08 Sep How NOT to waste half YOUR money on eCommerce
With all the new technology around it’s difficult to keep up. Fear and greed are dominant motivators and all articles scream if you’re not doing IT, you’re a loser and going to go broke!!!
I thought I knew it all until recently…
Here is what I learned.
- The functions of a business are defined by the programming of their accounting system and the title Financial Controller is much more than that; they control the model of the business and it’s flexibility in times of crisis. Back office administration dictates how the business can evolve. These systems are more flexible and have far more capabilities than are being currently employed.
- Marketing means different things from different perspectives. To a sales manager it means channel sales communication, to a CFO it’s margin, to an engineer it’s a better mouse trap and so on, and from every role within the company it means something different. To a business owner it should mean more money after all the bills are paid.
Taking my above observations as axioms, I note that to build an eCom website for a business from the front backwards is in fact, backwards. Creating a new database and doubling administration labour creates disparity between the existing business and the online business.
This new eCommerce outlet has lower rent, fewer labour costs and can reach a broader audience; however it is often a separate business altogether. For the sake of a sweeping statement, this is completely wrong. In reality, the online business is simply another outlet. Same stock database, same warehousing, same trading name, same label but often, double the admin and because many traders are passionate designers, who gloss over at acronyms and nod in the face of a fast talking self-trained technologist, the costs of developing an eCom site are doubled and an additional layer of labour incorporated.
Exploding the myth
Being a web developer was cool back when they needed real skill and some do have tremendous skills, but few traders will ever meet these genuine leaders in their field. Instead they will meet drag and drop site builders, who drink too many energy drinks and who are seeking one thing. They are seeking your money not looking to make you money.
How to do it
- Start with your back office
- Integrate your point of sale into your accounting system
- Link your online presence into your established back office database
- Then do your SEO, SEM, C2C marketing and any other BS
There is no time that is preferable to integrate bricks and mortar and online. It can be done anytime but unless you want to be running two businesses, one with promise and one in crisis, know you have the option of running one, with an extra, cost effective distribution point.
Jason is motivated by purpose, and right now his purpose is focused on the Australian retail fashion industry, a sector in crisis. He has worked in the online space since 1996 with the largest web developer in the southern hemisphere, then the largest online advertising network and then the biggest start-up portal before spending time working incubating online businesses.
His specialty is customer satisfaction from the user experience; both from the customers’ perspective and the business owners. Jason holds a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is Business Development Manager for RetailCare.com.au.