Are you a retail store owner with very few or no online sales?

If yes, then this article is for you. 2020 can be a great opportunity for you expand your retail store(s) operations online.

It looks like a global recession will hit us in 2020, and it will hit traditional retail businesses hard. More and more clients are saying they are worried about inventory. Chinese imports are getting delayed – and it’s not the “fun”, Chinese New Year delay, this is a more dramatic delay, one that points to the beginning of a systemic problem.

Areas in China are still under quarantine, which is causing bottlenecks across the country. Factories are still closed, some due to restrictions, others due to not having raw materials to work with. Even if everything would open today and there would be no restrictions we would still have a big problem on our hands.

Who will be the eCommerce losers and the winners of 2020?

As factories slowly open up, they will fulfill orders for their biggest partners in order to preserve deals and not lose them. The biggest partners are heavy-duty importers that rely on your retail store operation and others to buy products in bulk so that they generate cash-flow fast. Importers that provide drop-shipping will have to increase prices in order to stay afloat.

This is where it gets interesting – eCommerce is flooded with many small-time entrepreneurs that buy a few products here and there as their businesses mostly fulfill orders through drop-shipping. These entrepreneurs use aggressive price tactics and invest a lot in digital marketing as their operational and merchandising costs are small. In 2020 they will have to deal with higher product costs, delays and most will not be able to adapt.

With the bulk of aggressive, small-time eCommerce businesses and sellers out of the way, you will have a great opportunity to grow your retail store through eCommerce.

How can you position yourself to take advantage?

As stated above, this article is for Retail Store owners that have yet to take their fair share of online sales. There are 3 scenarios, and I will address each of them below.

You don’t have a website / You have an old website that is not doing much

Action 1: Review of Technical Possibilities

You should immediately analyze your In-store Inventory Management System and see what web-store platforms you could easily implement with.

If you don’t even have an inventory management system then just to go Shopify – they have a POS solution as well. You’ll be able to quickly launch a site and integrate the POS into your brick-n-mortar store.

Beware! I’ve heard stories from clients that spent $100K+ with development companies building Shopify sites. A Shopify site should not come with a big cost! Limit your expectations, find a great theme, install, configure, add products, go live!

With a good (and well-intentioned) eCommerce Consultant / Shopify Expert, you shouldn’t spend more than a few thousand $ on a brand new, feature-rich, Shopify site. Ask me below and I’ll give you the crash course into Shopify.

Action 2: Apply for Marketplace Accounts ASAP

Getting Marketplace accounts ready takes time – you need to fill in forms, add documents, get approved, fill in taxes, it’s a lengthy process! The sooner you start, the better. I’d apply for Amazon and Walmart before the today is over.

Action 3: Get a plan together

Where will your inventory hub be? You need a place where all your inventory and orders will sync from.

Where are you getting your Digital Product Data from? Ask your suppliers for product data feeds – these requests usually take time to process as well. Get your product data ready in due time, even before the merch has arrived.

Get your site ready, list your products and start selling!

You have a nice little website just not enough sales

If you already have a website that’s connected to your Retail Store then you need to analyze:

1. Are you listing enough products

2. Are you listing products on all available channels? Google Shopping, Marketplaces

3. Are you driving traffic to the website? Paid Adds

4. Are you doing quality Email Marketing?

Find answers to these 4 questions and you’re sure to grow sales on your website.

You have a HUGE advantage over your competition in 2020. This is your chance to shine online – don’t miss out on it!