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How to Enable e-Commerce (Fast) Without Breaking the Bank
In this article:
- Online shopping is trending upward - quickly
- Why eCommerce is the future of shopping (B2B and B2C)
- How to get your products to the online marketplace in less time, with less budget
The move to online shopping has shifted steadily over the past decade, most dramatically since the beginning of COVID-19, and now accounts for nearly 35% of all buying done in the United States.
As more consumers adjust their behavior towards instant gratification and online shopping, is your business ready to meet their preferred way to buy?
eCommerce: Benefits & Costs
A well-built eCommerce website can transform your market position. Consider it a storefront that's located at the fingertips of any prospect across the country -- or globe -- versus a physical location that can only be accessed in person.
You may be getting a lot of business from sales reps or product literature, but those channels include at least one layer of friction that limits the "instant shopping" experience so many consumers now demand.
eCommerce allows established and prospective customers alike to browse your full offerings, select the products they want and either check out or request a quote within minutes, all from the comfort of their desk, smartphone, or couch.
While the benefits of building an eCommerce platform are numerous and becoming more essential every day, the costs of developing one from scratch can be overwhelming and include creating the infrastructure, connecting to existing CRM or ERP systems, and collecting, organizing and populating thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of sets of SKU details. There's a lot to tackle and it can take years to complete a full transition from offline-only (brick-and-mortar) selling to an online store.
The payoff for this investment of time and resources can be big for your business, but while the transition is in progress, there's an alternative that can get you online and to market much faster.
Interactive, Digitized Catalogs: Faster & Less Expensive
Leveraging the sales literature and product data you already have, you can create a fully interactive eCommerce experience in less than a month, with a budget that's only 10% of a traditional eCommerce buildout.
How it works:
- By providing the artwork (e.g., your existing catalog, flyer, booklet) and brief descriptions for each product inside, we are able to map each product as an available selection for shoppers.
- Once a shopper has decided on an item, they simply click to have it added to their "shopping cart."
- The shopping cart is then populated with the description of the product, a small image, and a quantity the shopper can change if they'd like more than one of the item.
- The shopper then fills in their contact information, plus any other information you need to be able to complete their sale, and the system automatically sends the details of their shopping cart to your email.
It's a simple, clean way to use the collateral you already have and provide your customers with an instant, friction-less shopping experience.
If you're looking for functionality such as integration with your ERP or accepting payment in real time, this solution may be a stop on the road to those more in-depth systems. Our philosophy is always that it's better to have a working solution than being radio silent while the "perfect" solution is in progress, especially if that solution is a few years away.
Why wait on attracting customers in new target markets (and new revenue streams), or expanding your presence in established markets, if you don't have to?
Case Study: Pilot Precision Products
One of our clients, a precision tool manufacturer based in Massachusetts, recently implemented an eCatalog solution for their products.
Based on their 132-page print catalog, we worked with them to develop the product descriptions for a full eCatalog build. Now, each of their products is able to be indexed, searched, shopped and quoted, directly from an extension of their website.
The entire solution was approved and implemented within 6 weeks, including addition of the eCatalog to their website, marketing materials and sales tools. The system has already resulted in Pilot Precision Products receiving new orders and new customers.
Check it out for yourself here and let us know what you think!
Interested in learning how we can help your business? Contact us.
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