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How Technologies Are Creating Opportunities for Online Retailers
by Startacus Admin
In this our Swansea startup month, Prince Appah of Swansea based e-commerce solution Veeqo, tells us a litte about how new technologies create opportunities for online retailers.
Over to you...
The rise and rise of mobile shopping apps is great news for consumers and retailers alike: this metamorphosis of the retail landscape has made the shopping experience much quicker, easier and more convenient for the customer, and the nature of this technological evolution has also created more opportunities for retailers.
Consumers are shopping on the go, they don’t need to be in a brick-and-mortar shop, or even at home on their laptop - they can do it on the train, for example, using a tablet - which is more convenient and can often entice impulse buys.
Let’s say the consumer sees a pair of shoes they like in Zara. Their size isn’t in stock, but that’s okay - they can just use their smartphone to order them online, right then and there. Job done; customer happy. But let’s say those shoes are out of stock online too. Our consumer will be led to look for alternatives on other retail websites, which could lead them to buying more items - a necklace that’s on sale exclusively online, or adding a few more items to their shopping cart to qualify for free postage and packaging.
This creates opportunities for online retailers: setting up shops on more e-commerce channels lets them cast a wider net and drive more traffic; they’re not confined to a physical shop which is expensive to run; and marketing materials can be tailored to different customers based on purchases they’ve already made.
However, the resulting increase in orders puts a strain on e-commerce retailers thanks to the increased pressure to deliver - quite literally - quality goods as well as quality service. Even though your orders are increasing, if you fail to provide your customers with those goods on time - perhaps because you’ve got too many orders to ship, or you haven’t realised that you’ve run out of stock - then it could be counterproductive, resulting in negative reviews and annoyed customers who won’t remain loyal.
There are tools available to aid the order process and help manage stock more efficiently. Inventory management software, such as Veeqo, comes equipped with a multitude of features to help speed up your day-to-day inventory management process and make more money - Setting reorder levels for stock, for example, means that it can automatically order in more items if the stock goes below a certain level. This can be especially helpful for more popular pieces that are in high demand and it reduces the risk of disappointing customers.
Features such as automatically printing shipping labels can also help tremendously. If you’re shipping 10 orders a day, it’ll save you minutes, but those minutes really do add up, especially if you’re shipping 50+ orders a day.
If your inventory management software has a reporting system, you could further save time by eliminating the need to write sales reports yourself. This can also be handy for identifying which stock is popular, and which stock isn’t making you any money, so you can make wiser investments.