Taking a brick & mortar business online!
February 27, 2014 10:02 AM Subscribe
Looking for guidance on the questions we should be asking and your experience(s) throughout the process.
posted by MansRiot to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am a graduate student (MBA) preparing for my capstone project. I am working with a local business to get them online. While I understand the concepts I do not yet have real world experience; the goal of this project is to get some hands on experience, make mistakes, and learn from them. I have a great relationship with said local business and together we both hope to come out with a solid, implementable, project.
I certainly have educators willing to answer my questions, but I would also prefer to gain insight from seasoned and practiced hands, too.
Some quick? info about the business:
-Retail shop located in Flagstaff, Arizona; high volume foot traffic; low to moderate volume renting gear; online presence is only used for renting gear.
-The main purpose of the proposed new website is to offer the most popular in-store items (top 20%) as purchasable online, too. If it's available online, the customer knows they can buy it immediately and pick it up in the store or have it shipped; no more will the customer need to pop in to see if an item in in stock or call and ask for an item to be held for pick-up.
-Secondarily, the store would like to convert some of the online rentals into sales, as well as tap into the very large volume of hiker/outdoorsy person who bypass our town altogether when visiting the grand canyon to our immediate north. While the current volume of rentals is low, by building a website we would have a reason to further our advertising efforts in areas relevant to where people go with the gear we rent/sell; this should pick up new customers and possibly convert a rental customer into a purchasing customer. For example: we rent tents, backpack and hiking poles, but not sleeping bags (hygiene issues.) We want to be able to sell a sleeping bag to this renter, who quite often buys one online from somewhere else, so that they know they are prepared before leaving home. They do not want to risk arriving in the states, only to find out that we do not have the bag they want in stock (an issue in and of itself that I hope to help the store overcome.) Also, by having a web presence, the idea is to advertise in a manner that garners attention from Grand Canyon visitors. For example: A group from Europe plans a visit to northern Arizona, purchases gear local to them, and fly's internationally. Instead, they could have used their purchasing power to buy gear from our store; this option would have reduced the expenses associated with purchasing the gear, as well as flying both ways with all of it; they purchased gear at a better price and saved half the baggage costs.
What factors should be considered paramount when looking at:
Electronic shopping cart systems/customer accounts
Search engine optimization
I am just beginning this process and I am aware that my list of questions is sparse. Please consider offering suggestions for solutions, ideas, and problems I may not have yet considered, as well as problems you did or did not overcome, their lessons, etc.