released April 27, 2021
(recorded April 25, 2021) - 1 hour, 25 minutes
In this episode we discussing some red flags to watch out for when developing a website. The main topic for this episode is a review of the most recent customer expectation surveys regarding curbside pickup service and buying online, picking up in store. We’ll also explain your options for different point of sale systems you could consider to accomplish BOPIS and curbside services.
ReThinker Mail: Hi guys, thanks for a lot to think, or rethink about, these past months. I have to admit some of it seems very technical and I'm not sure I'm up for the challenge. If I am developing a new website with a company, what are the red flags I should look out for?
thanks a lot,
Kirby in Laguna Beach
Red flags could be taken in a lot of ways.
We could be talking about SEO, content management, ecommerce.
I would say, don't assume anything. Don't assume that your website will include a feature if it is not already listed somewhere.
The beauty of subscription based website services is that they are extremely transparent about what features you get and what the extra monthly cost will be.
When you hire a web developer, they charge you a fee for setting up the website that's based on the time it will take them to set the website up. They are estimating their time according to what you've told them you want.
Web developers are a dime a dozen. You can hire any local web development company to build your website. There are more web developers that will accept any potential customer than there are website developers that specialize in a single industry.
The generic web developers will know how to set a website up and design it based on your ideas, but their lack of experience with the jewelry industry prevents them from making suggestions about things that you haven't even considered yet.
Perhaps the biggest red flag of them all, would be if you hire a web developer that has never worked with a jewelry store. Their lack of experience, and your lack of technical knowledge about the internet, will create a huge hole in the scope of your website project. In other words, when you both realize that you overlooked a critical feature, it could force the website to be double the price, double the time, or both.
I would also caution you about web developers that only want to help you set up ecommerce websites. Some companies only promote ecommerce and talk about how good their system is, like Shopify, but there's so much more to online marketing than just ecommerce.
We only started pushing ecommerce as requirement 12 months ago. The pandemic made us realize that we need to force ecommerce upon all our customers. We knew that they would be making the biggest business mistake of their lives if they didn't implement ecommerce, so now we only accept jewelry clients that want ecommerce as part of their overall website.
We've pushed ecommerce to the front of our marketing because that's what's capturing attention now, but there's also the online marketing, blogging, CRM, customer data…
BOPIS Consumer Adoption and Doing BOPIS and Curbside Pickup Right
The growth of omnichannel fulfillment programs such as buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup have been embraced by consumers and retailers alike, and for many of the same reasons (e.g., cost savings on last-mile order delivery), BOPIS and curbside have transitioned from nice-to-have to must-have services for brands with physical storefronts.
It's all about giving the convenient and flexible options for your shoppers.
According to the Accenture Strategy’s Holiday Shipping study, released in December 2020, 65 percent of retailers either offer BOPIS or curbside pickup (or both) vs. 52 percent that did so in 2019.
The biggest percentage increase among the Top 500 North American e-commerce retailers offering curbside pickup jumped from just 6.9 percent in December 2019 to 43.7 percent in August 2020.
What we see is that retailers are reacting to consumer behavior and demands for these types of shopping services. According to another study from Invesp from June 2020, 67% of shoppers in the US had made a BOPIS transaction in the previous six months.
While this transition was induced by the pandemic, it's a permanent behavior shift as consumers come to appreciate the convenience. Therefore, jewelers need to consider how to add this customer service feature into their website and into their operation.
The need to improve BOPIS/Curbside satisfaction
The fast rollout of BOPIS and curbside during the pandemic was needed, and consumers were willing to put up with the technology issues, but now there's shift of consumer satisfaction from "okay, this is clunky and I'll deal with it" to one of "it's been long enough and they still don't have their act together."
According to another BOPIS survey conducted by Incisiv, 81% of respondents cited that the biggest problems with the BOPIS/curbside service are:
1. Availability and accuracy of preferred pickup date and time.
2. Wait times in the store after ordering online and expecting that they could just run into the store real fast to pick up the items they bought. The expectation that the items would be bagged and ready to hand off is not being met.
3. Inaccurate online inventory vs. actual in-store inventory; meaning that they purchased something online only to find they could not actually pick it up when arriving to the store.
There's no more surefire way to lose a customer than to promise an item is in-store and available for pickup, have a customer drive to the jewelry store to pick up the item, only to learn that the item is not in stock.
Within the jewelry industry this could happen easily because of a number of previous shortcuts that many jewelers have used. For example, populating your website with product information from one of your suppliers. While this will give your shoppers a larger selection to choose from, if your website doesn't properly display the needed lead time for items that are not in stock, then you're going to face inevitable problems.
Let's say you once added hundreds of charms to your website, or the entire Gabriel & Co inventory to flesh out your site when ecommerce wasn't turned on. The original idea was to show customers what was available to them if they came to the store to talk to a sales associate. But now that you have ecommerce turned on, these items that require a lead time need to be clearly identified with messages saying the estimated date when they could pick it up, or the estimated date when they could expect to have it arrive at their doorstep. FYI: saying two to three weeks isn't good enough, you need to show a real date.
Having a notice that says "Prices and availability are subject to change without notice" isn't good any more. Instead, that notice should say something like "We strive to maintain accuracy of pricing and inventory between our website and our retail store, but on rare occasions an item shown online may not be available anymore."
Choosing a POS
The biggest problem facing retail jewelers is the ability to synchronize the in-store inventory with the online inventory. Several, if not all, of the jewelry point of sale systems now have some type of integration with a website. Many have integrations with Shopify, Woocommerce on Wordpress, Amazon, and BigCommerce.
The EDGE promotes Punchmark and Gemfind for website integration. We also have an EDGE integration even though we are not listed on the EDGE website.
From what we can find, even thought there are a lot of options for jewelry store POS, there are only a few legitimate options for a jewelry POS that is cloud based and can run your jewelry store and your website at the same time. This is what we found:
1. LogicMate has their own website service they promote on their website. They are a well known jewelry store POS with many of the features that a full service retail jeweler needs.
2. Lightspeed is a jewelry POS designed for simplicity and ease of use. It's a great option for boutique jewelers who just sell products. There is a simple repair and engraving job manager, but it doesn't have the depth of features that you would want if repairs are a substantial part of your revenue.
3. PIRO Fusion POS is another cloud based jewelry POS that is just as full featured as EDGE and LogicMate, but this is fully cloud based with no software to install.
4. Flawless POS is a more recent POS to join the industry. There system appears to be cloud based with ecommerce built in as one of their main reasons for existing.
5. GlitterPaw is unlike the other jewelry POS systems because it began as a website ecommerce systems in 1997, grew into a full blown content management platform with online marketing, social integration, and CRM features. In 2013 we were collecting a lot of information that we knew needed to be tied into the customer data trapped within the POS of systems like EDGE, LogicMate, Diamond Counter, Jewelry ShopKeeper, and ARMS, but at the time our vision of the future omnichannel world was considered farfetched.
I remember being at the JA show in NYC when I spoke to a senior rep from one of those companies we just mentioned. When I explained the data we were collecting on the website and how it needed to be tied into the collected data in person, he asked me "why would you ever want to do that?" That was the epiphany moment when I realized that GlitterPaw needed to grow into a POS. We already had all database structure and online features. We just didn't have the typical POS screens you need for a cash register, and we didn't have the extensive end of day sales and commission reports.
Our system is still in beta testing, but it's coming along nicely. We had hoped to take it out of beta testing more than a year ago and present it at several trade shows over the last 12 months, but the pandemic has halted that. Let us know if you'd like to be part of the POS beta program.
Shopify, WordPress, or BigCommerce with BOPIS
If you have a website built on one of these platforms and you have a POS with an integration, then you can hire a web developer to add the BOPIS features into your website.
Making BOPIS work
There are several things that you need to consider when creating a BOPIS solution on your own.
If items are not in stock, then you need to have a good way to explain the lead time due to your supplier delays. Make sure that the lead time you indicate on your website is close to accurate. This means you should be aware of what your vendor keeps in their own inventory compared to what they make when an order comes in.
When you have a POS to website integration, your POS should be updating your website at least once per day. Due to technology issues, it's not possible for your POS to update the website in live time. If that's your goal then you need to switch to a cloud based POS. You can set your website inventory refresh rate according to how busy your store is.
Employee training is a big part of making BOPIS/curbside work. Your staff needs to be monitoring any sales. They need to give those sales the attention they deserve, just as if it were a customer in the store. They need to have the order ready to pick up at the time specified on the sale. Your website must be programmed to come up with an estimated time it will take to pick and pack the sale, and your employees must match that expected time, otherwise you will be facing disappointed customers.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
AT: 04/27/2021 02:20:24 AM
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