This is the last post of this series in which I wrote about the subjects we have to take into account when we decide to open an online store for our company. In each of these articles I have been addressing different elements. Among these are the importance of marketing (SEO, SEM and Social networks), customer service, means of payment, inventories and storage and also description and pictures for products. In this last post I will talk about a very important subject when we are selling goods: logistics.
When a client buys a product in our online store generally he will expect to receive it on his permanent address. Therefore our company must enable a service in which this can be done. However we have many options that I will explore in this article.
The first thing we must decide is if our company is going to deliver the product or if we are going to hire this service. Even though it is possible to decide to do it by ourselves generally the businesses opt for the second alternative. We must remember that our core business is to sell goods and not delivery and this is the reason why we should not get out of our essence. Also another reason is that in the market we can find excellent national and international enterprises that offer this service with the required infrastructure for doing it and assuring us that the product will be delivered under the conditions and time to do it. Thereby what we should do is explore these different options and select the one that better suit our clients and us.
Also we will have to decide on subjects such as delivery cost and who is going to pay for this. Generally is the client who must assume an additional charge for the delivery of the product to his permanent address. However we can also explore options such as assuming the delivery cost form a determined transaction cost. Likewise we can determine to have various delivery options such as a standard delivery where the client receives his products a week later but also deliveries in which he can receive the product the next day of purchase. This last option is more expensive. Finally we will have to decide if we are going to have international deliveries or just national ones. Remember that this is a possibility that we did not have before with physical stores but that today it can be done and it might be an excellent business opportunity.
With this logistics theme I end this series. Remember that the elements I’ve been exploring are just the minimum things you should think about when you decide to open an online store, but that depending on your business you might have to think about other elements.
Image taken from Flickr.com