Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Allan Kent [Guest]
One of the first things to consider - is the existing stock control system able to handle online sales? Depending on the model being used, stock may be centrally held and dispatched as orders come in, or it could be distributed amongst the various outlets in which case accurate record keeping is vital to ensure orders are fulfilled and customer satisfaction is kept high.
Before going online and setting up an e commerce system, it is important to test your internal processes as a whole, making sure that defined procedures are in place for:
Generally some additional warehouse training will be required.
Consistency is another key infrastructure area to get right. The branding and value concept must be consistent across all points of sale, i.e. the website, the shop(s) and within the channel. A lack of consistency sends mixed messages and has the potential to destroy all the work that has gone into creating a positive brand image.
As well as the consistency in look and feel other considerations are:
Staff motivation. As mentioned earlier, if you already have physical points of sale setting up facilities for online shopping can have an impact on staff or agents in these areas, so consider how you can keep them motivated.
The final main consideration regarding infrastructure is the online shopping mechanism itself – the website. To be effective the website needs to: