For 10 years now, business experts have debated the value of brick-and-mortar stores vs. online only sales outlets. Will physical stores survive or be outpaced and replaced by low-overhead e-commerce sites? Will the Amazon and eBay business models change the face of American (and international) retail and wholesale? Even after 10 years, the answers aren’t black and white.
Ultimately, yes, Amazon and eBay have changed the way America does business. And some brick-and-mortar stores have certainly fallen by the wayside due to internet competition. Others though thrive by maintaining both regular and internet storefronts.
Consumers have become more and more comfortable with the idea of purchasing goods online. Thousand, or even millions, of businesses operate solely through an online outlet. No storefront to welcome local customers and to enable them to inspect and touch the items for sale. This is increasingly not a problem for today’s consumers who have been trained to ask the right questions, demand liberal return policies and look for indicia of security like VeraSign and other consumer protection programs.
Another indicia of security (as it relates to getting the goods from Point A to Point B) is an online retailer’s (or wholesaler’s) use of an integrated freight calculator provided by Freightquote.com.
For businesses that sell heavy items like furniture or engines, large volume items or anything weighing over about 150 pounds on the internet, an automated, integrated freight solution will be key to keeping transactions simple and efficient. The Freightquote application can be integrated into many different e-commerce platforms and used seamlessly with a company’s online sales system.
Buyers can input delivery information for a spot-on cost estimate. Sellers can use the system to accurately quote freight shipments from some of the country’s top national and regional LTL and truckload carriers. Specialty shipments including those needing flatbed or refrigerated trailers can even be handled through Freightquote’s integrated e-commerce freight solution.
Shipments can be scheduled and tracked via this same system. By even paying online, the entire shipping process is automated. And an easy transaction start-to-finish makes for a much more satisfied (and frequent) customer.