Online commerce is becoming a larger part of our industry, and the economy as a whole, every day. Maybe you’ve put it off for years, but it might finally be the right time for you to make the leap to the World Wide Web. Don’t worry, there’s room for you.
According to our latest IMAX survey, only 13% of accessory retailers currently sell online. That leaves a lot of sales space for a properly built and marketed online store. That’s potential that Brent Freeman, who owns and operates online-only accessory retail store, Accents for Elegance can attest to.
“If an accessory retailer doesn’t already have an online store, they should,” said Freeman. “It’s where customers go to begin with. They shop online to compare products and prices before actually making the trip to a brick-and-mortar store.”
He says the online marketplace is becoming a larger part of the retail industry, big enough to allow him to operate successfully for five years without a physical storefront.
“Online sales are starting to have a huge impact on the economy,” says Freeman. “In a time when established nationwide chains, such as book retailers, are declaring bankruptcy, it only makes sense for brick-and-mortar stores to sell online, if they aren’t already.”
Brent admits there’s a learning curve involved with making the e-commerce leap, but says it’s well worth it.
“I struggled for a bit at first, because I’m not a techie,” he said. “I’ve since learned a lot. It’s really not that hard.”
If you follow in Brent’s footsteps, the first step to getting started online is to find a good web designer to build and design your site. He outsourced the design and construction of accentsforelegance.com, and now handles the day-to-day maintenance and operation on his own.
Accents for Elegance has been an IMAX customer for the past two years.
“One of the biggest challenges is that our IMAX products are in such demand is that we sell out of our stock too quickly” says Brent. “We find something that sells really well and then all of the sudden we run out of stock and we have to wait for them to come back in to inventory.”
For Freeman, that’s where drop ship comes in. It’s a must for most online retailers, especially online-only retailers, who might not have as much inventory space as traditional retailers.
“We have a few hot selling items here, maybe our top twenty or so, and the remainder we have IMAX drop ship for us,” says Freeman. “The IMAX drop ship program has been great for us. People really like the products, and the prices are good. It’s worked well. ”
Brent owns and operates www.accentsforelegance.com, with his wife of 12 years, Angela. Accents for Elegance is based in Draper, Utah.