The internet has made entering into the retail business more convenient than ever. In previous years, if you wanted to sell an item, you had to open a storefront and then begin to market to your local neighbors. Today, however, you can avoid the storefront entirely and create an online storefront. Customers around the world can view and purchase your items. You can ship these items to almost anywhere in the world, in a matter of days. If you are considering entering into the virtual storefront business, you will want to remember the following business steps.
Your shipping setup
One of the most common questions that customers will have is around shipping. They will want to know how much shipping costs, how long shipping will take, and if their product will be protected during shipping commutes. Before you open up your virtual storefront and begin selling your products, you will want to develop a shipping strategy. Consider how much your product will cost to ship. Decide if you will cover the shipping costs out of your profits or if you will pass on the shipping costs to your customers. You will also want to choose a preferred shipping company. Some companies do offer substantial discounts to those that ship frequently and this could become an important part of your success plan.
Where the product will be stored
When you initially begin, you may be able to store your product in your basement or home closets. However, as your store gets bigger and bigger and you begin to carry more inventory, you will also require additional warehousing and distribution space. Renting a warehouse can solve this problem when you are ready to expand your business. You are likely to find many distribution warehouse spaces available for rent, especially as the virtual storefront strategy continues to grow. Since 2000, the amount of occupied distribution and warehouse space has increased by 86.2%. Commercial warehousing is on the rise and can be a great choice for outsourcing your storage and shipping needs. You will also find that shipping costs are reduced, because you can do much of the shipping process from your rented warehouse space.
How the inventory process will work
Once you have grown large enough to justify renting a warehouse, you will have to figure out all of the logistics of that process. You will need to hire not only line workers when renting a warehouse, but also production managers. The managers are an extremely important part of the inventory and shipping process. They are constantly evaluating the production and inventory processes, looking for ways to improve. E commerce is expected to grow at a compounded annual average rate of 10% over the next five years, creating tremendous opportunities for owners and developers of warehouse and distribution space. With so many warehouse spaces available, having an employee dedicated to the product and leasing process can be very valuable.
Who will work in the warehouse
Once you decide that leasing a retail space is beneficial for your business, you will also have to hire additional employees. It is even possible that until now, you did not have any employees. Many retail business owners that work out of their homes do not ever hire any employees. However, when leasing a warehouse, it is crucial to choose employees with warehouse experience. Fortunately, there are approximately 166,907 men and women in the U.S. working in the storage and warehouse leasing industry, giving you many options.
The internet has contributed to the growth of internet based retail businesses. Store owners can entirely skip the storefront and sell all of their items over the internet. However, once the virtual storefront gains some attention and begins to pick up in sales, you may find it necessary to consider renting a warehouse. This improves production and shipping and can make the entire sales process more convenient.