Why Sell Online?
“Tech support?” Org asked.
“Yes,” Marka said. “We’ll have to set up toll-free O-lines to help shoppers when there’s a problem with the site or the O-line ordering process. FEI’s commitment to stellar customer service must extend into the O-line realm.”
“Let’s not forget training existing CSRs to handle O-line orders, or hiring a new CSR team specifically to handle O-line orders,” Lucy added.
“Will a well-maintained, sales-centric O-site cost less than maintaining a store in the long run?” Marka asked rhetorically. “Perhaps. But we can’t ignore the costs involved.”
“Customers need to test out certain FEI products at our store locations,” Zoot interjected. “Would you purchase an FEI flame-thrower without first spending time in our store testing center to make sure the flame wasn’t too strong?
“FEI stores also provide experienced, in-store CSRs and salespeople to walk customers through fire-related queries and problems. That kind of in-person support simply can’t be matched by O-line stores, at least not yet.”
“There’s no question that store-front selling offers distinct advantages as well,” Lucy agreed. “Well tribe, that’s it for this week. Next week, we’ll discuss another benefit of using the O-web to sell and distribute FEI products.”
Very impressive so far,” Zoot said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to O-Skype with my cycloptic cousin.”
Today’s FIRE! Point
The online sales channel has a distinct set of advantages from retail, direct sales, and other distribution methods. Businesses that sell primarily online can substantially reduce their investments in the most costly resource of all—manpower. There are, however, costs to selling online that must be considered before venturing into that arena.
FIRE! In Action
Hardware Sales Improves Its Online Distribution and Grows Sales
The hardware supply company revamped its online selling process to focus on increasing conversion rates and tracking and reporting all transactions. The more sales-focused website allowed Hardware Sales to increase its overall online orders by 23 percent in a short period of time.