I am currently in the first stages of setting up a new menswear label. I am working on the website and would like to include e-commerce in order to try and capture some full margin retail sales on-line.
But of course as it is start up I cannot envisage either the time or resource to set up any sort of fulfillment set up for on line sales- even in my Living Room.
The product is being produced in Italy to add to the difficulty of shipping for on-line sales? Would it be better to wait or should I do it and just keep the e-commerce as a “coming attraction” or is it a missed opportunity and what does the panel suggest.
Fadi Shumanis the E-Commerce Director & Co-Founder of Pod1:
I think the sooner you get your site live, the sooner Google et al will spot you and therefore start ranking you in the search engines - crucial if you are to truly benefit from the lowest CPA. Telling customers that you’ll be selling online soon is fine. You can even use this opportunity to ask for their email address so as to notify them when you do finally get it up and running.
I know you mentioned that you can’t really fulfil from your living room, but if I was you, that would be exactly how I’d start. Unless you’re going to launch with a massive advertising campaign to drive visitors to your website, don’t expect to be overrun with orders early on! So if you can fit the stock in ‘somewhere’, then at least you can kick off with ecommerce from the get go.
Carl Davisis CEO of Dealgroupmedia UK Ltd:
E-Commerce on your site is certainly something that it would be well worth aiming at as long as it is part of your planned business model and does not conflict with other distribution contracts.
Customer experience is vital in setting up a successful webvsite and how you do it will have ramification on your brand. To have an ‘coming soon’ promise that may take months to come to fruition will not do anything to strengthen your credibility. I would suggest leaving the ecommerce element until your are in a position to manage fulfillment effectively.
If there is a cost benefit with the design company in having the back end built now, there’s no harm in doing this, but wait until you push it live. It’s better to manage customer expectation in this way than to over promise and under deliver.