Why is it harder for offline merchants to sell online?

07.01.2019

Time to read: 5 minutes

Views: 816 times

Категории: Ecommerce tips
Why is it harder for offline merchants to sell online?

In the article "How do I choose a developer for my online store?" Having learned a lot of valuable tips for choosing a developer for your online store, now is the time to find out why some of your favorite brands with stable physical presence aren't selling online yet.

Let's first clarify the concepts. An online merchant is a company that sells exclusively and only online and all its processes revolve around this business. Offline traders, on the other hand, are the "old generation" businesses that have physical objects and do classic retail.
It may be a decade soon, as we all listen and say that the future lies in the multi-channel approach (or omni chanel) and while online businesses in the West have begun to enter the offline market, in Bulgaria the transition from offline to online is still quite difficult.

We also tried to address the main reasons why we are preventing merchants from making a solid online start:

Focus

In the first place, the focus is absolutely unconditional. I know it sounds like an excerpt from a book on personal development, but 9 out of 10 marketers I've met and want to sell online still don't realize that the effort and focus they have to match is commensurate with those who manage offline businesses. At best, an offline merchant views their online store as a replacement for another physical object they can open. Does it sound reasonable to you? And not to me.

Starting position

Secondly I would put the starting position. What I mean is very simple to understand - if you are a well-developed brand with good sales, steady sales, smooth processes and steadily developing, you would not be able to start online as a middle-class person right? However, in practice, if you have been slowing down for years and are catching up with literally bursting online marketers, this is very difficult and sometimes you need to remember the principle of "start small" or "start small", as we at Stenik say. However, if you are not ready to make any compromises and want your online store and the service behind it to be top notch, then get ready for a lot of hard work, exceptional focus and a big budget.

Falstart

Over half of offline retailers who want a quality online store to build a serious online business have had a false start in the past. Under false start I mean - choosing the wrong developer partner for your online store, choosing the wrong platform, lack of quality technical support, lack of marketing strategy, wrong expectations and so on. Any reasons that may delay the years of building your online business. I'm going to open a bracket here because this is also true of online retailers - many of them have gone through many companies and hassles to find the right partners or build their own team.

Processes

This is the root of the problem, "Why is it harder for offline marketers to sell online?"

For an offline business, it is impossible to sell on the Internet in significant volumes without close synchronization between the business management system ( ERP or at least warehouse software ) and its online store. This is a daunting task that can be costly for you, requiring the selection of the right software products and the availability of personnel to make the two systems work in sync. However, how do you change the ERP software that you have been working with for years and that is not able to work in synch with the online store? The answer is short - difficult.
Another thing is that the dynamics involved in online commerce are sometimes daunting for offline retailers who are accustomed to longer-term and static plans.
All of the above reflects the processes of a company and sometimes their modeling hides a successful formula for how to mix online and offline channels.

The team

I left this reason last, because I think it is perhaps the most current issue facing brands. Typically, when an offline brand decides to grow their online sales, they have a very thin understanding of how to hire 1 person to take their online business off their shoulders. However, this is a total fallacy.

You need at least a project manager and a project strategist for the “My Business Online Store” project , you need a content manager website to manage the content, you also need a customer service to handle customer communication and staff to prepare and send the shipments themselves. And guess what - in most cases, they must be different people, because the qualifications they need are different.

And something else. We didn't even mention the word digital marketing and marketing team here . Because in most online shops, even if they use outside help, they always have such an internal department! So - if we have to summarize it all here - for an offline trader it is difficult to start and develop fast enough online because he has lost time, because his focus is avoiding, and because he does not have the necessary know-how and staff.
And here is the logical question - is it appropriate for me to start selling online at all or focusing even more on the physical business?

Our answer is - AND MORE!

Remember that you have invaluable years of business experience, available product base, warehouses, operating staff, office, processes that need modeling, not creating and tons of other advantages over your online competitors . You can even afford to work with low returns while unlocking the online sales funnel and turning your online store into a worthy rival of physical sales.

Thank you for reading this article to the end and I will be glad if you can break the reading through your prism and use it successfully to start and grow your online business.

About the author:

dimitar Dimitar Dimitrov

Dimitar Dimitrov has been a partner and Commercial Director at STENIK since 2006.

Over the years he has gained valuable experience as a web consultant, successfully finding new clients and maintaining relationships with existing clients. He has also participated in the development of a number of major projects ranging from Ozone, Cinema Arena, Global Brands and more. Dimitar's strength is advising clients to integrate online stores with various ERP systems and warehouse software.

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