Transitioning from Brick and Mortar Retail to eCommerce

The e-commerce industry has grown tremendously over the last few years. Many stores are shutting down physical locations to invest more resources in their online sales department. Transitioning from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce is not something that happens overnight. In order to have the highest success rate and little to no losses, the change should be gradual.

In this guide, we will provide some tips to help you switch over as smoothly as possible.

Get Scalable Storage Solutions

Your warehousing needs are going to change during the switch. You will need more warehouse space for your inventory because you will no longer have products on display in your store. At Overflo, we have scalable storage solutions for businesses of all sizes. You can get the exact amount of storage you need for each stage of your business growth. If you have a dip in sales before your e-commerce business takes off, we can scale back your warehousing until you're ready for more space again. Contact us today to learn more.

Prepare for Changes in Your Demand Levels

Online sales have different demand seasons than brick and mortar stores. Both will see peaks around the holidays, but there are some points in the year that people are more likely to shop online than in stores. This will depend on where you operate from, what you sell, and who makes up your target audience. Example: if you operate in a cold climate, you may see higher online sales in the dead of winter because people do not want to go out and drive. The same could be said for hot summer months in cold climates. Do research for your industry so you can adjust your warehousing needs accordingly. 

Announce the Transition in Stores

Let your loyal customers know that you are shutting down your physical location to move to e-commerce. Give them the information for your website and the official date that you'll be closing. You should allow at least a month before you completely shut down your brick and mortar location, though some stores wait as long as six months to complete this transition. Give your customers enough time to enjoy your store while it is still around so they are more inclined to use your e-commerce services.

Test Your Online Sales Platform Thoroughly

Before you officially start moving to e-commerce, make sure your online sales platform is functioning properly. Even if you have had a website for a while, it may not be set up to accommodate the increased demand you're about to experience. Make sure your inventory management system is synced to your website so customers are aware of backorder, shipping delays, etc. The more communication you have with your customers, the more likely they are to come back to your online store.

Expect Some Bumps along the Way

Most business transitions don't go 100% according to plan. Something unexpected will inevitably come up, but that doesn't mean you should give up on your goals. With the right preparation and determination, you can fight through the hiccups and enjoy a wonderful experience with e-commerce.

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