Consumer goods have a huge range of products. From clothing, household appliances, to perishable goods like food, everything falls under this category. Ordering all of these things online is not exactly new. Ecommerce is not at all new. From online stores that at one point delivered goods at slow intervals, can now deliver within the hour (provided the service is offered in your city.
When social distancing, and lockdowns across cities and countries were not a thing, there was never any shortage of stores that we could shop from. Department stores like Target, Walmart, grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, were often frequented. It was only obvious to go to another store if what you wanted was not available there. And this is not even counting the smaller, more local stores for a number of things.
Now, however, things have changed. Over the last couple of months, going out to buy groceries, clothes, or electronics has been difficult. Out of these three categories, the last thing that people may have found a need of, is new clothes. Everyone needs food every day, and since everyone is trying to work from home, we also need electronic supplies, like external monitors, webcams, etc. Apart from that, as cooking at home is the safest way to eat, we are also buying more kitchen appliances like a mixer, which we might not have bought before.
As a local store, the best way to maintain your customers right now is by providing an ecommerce platform and no-contact deliveries.
Let’s dive into the benefits of having an online web portal solution for this:
No special equipment (for the customer):
If your customer has to download one more app, that can cause some friction to get them on board, but a web portal is available with a browser, no need for an app. This way, your local customers can shop from your store over a bigger department store, because after all, you provide equal service while keeping it simpler for them to shop. It gives you an edge.
When customers sign on to this portal for the first time, they get added to your database, or CRM. Now you can use these details to offer them discount coupons, communicate e-bills, and also offer special subscriptions on regular products. Overall, you can use this database for future marketing campaigns.
When you get a custom web portal development company to make a portal for you, you can choose the payment options that you want to integrate. Keep more payment options so that your customers can choose whatever they are comfortable with.
When your vendors are managed directly from this portal, there are a lot of operations that you can manage from one place. When a product inventory dips under a certain number, you can notify your vendor to replenish your stock immediately. You can also give access to certain purchase statistics and product feedback to the vendors so it can help them refine their products.
Alerts and notifications:
You can notify your customers for upcoming offers, in case of low stock and abandoned carts and even order processing updates.
When your customers need you, they will be able to contact you. More importantly, you will be able to help them without having to suddenly hire a special staff for it.
Most importantly, if you already use an inhouse retail portal, then this will reduce your effort significantly. You can turn it into an ecommerce store with very little effort. You already have your catalog prepared, your inventory, and vendor information in place. You just have to take it online, and provide sign up links to your customers.
COVID-19 is not changing the shopping experience just because huge parts of the world have closed down. While the world may slowly open up, certain patterns of living are permanent now. More and more companies will continue to work from home, if not entirely, at least some of it. Large gatherings in places like shopping malls will decrease. The most convenient time to shop for groceries is on the way back from work, but if work is home, those outings are going to decrease. People will still need groceries. They will need to replace the headphones they broke.
But it is not going to be as casual as just stopping on the way. People are more likely to turn to stores that offer online shopping and home deliveries. When it comes to home deliveries, you can offer them with time slots. Customers can choose when they can take the delivery. That way you also save on back and forths of a missed delivery.
Everyone has to adapt for the world that has changed and is still changing. A web portal solution is how you can adapt to it.