Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Help...My website shelves are empty!

An online store is very similar to a physical retail store. The process of ordering stock & packing products onto the shelves, hopefully for 'quick' consumer purchase, is fairly much the same for both types of business models.

With online retail, products need to be loaded into the eCommerce website, images uploaded and descriptions with pricing entered. And just like a retail store, this all needs regular maintenance including stock-takes and updating of product listings.

Problem for both styles of retail is all your capital gets tied up in the whole 'stock' process. From the time you order, make payment and then actually receive the stock plus product images & information, this can take anywhere up to 6 months.

Solving the Empty Shelve problem?

One solution we have come up with to solve our 'empty shelves' is to work closely with another provider of Spencer and Rutherford, Etiquette by Mindy Mason and Funchico laptop bags. A fantastic business located in Queensland called Handbrag. We both list each other products and indicate that particular product will be coming from another provider. So far this has worked well however takes strong communication to ensure orders run smoothly and then when products are sold the updating of product listings on our websites.

Another solution some follow, and is becoming more popular, is to drop-ship. A process where the product is shipped directly from the manufacturer. Postage from China and the US is fairly speedy and cost effective when you compare it to shipping items to the outer parts of Australia.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to solve the empty shelve problem?

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