B&M Retailer.. Adopting E-Commerce for first time...

Discussion in 'Websites & Ecommerce' started by Stevie Wonder, Jun 26, 2015.

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  1. Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder UKBF Contributor

    93 19
    Hi all!

    I have owned/operated a small b&m retail business for around 8 years, and am now looking into online selling....

    I have the stock/supply and everything sorted on that front as of course I've been doing it for a while..

    My thinking is to get a firm in to build and maintain the website and take care of the SEO, Adwords etc... I will probably adopt a system like SagePay for the card/payment processing...

    I have a courier that I have used for years so can send palletised stock nationwide, although I would like if possible to target our Adwords and other marketing to our local region, therefore we would deliver the product ourselves.. I will defer to your advice and comments on this!!

    One of my major concerns is pricing... In my shop/area I have set prices where of course I am competitive in the local market and make a decent mark up, but when I take these products online I will have to be cheaper to compete with the online retail companies... But how can a firm justify selling at one price in-store and another online?

    As the title suggests this is the first time I have taken this or any business online, so the point of the thread is get any start up advice on any aspect of the above, and also address the interesting issue of pricing..

    Thanks for reading!
    Posted: Jun 26, 2015 By: Stevie Wonder Member since: Mar 5, 2011
  2. DontAsk

    DontAsk UKBF Legend

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    Lots of major companies have "web only" offers.If the web sales do not cause a drop in existing shop sales then the marginal costs for each sale are lower (no extra rent, etc) so the lower cost is justified. The danger is that shop sales will suffer as customers get wise and you end up selling everything at the lower price.
    Posted: Jun 26, 2015 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  3. Paul Kelly ICHYB

    Paul Kelly ICHYB Moderator
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    First, work out why you want the website - to support retail sales or to replace retail sales.

    If supporting, the logical route, keep the prices the same, but offer some web deals and, maybe, free deliver over £x.

    Try to sell on service, not price, which will help to maintain price parity.
    Posted: Jun 26, 2015 By: Paul Kelly ICHYB Member since: Jan 21, 2008
  4. Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder UKBF Contributor

    93 19
    Thanks for the posts, you're both right of course!

    I don't want to damage the relationship with our current customer base, so selling on level of service, and just showing a few 'web only' offers seems to be the logical road to take.

    I will also have a couple of ranges that are exclusively for the web side of the business...

    I would like to achieve most web sales within our county, then free personal delivery (ie not on a pallet courier) is a good selling point...

    I didn't realise that with google Adwords, I could target a specific area, so that improves our prospects since I don't have to factor pallet courier delivery on each sale..
    Posted: Jun 26, 2015 By: Stevie Wonder Member since: Mar 5, 2011
  5. Paul Kelly ICHYB

    Paul Kelly ICHYB Moderator
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    Extended 'web only' ranges is a great way to sell the site and you can also take advantage of dropshipping to increase revenues with investing in physical stock (at reduced margins...).
    Posted: Jun 26, 2015 By: Paul Kelly ICHYB Member since: Jan 21, 2008
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  6. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Verified Business ✔️

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    Then this book was written for you:
    Posted: Jun 29, 2015 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
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  7. Parcelhub

    Parcelhub UKBF Contributor

    234 18
    What do you mean by B&M retail? Is that a brand or an acronym? :oops:
    Posted: Jun 29, 2015 By: Parcelhub Member since: Feb 9, 2015
  8. swankypants69

    swankypants69 UKBF Ace

    570 126
    It means bricks and mortar
    Posted: Jun 29, 2015 By: swankypants69 Member since: May 4, 2012
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  9. Groggy

    Groggy UKBF Newcomer

    14 2
    Hey Stevie

    If you are extending your brand to online, then you (IMHO) should keep your prices identical online and "in store". It just reduces trust and confidence in your brand to have it any other way. Even "web only" offers usually seem to mean "cheap dropshipped version of the good one we stock" so I'm not sure that is the way to go either.

    Instead, you could use voucher codes to get some additional benefit (Eg free shipping) for those buying online.

    Or, you could (as we have done) introduce an additional "no frills" brand selling a subset of your main products at a price competing with other online retailers. As long as you can separate the 2 brands completely and only use your primary business for the fulfillment, this shouldn't impact your core business. Obviously this depends on how unique your product is!
    Posted: Jun 29, 2015 By: Groggy Member since: Jun 26, 2015
  10. 5uraj

    5uraj UKBF Newcomer

    6 0
    Hi Stevie,

    Plenty of great advice given here,

    Whats the business involve at the moment? what are you selling?
    Posted: Jul 1, 2015 By: 5uraj Member since: May 14, 2015
  11. Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder UKBF Contributor

    93 19
    Thanks Groggy.. Your idea of identical pricing sounds great to me! I don't want to be dishonest to my current customer base or even limit the b&m side of the business by overpricing...

    Funnily enough this whole process has forced me to think about my strategy in store as well. I've already started the process of diversifying our stocked lines and I am looking at pricing, taking more web based companies into consideration..

    I'm hoping that our service will still differentiate us (along with a good Adwords campaign to push the new site) from competition both local and online...

    Groggy, when you refer to a 'no frills' brand do you mean for the web only??? Would you not offer this new brand in store as the margins are too low??? Just interested!

    To answer your question 5uraj we sell tiles for use in Bathroom and Kitchen (among other areas)...

    I would basically like to extend the region of our b&m showroom, so is it feasible to initially offer the web service in our county only?? I am thinking of doing this by offering a different delivery option dependant on locality (just using couriers for nation wide delivery), and by focusing the Adwords campaign in this specific area also... Can I have some thoughts on this from people who may have followed a similar route in the past???
    Posted: Jul 5, 2015 By: Stevie Wonder Member since: Mar 5, 2011
  12. Chelios

    Chelios UKBF Contributor

    62 17
    Been there and done that for some previous clients selling tiles too, it depends heavily on your location but can work wonders particularly if you have a limited budget or want to test the water.

    Previous experience has shown it can have some interesting effects locally too, with great conversion (dependent on website quality) as visitors local to you feel the pull of spending their money locally, even if it is online. Why not begin with PPC locally and when success is proven roll it out wider - after all who says everything needs to be done in one foul swoop - this way it's more manageable and you can retain good customer service as you build sales gradually.
    Posted: Jul 6, 2015 By: Chelios Member since: Feb 22, 2015
  13. Groggy

    Groggy UKBF Newcomer

    14 2
    Hey Stevie

    By "no frills" I just mean a 2nd online shop, using a different trading and domain name.

    So, you build "SteviesTiles.co.uk", and "supercheapkitchentiles.co.uk" (or whatever).

    SteviesTiles.co.uk is the online version of your service-focussed B&M showroom with the same prices. It reflects and promotes your excellent service, while extending sales to those of us who buy stuff without getting off the sofa or away from our desk. Its just you - online. Socially genuine because people really do LIKE you.

    Supercheapkitchentiles.co.uk is your "online only" shop with the fine margins - it uses SteviesTiles.co.uk fulfilment infrastructure, but is completely separate, with different content, and is just a subset "box shifter" competing with dropshipping ebayers, hobbyists and the big sheds.

    Why do this? Because it squeezes the most value out of your costly staff and estate overheads and increases your bulk purchasing power.

    Posted: Jul 6, 2015 By: Groggy Member since: Jun 26, 2015
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