We live in a different world today than we did three months ago. Consumer needs and behaviors have changed, and it’s our job as businesses to adapt to them. Our friends at InkSoft recently shared amazing insights into one way we can do that.
How? Through online stores.
Online stores are e-commerce enabled online shops that are managed by a business, in order to provide end-consumers with the easiest buying experience possible. So why are they such a groundbreaking — and necessary — sales tool right now?
For three reasons.
First, in our post-COVID world, end-consumers are looking for ease and convenience above all else. That means that they’re looking for businesses with e-commerce capabilities, so that they can buy what they need from the comfort — and safety — of their couch.
By offering end-consumers an online store, businesses are actually offering them 24/7 access, complete control over their buying journey, and the freedom to come and go whenever it’s convenient for them. And, since e-commerce is blowing up right now — and will only keep getting bigger – it could be the next way to make your business more efficient and profitable.
At alphabroder, we have the essential resources needed to navigate an e-commerce launch and move your company forward.
- Start with primeplus designated products. primeplus is a collection of our most in demand, best-selling styles from all of our key product categories. They come with our deepest inventory commitment, so you can count on them being in-stock and delivered on-time — all the time. See our collection here.
- Build your site using images from our Digital Lounge. We’ve recently upgraded this tool so it is even easier to get access to brand logos, lifestyle images, product shots, swatches and video when it is available. Click here to learn more.
The second reason apparel decorators should be all over online stores comes down to what those stores can offer them. We’re talking massive time savings and a whole lot of other perks. How? Well, online stores are one of the most effective tools for streamlining all things business admin.
From automating the order collection process to storing the data electronically (and removing any chance of human error), online stores take care of the nitty-gritty so apparel decorators can spend more time on the things that matter most — like building new customer relationships.
And, speaking of pitching to prospective customers, online stores give apparel decorators a way to offer more, right off the bat. With online stores in their offerings, apparel decorators can promise prospective customers simplified ordering for their end-consumers, simplified order fulfillment, simplified accounting, and simplified delivery.
Tip: Align with a powerhouse supplier like alphabroder | Prime Line when it comes to your supply chain management. The combined power of inventory, customer service and technology delivered to your doorstep, desktop and mobile device.
And, last but not least, reason #3 that you need online stores in your offerings today is… for the marketing potential. That’s right: online stores come with major marketing strategies, already embedded in their platform.
Not only will a business’s reach be innately bigger, because it’s taking out the requirement for end-consumers to be in close physical proximity to a physical storefront, but it’ll also be destined for continual growth. This is due to how easy it is for the online store to be shared — both by the business and by its end-consumers.
At alphabroder, we’ve upped the ante when it comes to online tools and virtual communication. Collaboration techniques like grab-n-go social posts and virtual Look Books are being crafted weekly. We invite you to explore our content here and customize what you find.
Whether the store itself is promoted on the business’s Facebook page, or whether the brand is tagged in a consumer’s Instagram post (where the product is front and center), it doesn’t matter. Brand exposure is brand exposure, and when it comes to digital marketing, word travels fast.
That’s good for the business in question, of course, but it’s even better for the apparel decorator that’s behind their custom products. Why? Because every time the online store is visited, that’s one more person who’s been introduced to their capabilities. And odds are, that person might need a custom t-shirt or an online store at some point down the road — or else they’ll know someone who will.
So, there you have it: online stores have the power to boost sales by offering end-consumers a better buying experience, by offering apparel decorators and their customers a streamlined approach to business admin, and by offering endless, embedded marketing opportunities.
But the thing is, that’s not even close to it. That’s the bare-bones summary — and it doesn’t include the different types of online stores (there are 6), the different use-cases for each one, and the exact ways you should be pitching them to your customers. That’s right: InkSoft has been kind enough to give you the complete package when it comes to adopting online stores into your offerings — and you can find it all here.
In addition to their comprehensive breakdown — and all of the time-tested tips & tricks they include — they’re also providing you with a full marketing kit for you to use however you want. Use it to pitch customers via email, use it to pitch online stores via social — it’s completely up to you. (And it’s all free of charge.)
What are you waiting for? Click here to read the full, expertly mapped out Online Stores breakdown — and get your free marketing kit now.
Laurie is part of the marketing team for the leading supplier in the industry, alphabroder. During her free time, Laurie likes to ride horses, sail and spend time with her husband and her two children. Reach her at Lprestine@alphabroder.com