Company Store Vendors

October 21, 2016  •  Guides, Our Platform

A few things to consider when qualifying any potential online company store vendors.

Choosing a Vendor

Putting a shopping cart online is simple, anyone can do it as long as the operation stays very small. This means there is a very low barrier to entry for vendors who might choose to offer an online company store service to a client. However, scaling a robust e-commerce and order fulfillment operation is much more complicated, and has significant barriers to entry.

Below are a few things to consider and questions to ask to help qualify any potential online company store vendor.

  1. Can I stock inventory if I choose to?
  1. If yes, where is this inventory stored? In a closet in the vendors office? In a 4th party fulfillment center. Or does the vendor own their fulfillment and distribution center?
  1. If the company store vendor does own their fulfillment and distribution center, is it directly integrated with the online store?
  1. Do orders have to be manually re-keyed at any point after the web order is received?
  1. Can I view real-time inventory information? Meaning anytime inventory is ordered, received or adjusted, is the inventory information online automatically updated in real-time?
  1. Are purchase orders received by a receiving manager who has access to open purchase order information to easily verify each receipt?
  1. Can my store feature both items held in inventory and items that are produced on-demand after the web order is received?
  1. Does the company store vendor offer access to a real-time suite of reports?
  1. Does the company store vendor have a web development team?
  1. If so, what is the cost for any potential required web development now and down the road?
  1. Does the vendor have an in-house design team?
  1. If so, can the design of my online company store be customized to match our corporate website?
  1. In addition to the merchandise, what fees will the company store vendor be charging me?

While there are many other questions to consider, these questions are a good start for qualifying any potential company store vendor before proceeding with further discussions.

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