Man working on laptop at home.

Expand Your Online Store with Ease

September 2, 2014 - Written By Chris Yackulic

Your online retail location may be bringing you a lot of happiness as well as a lot of revenue. Your customers love browsing your website but there are many who would like to see your merchandise on the shelves, where they can pick it up and look at it or try on clothes that you may sell. The idea to expand into a brick and mortar retail location has entered your mind but it’s a big step. There’s so much involved, including keeping track of the inventory on your website in conjunction with what you sell in your store. There are companies like Shopify that can assist you with this transition process, making it easier to set up your new store and keep track of every part of your business wherever you may be.

Your Point of Sale System

With an online website, your Point of Sale (POS) system is run on your website so it’s always mobile. With brick and mortar stores, you’ll need physical POS systems throughout your store for various reasons.

  • The main POS will be where people check out their items in your store. This should be a static location, not a mobile one, where people can pile there items on the counter and an associate can check them out and bag them neatly. The area where this POS unit is should also be clearly visible to everyone in the store. This way, customers won’t get confused when they’re looking for a place to check out. If you have a store that yields high volume, you should consider multiple POS units at this main area to prevent your customers from waiting in long lines.
  • Mobile POS scanners can be used on the floor of your retail location. Associates can help out customers who are looking for a quick price check without having to take them up to the main POS station. Mobile scanners are also a good idea if you employ personal shoppers. These associates can take your VIP customers through the store and ring up their purchases as they go. They will feel like royalty and keep coming back again and again for the privilege.
  • Applications and personal POS software can help you manage your store’s inventory from any location. You’ll be able to look up sales reports and other important documents from your mobile device, whether you are in your store or not. This software gives you autonomy while you’re in your store as well. Customers will see your different equipment and recognize you as management more quickly. They’ll be able to find you and ask questions if they need you.

Training Your Employees

You’re going to need a lot more people to run a brick and mortar shop than a website, and they will be in addition to the people that already run your website. You will have to train them to run the POS systems in your store while you’re away. After all, you can’t be there all the time.

  • Provide training seminars for your employees that help them all learn as a group and bond with each other. They will learn to work together and work stronger. Invite the people who work on your website to train with them or do a meet and greet. In some way, they will all be working together.
  • When you sync your POS systems and software, training employees will take a lot less time. You’ll be able to train everyone on one system and they will all be able to help each other throughout the store during times of high volume. This also creates easier scheduling, since many people can work different positions.
  • Make yourself available. When your employees are connected to you through your system, they’ll be able to reach you with their questions and concerns. Making yourself accessible in this way gives your employees the idea that you are there for them when they need information.

Making Changes to Your Website

After you open your retail location, you may need to change things on your website. This doesn’t just mean layout and content. It can also mean where you’re hosting your site and the platform that you use to run it. This kind of change isn’t easy for anyone but it is important to sync all of your locations, including the online ones, with one platform. This will mean that you’ll be able to keep track of total inventory as well as the reports that come in for your website instead of only the ones that come in for your retail store. You’ll be able to manage everything from any location, making your customers happier, your employees more efficient, and your business running smooth from the start. With one platform, you’ll be able to transition into be a brick and mortar store owner with ease.