Company’s Coming Consultation: Brick-and-Mortar to Online Retail Hybrid Integration

Small Business | Business Strategy | Marketing Consultation

Company’s Coming | 2021

A young and energetic business owner looks to breathe new life into an aging retail gift and home décor business in Orcutt, CA. Feeling the pressure to update a fantastically old website and start selling online as soon as possible, they came to me for guidance on  I would help them explore the transition to e-commerce with step-by-step guidance.

Goal

Often times, without knowing what an undertaking it is themselves or how it will impact the business, people will tell small businesses or local brick and mortar retail stores that they MUST start selling online. Its just expected of you, by the average, ill-informed customer.

This was true for my client as they were just getting started as the new owner of a legacy storefront in Old Orcutt. Feeling the pressure to take their shop online, they asked me to come up with a proposal for a new website and online store. 

Approach

As I got to know the needs of the shop owner and as I explored the ways in which they could take their brick and mortar store online, I decided that I needed to consult the business owner and outline the scope of such a project for them before they made any decisions. 

The document below is more educational in nature than it is a business proposal. It takes the brick-and-mortar retail store through online selling, to inventory tracking, through to shipping processes and email and social media selling integrations. The graphic of a hybrid in-store and online retails business infrastructure was especially helpful for my client to visualize all of the moving parts.  

Results

The truth is, a lot of work goes into making the transition from in-store to on-line sales. If you want to do it right you have to ensure that both your brick and mortar sales and your e-commerce transactions are in sync so as not to mess up your inventory or sales reporting. You have to be prepared to pack and ship and keep track of sold items daily. You have to update your online store constantly and actively sell through social media in order to make the most of the effort. 

It’s a ton of work (in the beginning), unless you’re flush with cash and aren’t worried about outsourcing everything. 

While I am always up for a big project with a lot of moving parts, I wanted to give this client as much information up-front about the process and all of its components as possible. Rather than just agree to do the project and take their money without knowing if it was the right time for the business to undertake such a burdensome workload, I wanted to know that they were making a confidently informed choice. 

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Katie Novo

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