Offline Sales Tips for Online Merchants

Offline Sales Tips for Online Merchants

Many brick-and-mortar stores have found success in migrating online. Pure-play ecommerce companies are finding success with physical stores. In this post, I’ll review three offline sales tips. Using a mobile payment platform, merchants can offer cash on delivery at checkout and allow shoppers to return — i.e., not accept — a product right at their door. It allowed the supplier to combine orders and make it worthwhile to drive a few hours for, say, 50 deliveries. Cash on delivery is much easier, administratively, if merchants can integrate online and offline sales in a single accounting, inventory, and payment system. The retailer would sell an item offline (in the physical store) and the website would show it as available for sale until a manual update was complete. SMS Notifications The meat supplier, above, started sending SMS delivery notifications to customers. In the few days before that multi-hour drive, the supplier sends text notices to all applicable customers stating the date and approximate time of the upcoming delivery. It was a missed opportunity by our local ski resort, which could have offered a solution such as PDF Product Vouchers, a WooCommerce plugin.

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Many brick-and-mortar stores have found success in migrating online. But the trend has reversed somewhat. Pure-play ecommerce companies are finding success with physical stores. We addressed the topic last month, in “Ecommerce Merchants Embrace Brick-and-mortar.” We cited the example of Warby Parker, which found that having locations for customers to try on glasses led to higher conversions.

In this post, I’ll review three offline sales tips.

Cash on Delivery

The rise of mobile payments makes cash on delivery much easier. Columnist Richard Stubbings reviewed potential scenarios for this. Using a mobile payment platform, merchants can offer cash on delivery at checkout and allow shoppers to return — i.e., not accept — a product right at their door. This is better than traditional delivery, wherein customers have to initiate a return.

Merchants can take it a step further by allowing customers to choose their delivery date while they order. Many ecommerce platforms, including WooCommerce, have plugins for this.

I created a cash-on-delivery functionality for a local meat supplier that had no physical retail space. It allowed the supplier to combine orders and make it worthwhile to drive a few hours for, say, 50 deliveries.

Cash on delivery is much easier, administratively, if merchants can integrate online and offline sales in a single accounting, inventory, and payment system. Inventory management…

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