The Road to E-Tailing
If you're thinking about expanding your sales,
consider selling your products online, or "e-tailing."
E-tailing, when carefully planned and well implemented,
has allowed many retailers to reach new markets,
cross-sell, spot new trends, serve evolving customer
demands, sell 24/7, and reduce store set-up costs.
Some retailers find that their web site is the
perfect place to liquidate surplus goods quicker
and at higher margins than in their "brick-and-mortar"
stores. Other retailers want to meet larger U.S.
competitors head-on due to eroding market share.
So, you're aware of some of the benefits. It
must be incredibly expensive and difficult to
set up, right? Not necessarily.
Consider an "Application Service Provider"
(ASP) or participating in a "cybermall."
An ASP basically allows retailers to outsource
the e-commerce technology and focus on selling.
Setting up shop in a cybermall, like Canadashop.com,
may also present a great way to test out the market,
benefit from existing site traffic, and open your
"doors" much more quickly.
Like all aspects of your business, the "trick"
is to plan and make informed decisions before
you leap. Is there a market for your product online?
Are your financial projections realistic? Are
you aware of all the costs? How will your customers
find you? Have you conveyed what makes your store
unique? Will you be able to fulfill international
orders? How will you handle security and privacy
issues? Are you ready to export? Is your site
easy to use? Careful planning will help you achieve
the benefits that this new retailing approach
To help you in your planning, take advantage
of the wealth of
e-business information and resources at The Business
E-Future Centre. The E-Future Centre was established
to help Alberta businesses understand e-business
and its role in their organization. Contact The
Business Link at 1-800-272-9675 or visit www.cbsc.org/alberta.
The Business Link is a not-for-profit organization
supported by the Government of Canada and the
Government of Alberta, providing information and
services to Alberta's small business community.
RMA and The Business Link are working together
to provide services for the benefit of their members
Prepared by Trevor Poapst, E-Future Centre Coordinator,
The Business Link