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Gaining a Supply Chain Edge

Online Stores: Don’t Settle for 'Good Enough'

Anyone who has looked at their Twitter stream as of late will tell you how difficult it is to keep up with the latest and greatest. If I tried to respond to every tweet I saw, then I'd never be able to get any work done or have a personal life.

It's not just social media though – the entire Internet and its rapid evolution is becoming more challenging to keep up with.

For instance, you may publish a new version of your website, <as we did recently, and a year later, it's obsolete. I think that's why you see a lot of websites, especially ones serving a large audience, stagnate and grow old. It's unbelievable how quickly web innovation occurs, and this pace has only accelerated as social media and apps become more integrated with online activity.

But is this a good reason to not even try and improve your website? No – it is one of your most important customer service representatives now.

I've spoken to a few retail company executives who have storefronts both online and offline, and a good portion of them feel that their websites and delivery services are “good enough.”

If you look at their websites, however, they lack some of the features and polish of their competitors. No in-store pick up is a frequent feature that seems to be missing, as well as the site being generally difficult to navigate and find exactly what I want. Sometimes I am left wondering if they even have the kind of product I want even though I know they provide it in-store.

“Good enough" for an online store? I bet you wouldn't hear them say that about their physical stores. This mindset is very short-sighted and will lead to bigger issues down the road.

Websites with online stores are not just add-ons; they are core pieces of your business. With the physical store front, you have to be on top of the curve and keep up with innovations in the field, as well as coming up with your own innovations. The same thing applies to your website -- perhaps even more so.

Settling for “good enough” for your physical store or your web-based store will never lead to long-term growth.

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