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I am looking for an e-commerce solution - what advice can you give me?

A good online shop increases revenues and profit. As such, an e-Commerce system is an extreemly important component of a product-focused business. However running an online shop is not easy - infact many mid-sized New Zealand businesses find their online shop to be troublesome from a variety of perspectives, resulting in the online shop being costly to operate.

The following are some issues an online shop owner should consider. If you already run an online shop these will be familiar. For assistance with your online shop, please contact us.

  • Automation: Integration with accounting software
    Stock, Prices, Specials, Orders: without integration, these will require regular double entry. It is critical that as a minimum, your accounting software is able to keep inventory and prices on your site up to date. Read more about integration.
  • Product Information Management 
    Managing quality product information is vital. From a customer's perspective, the more information you provide for each product, the better. Many e-commerce systems don't help you to add quality information. However one PIM solution does - read more about Cobek Avoir for powering an e-commerce site.
  • Customer Experience and Channel Alignment
    When customers start to use your online shop, they expect to be able to visit you in person and have a consistent experience. Often in reality your retail staff have less information than what's on your site, and may be out of touch with it. It's a good idea to have a computer in your shop that staff can refer to. It's also important that staff can look up a customer's order to be able to respond to phone enquiries.
  • Shipping
    The cost of shipping can be passed on to your customers and you will have to work out the costs. Choose your courier company wisely - often it's an important order that will go missing at the wrong time, and this can ruin your customer's opinion of your business. When your courier loses a parcel, they are not likely to care. You need to plan for disaster recovery in these situations and clarify with your courier what their position is.

We advise that you consider the above. When considering an e-Commerce system, as with any system, you get what you pay for. In the case of e-Commerce, low cost solutions exist, but they are part answers. If you budget allows, consider a higher end flexible system such as Avoir that can be integrated with your existing accounting and other systems.

For assistance with your online shop, please contact us.

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