Velocity Marketing Asset Management

Online storefronts – inventory

There are many names associated with online solutions or storefronts. At Velocity we call our platform VELO™ because it covers so much more than a simple order site. I will publish a series of posts to cover some of the options that should be considered for any storefront to get the ultimate control.

inventory

In a previous report, I covered reporting and in many ways those reports and inventory go hand-in-hand. One thing that is very important is maintaining the correct inventory levels to purchase at the optimum quantity, but also minimize carrying outdated inventory. If the goal is to turn inventory every quarter, then the storefront data will provide average usage by quarter. You can also set automatic reorder points, decide to produce low usage items on-demand and keep inventory fluid.

Storefronts should also be able to display inventory in real-time and give you an exact count on each and every item. If you have many updates to products, it is also important that the inventory reflects the latest version of each product. I always recommend adding a version number to printed pieces to avoid the problem of outdated products being distributed.

Reduce Storage Costs with On-Demand Print

Reduce Storage Costs with On-Demand Print

Online storefronts – customized products

There are many names associated with online solutions or storefronts. At Velocity we call our platform VELO™ because it covers so much more than a simple order site. I will publish a series of posts to cover some of the options that should be considered for any storefront to get the ultimate control.

The ability to create custom branded items whether it is print, promotional items or other products provides impactful marketing materials to your clients. The control over the level of customization is provided by the client and of course your brand is always protected. The user can then choose a variety of customization methods and images and logos can even be stored in a shared library for easy retrieval. The other nice piece is that all customized products show an instant virtual proof for the user’s approval prior to submitting any order.

Prudential e-Solution

Prudential e-Solution

These orders can also be sent through additional approval levels prior to submission to provide you the ultimate control over your products and order quantities. Giving the ability to customize products to your users can be not only a huge time saver, but also give them the branded items they are looking for. This can be great for business cards, but also provide for customized brochures, apparel and more.

The screen capture shows a sample of a customized brochure that allows the user to enter a detailed description, add a photo and even append a mail list to create a customized mailer.

Online storefronts – reports

There are many names associated with online solutions or storefronts. At Velocity we call our platform VELO™ because it covers so much more than a simple order site. I will publish a series of posts to cover some of the options that should be considered for any storefront to get the ultimate control.

A storefront or online order site needs to be built with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is the login process, the middle is the products and how they will be ordered, and the end is perhaps the most important and also most underutilized part of most sites. The end is the gold, the reports that the site can generate.

inventory and usage report

The goal is to provide useful intelligence that can strengthen your site. We give you access to the reports, but we also provide our own analysis of the statistics. It is from this intelligence that you will discover average inventory turn-time, best order practices, reports of user activity and much more that will give you full control of the process and also let you maximize your budget.

total spent report

As a site matures, the statistics provide important information on trends, reorder points, peak times, top users and hot items. The analytics can often tie your marketing materials directly to your top sellers and also make sure that the latest materials are available in the field.

Online storefronts – the products

There are many names associated with online solutions or storefronts. At Velocity we call our platform VELO™ because it covers so much more than a simple order site. I will publish a series of posts to cover some of the options that should be considered for any storefront to get the ultimate control.

Allowing products to be ordered is only a small piece of the puzzle, controlling the entire process and gathering intelligence that can be used for better control over your marketing assets is powerful and can lead to major savings both in purchasing as well as time.

online storefront with products

The products are easy, right? You add all your marketing materials and voila, let the ordering begin. Not really, the options for the products can be much more in-depth.

First you must start with making the products easy to browse. If you have many different products, you need to make it easy for everyone to find the items they need. This is accomplished in multiple ways:

  1. Categories – maybe you have a category for printed items, promotional products and signage. The categories can provide a quick jump to the items you are looking for.
  2. Item #’s – If each product has a unique item identifier this can be searchable within the storefront and also make sure the latest version is being used.
  3. Products can be a mix of printed items, hard goods and also e-files. This is useful when someone needs a quick file to email or just one for reference.
  4. Customized or versioned products can be added to a storefront and also provide a unique way to protect your branding and also give flexibility. With real-time proofing and on-demand printing customized products can be very cost effective.

The great thing with a good storefront is that if you begin by building a good framework you can easily add products and categories as needed. A good provider should spend lots of time asking questions about how you will be using your site and guide you through the options that are available.

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