There is no dispute that an e-commerce website brings in a lot of business. And an online website is open 24/7 and accessible from all over the world. Being online opens your store to a global market and can be a boost for sales.
But if you already have a thriving local store, can a website hurt your business? The vague answer is that it could! It would help if you thought about the pros and cons and how they relate to your specific business and customer base.
Consider the following two examples. Business A runs a cheesecake shop and charges premium prices for their famous desserts. Adding an eCommerce website like you get with an ACID POS gives them the benefits of allowing local customers online ordering, access to their loyalty rewards, ability to buy gift cards, see credit balances and much more. And their new global customers now can buy from them and expect to either pay shipping or some minimum purchase amount that works out to be profitable for Business A.
Business B runs an electronics store and has built a reputation of being well-stocked and having immediate availability of thousands of items. Their customers like having knowledgeable sales-people, trying out the electronics, and then buying and taking stuff home immediately. Business B always charged higher prices for this convenience, but many of their customers accepted this because they knew running a brick and mortar store cost more.
If Business B opens up a website, they may have to compete with the online marketplaces. To do that, they would have to set their prices lower. But the problem with this is that when local customers browse their web POS system, they see the lower prices. This means they have to lower their brick-and-mortar store prices to match. If Business B was already very successful, they might feel like they are cutting into their bottom-line.
However, the future may not be all gloom and doom for Business B. With an eCommerce website, local customers will browse online for store pickup or local delivery and may make a POS payment online, streamlining transactions. Some of these buyers would have just shopped elsewhere online if Business B didn’t have a site.
The POS eCommerce store also allows people to shop for products 24/7 and (sadly for Business B’s staff) without Business B needing as many salespeople. The eCommerce website also keeps the store open during pandemics, storms, and other times when people are at home.
A final important consideration is that Business B is likely already the victim of showcasing. Browsers come into their stores and inspect products, then order online because it is cheaper. If Business B is geared to compete with online pricing, they capture those showcasing tire-kickers too!
Merchants must ultimately make their own tough decisions about if they are ready to embrace the future of online retail or hold on to what seems to be working today. But an easy decision is to choose an ACID POS system that accommodates your immediate needs and fits your current budget. It is scalable as you grow and can accept multiple eCommerce websites.
It is also multi-warehouse capable so that you can track your inventory across your physical stores, warehouse, and eCommerce store. Contact ACID now for a free demonstration!