Sad things are happening all over the retail world. Retailers are closing locations at a faster clip than ever before. Online shopping has become more and more convenient for buyers, with fast shipping and easy return policies. Many retailers are becoming Amazon sellers, or, if they were already selling on Amazon, they’re now emphasizing that channel at a whole new level.
Are we witnessing the “death of retail?” I sure hope not. I know many who still enjoy walking into a store, evaluating options in person, and having the whole shopping experience. I also know many who like to physically hold a book in their hands to read it, not read from a computer screen or a reader. But this post isn’t to intended to address the death of retail or the downfall of actual books.
The point here is this: if you are a retailer with a storefront, shop, boutique, or other physical location where people come to buy your product, you may want to implement or increase your online sales component to insulate yourself from whatever dire thing is going on in the retail space right now.
- Are your retail sales decreasing? Are your online sales (if you have them) increasing?
- Do you have your own e-commerce site, or do you want to add one?
If you’re not already selling on Amazon, you probably want to.
Let’s look at one startling Amazon fact in particular. Prime Day 2017 has effectively reset the seasonality of shopping. According to an article in Business Insider, Prime Day was the single largest shopping day in Amazon history, beating every Black Friday and Cyber Monday record. The two biggest sellers, aside from Amazon devices, were the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) and DNA test kits from 23andme. Wow. Tens of millions of people made purchases on Prime Day 2017. Tens. Of. Millions.
How do you get a piece of THAT pie?
What if you could not only insulate your retail business but also participate in a shift in buying habits? Many retailers depend on the holiday shopping season to make them whole for the year (hence the alleged origin of the term Black Friday, though that’s actually not true). What if you could have one of your biggest shopping days in mid-July, instead of waiting until November?
I can’t tell you how to create popular products that will sell – that’s on you. What I will tell you, though, is that you want your experience as one of millions of Amazon sellers to be as seamless, efficient, and smooth as it can be so it won’t adversely impact the rest of your world.
And THAT recipe card starts with the basics – the financial management system you’re using to run your operations. You want a system that supports your retail location, your e-commerce site, AND your Amazon selling, and you want a partner engaged that will help you with all three as well.
As more purchasing shifts to the online world, and particularly to Amazon, buyers are going to be filtering their results by availability, cost and speed of shipping, and, of course, price. You want every bit of information that represents you on Amazon to be up-to-date, and you want to be able to easily and quickly fulfill orders for the lowest possible cost. The key to your on-going profitability is keeping internal costs down, and that includes not only the shipping cost itself, but the cost to acquire, process, and pack an order – which is people time and system time.
Amazon, being a giant in online retail, has its own set of forms that you’ll need to deal with. You want your system to be able to handle the forms requirements, the portal requirements, the information requirements, the acknowledgement requirements… it’s not as simple as you might think.
Whether retail is dying or simply in an adjustment period, retailers who are also Amazon sellers are seeing profits rise. Insulating your retail business with Amazon makes sense – as long as you have the power to respond within the systems that run your business.