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Four simple steps on getting your pandemic-pulverized company to go online.
Ever since the world has been hit by COVID-19, few have shed light on the affect this pandemic has had on wholesale businesses.
Just like small businesses, wholesale has received a major blow due to the lockdown. To combat this situation, the simple solution most owners have found is to shift their operations online.
While going all-online seems like the most feasible option, a lot of entrepreneurs find it immensely difficult. This is mainly because such a model was never on their priority list before the pandemic and now they’ve suddenly found themselves in a crisis.
Whether your wholesale enterprise has suffered because of the lockdown, or you just want to be on the safe side for the future, this post will show you what steps you can take to shift your sales online and make a profit while you do it.
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The first step is to create your wholesale platform. This can be your own site or a store via a third party. When you’re starting out, the best option is to set up a store at a wholesale business platform like Seebiz where you can get started right away without any technicalities, because going the DIY route can be a major hassle.
The good thing about options like Seebiz is that you can not only build your own store in minutes but network with potential customers through their social networking options. This is an added benefit that can help you get some clients aside from your regular marketing campaigns.
The next (and very important) step is to list your inventory. For this, you can sign up for an open source inventory management system like Odoo. An IMS helps you organize your inventory and keep track of things like sales, returns and remaining stock. You can also keep a record of your products’ expiry dates and get notified when an item is out of stock.
Most online IMS’s also allow you to add multiple users to your dashboard so you can have your important team members on a single platform and assign them their respective roles.
Take a look at different inventory management softwares available and see which one offers the most flexibility and has the best options before making a choice. This is important because you are going to use the IMS a lot and switching between softwares is not a pleasant experience.
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A customer relationship management software helps you build a solid support system. It automates responses to common questions and provides real time feedback for your customers’ pressing issues. You can either sign up for a good CRM software, like Hubspot, or get an IMS with built in CRM. The latter is a better option as it saves you the hassle of going back-and-forth between your IMS and CRM while communicating with clients.
Most IMS’s have a built-in CRM, so check for this option when deciding on your IMS.
Once you have set up your online store and are ready to present your business to your customers, it’s time to choose the right marketing platform.
There are two main platforms for marketing your wholesale e-commerce business online: Google and Facebook. Chances are that your ideal customers can easily be found in these places.
Both offer the marketing options that are organic and paid. Your niche will decide which route you should go.
As a general rule of thumb, an e-commerce business should focus on both. Start with paid marketing and keep putting in steady efforts into organic marketing. This model will help you get in touch with retailers from the get go as well as build a steady client base.
By following these steps, you’ll be setting up a solid foundation for your business.
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Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer
Eric ‘ERock’ Christopher
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