Now more than ever it’s important for businesses to have an e-commerce presence. Before it was easier to connect with employees and customers face-to-face to purchase or distribute branded merchandise, but social distancing and work-from-home mandates have made deploying everything from uniforms to conference swag a challenge. One piece of technology promotional products distributors should be using are company stores. And while stepping into e-commerce may seem overwhelming to some, it’s actually an easy way to add value to your promotional product distributorship. Here we’ll review ways your clients can use company stores, why they’re so important to your business and how you can quickly create a seamless e-commerce solution.
What Is A Company Store?
Company stores are online ordering platforms for branded merchandise, which are crucial in today’s competitive selling environment. They can be especially helpful to offer companies whose teams are working remotely or for those looking to hold a virtual event. Company stores provide an easy way to get branded products directly to these customers. Here are some other ways companies are using them (although the possibilities are endless):
- Marketing Programs: Company stores can be used as part of an overall marketing budget to surprise and delight employees and customers throughout the year with thoughtful branded items. In addition to establishing company pride, it’s also an effective form of advertising
- Award Programs: Recognizing milestones (employment anniversaries, promotions, etc.) and team members who go above and beyond by offering trendy items like name-brand fleeces and luxury sunglasses is a fun, fresh and simple way to show appreciation and thanks.
- Onboarding: As part of the initial orientation period new staff can be invited to order necessary uniforms and even shop for branded water bottles, coffee mugs or headphones. Encouraging employees to use these items builds a sense of belonging and loyalty, which contributes directly to the overall company culture.
- Fundraising: Particularly appealing to school districts and not-for-profit groups that may have had to cancel traditional fundraising events, company stores make it easy to browse, purchase and raise money. Everything from popcorn to Advent calendars can be included to support a cause or group.
- Pop-Up Stores: Temporary stores can be set up to support a specific campaign or event. Bringing branded merchandise into digital campaigns and virtual events adds a tangible component that many people are craving and creates lasting impressions.
Why should promotional product distributors offer company stores to their clients?
Company stores are always a great resource to offer and a solid way for your clients to connect with their employees and customers. Now is an ideal time to invest in company stores. Here are some ways company stores add value to your distributorship:
- Assist In Obtaining New Clients: A company store can be a great way to obtain new clients. Showing a client that you can offer them a fully branded e-commerce solution for their promotional needs may go beyond any of their expectations and immediately position you as a valuable partner, not just a vendor.
- Boost Your Sales: Company stores are a gateway to more sales. Having a consistent visual location for your clients’ branded merchandise allows for easy conversations based on seasonal needs and their employees’ demands.
- Give You A Competitive Edge: Offering company store solutions that are unique in design, features, integrations and flexibility can give you a competitive edge over other distributors.
- Allow For On-Demand Ordering: Company stores allow your clients to order branded products at their convenience. A company store is a representation of you and allows your business to be available to clients 24/7.
- Streamline Efficiency And Lower Cost: The process of buying and managing promotional merchandise becomes automated with company stores — these tasks no longer need to be handled by you or your clients’ employees. An online system for ordering branded merchandise requires significantly less employee time than manual ordering. Clients can download reports and filter data by products, departments, locations and other variables to import into their system instead of manual data entry.
How To Make e-Commerce Seamless
Making your eCommerce seamless is dependent on the platform you are partnering with. The most efficient solutions will be connected to your ordering system. At AIA, for example, distributors have access to company stores that are seamlessly integrated into their CRM/ordering platforms, which reduces manual work and increases efficiency. Other features you should consider when reviewing company store solutions are real-time shipping integrations, tax integrations, how customizable they can be and if they offer robust administrative features.
AIA offers distributors convenient company store solutions and our experts are there for you every step of the way. Want to learn more about AIA company stores? Download more information here or contact us for a personalized demonstration: LearnMore@AIAcorporation.com.