Shifting retail business online isn’t as easy as some may think
Once a successful retail merchant has a few brick-and-mortar locations operating, it only makes sense to expand to the world of ecommerce. However, as several small-time New York retailers have found, the transition isn't as easy as it may seem.
For example, Herb Philipson is the owner of a seven-store casual apparel retail chain. Philipson has enjoyed success with his seven shops, but shifting to online has proved more complex than he originally thought. He just launched an online website, but has found it challenging to fill orders with the much-larger audience of the web.
"The worst thing is to go online and try to buy whatever and get an order for 12 and you have three in stock," Philipson told the Utica Observer Dispatch. "You want vendors who have a lot of stock that we can replenish."
However, Philipson has reason to keep trying – Amanda Nicholson, Syracuse University director of retail practice, expects apparel sales online to hit $40 billion.
Ecommerce has been growing significantly, even during the economic recession. During the two-month holiday period alone, online sales hit $35 billion, according to data from comScore.
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