health. Research has found that multitasking inhibits our ability to successfully carry out simultaneous tasks, it can lower the IQ as much as 15 points, and increase the brain’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s likely no coincidence that mindfulness and meditation are now all the rage. So whether you’re crunching your morning granola or creating a profitability spreadsheet, it’s all about paying attention, narrowing your focus, and clearing your thoughts.@ParagMamnani explains 3 ways to improve your focus and #sell more #online. #Unify Click To Tweet

Counter-intuitively, trends in e-commerce insist upon diversification, spreading sales resources across both marketplaces and platforms, and employing a variety of specialized apps to run different parts of your business. If you plan to make any money in online retail, you’d better be able to manage multiple channels across geographic regions—in fact, among Webgility’s thousands of multi-channel customers, the average number of stores managed is 4 to 5. To up the complexity ante, those sellers who want to get and stay ahead of the technology curve need to become omnichannel, making sure their products are purchasable from any device or platform.  

For those interested in having their e-commerce cake and eating it mindfully too, here are three ways to fine-tune your focus while successfully building a multi-faceted online retail empire. Continue reading

e-Commerce Game Changers for 2016

e-Commerce Game Changers for 2016Four ways to impact your SMB for the better now and for years to come

e-Commerce businesses wear many hats. After opening an online store, they quickly learn they have to become experts in all manner of things—marketing, social media, sales, shipping, and fulfillment. Each of those categories goes deep: Not only does an e-commerce owner have to understand all the different avenues of marketing and the different models of fulfillment, they usually find themselves literally packing boxes and sending them out the door every day. Buried in day-to-day operations (usually in a box of shipping peanuts), how can an online retailer keep an eye on the industry so they can better compete? Since I’m buried in the industry every day, I put together a list of game-changers e-commerce SMBs should apply to their businesses to gain better focus for themselves and for their business in 2016.

Grow strategically
Marketing is the most impactful area for e-commerce companies to grow, so it’s certainly one of the more important areas for SMBs, especially as you’re looking at ways to gain access to new customers and revenue streams. #eCommerce #GameChangers for #2016: 4 ways to impact your SMB for the better now and for years Click To TweetFor a small businesses to grow and get visibility, it should be no surprise that an investment on the marketing side is required to get that visibility, but that category is so broad. Here are some areas of the market that are inviting strategic growth in 2016:

  • Multi-channel: Multi-channel is about selling on different stores, whether it’s selling on your own store, through online shopping cart platforms, or on a marketplace like  Amazon, eBay or Etsy.
    Selling and experimenting in several locations is necessary in today’s online market but it requires the right tools to stay ahead of the business. Many e-tailers don’t realize that it’s possible to sell on several channels and still sync financials and inventory on the back end. And now it’s even easier to list on marketplaces, put your products out there, find an audience, and test and fine-tune your products and margins. You can even use the available tools to understand how your products are performing, try different pricing, and experiment with different catalogs and messaging.
  • Omnichannel: Businesses are evolving to cover their sales through traditional brick-and-mortar stores, through an online presence in several locations, and also through expanding the availability customers have across those channels on different devices with different interfaces. For this and many other reasons, it’s becoming more important to provide a cohesive experience for the end buyer by going omnichannel.
  • International: The expansion of international markets means tremendous growth potential right now, partially because it’s becoming increasingly easier for the small business to ship products overseas. A lot of the big carriers have made strides in expanding their international fulfillment networks and greater visibility online. The international audience is looking for products from all over the world, and so expanding your business international markets is another strategic way to grow.

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Why You Need to Hop on the Omnichannel Bandwagon

Why You Need to Hop on the Omnichannel BandwagonIt’s undeniable that omnichannel is the big buzzword in retail these days. But, what exactly is “omnichannel”? The basic idea of omnichannel refers to consumers having the opportunity to seamlessly shop and buy from any channel: in-store, online, and through smartphones and tablets.

As we’ve seen in the past year or so, the concept of omnichannel is quickly spreading, with big retailers grasping the trend and running with it. So, why is it important for small brick-and-mortars and/or ecommerce businesses to hop on the same bandwagon? To start, according to research by IDC Retail Insights, customers using omnichannel options for purchasing, spend an average of 15 to 30 percent more than consumers shopping through one channel. Continue reading

Riding the e-Commerce Wave

Riding the e-Commerce WaveSelling retail online is fast and big and many drown before seeing the big break. As you know, there’s never been a better time to sell products online. Every week brings new platforms and marketplaces on which to sell. Technology has afforded us speed and access that were simply unimaginable just a few years ago. Yet with every additional improvement to online selling, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged by the lumbering moving target that the marketplace has become. Here’s how to avoid the deluge and ride today’s online retail trends all the way to higher profits. Continue reading