You need to start an online store for your client, should you use a retail eCommerce platform or an industry platform? We get this question a lot. From the homepage, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference between a retail store and a Company Store – that’s the goal anyway, to make the Company Store experience similar to the shopper’s everyday online experiences. But make no mistake, there are some significant differences between an eCommerce store you would use for retail sales and an eCommerce store you would use for a promotional products Company Store.
1) Product Decoration
Let’s start off with one of the most significant differences. We are in the promo industry, after all, logos are everything! Logo Management, Logo Virtualization, and Product Personalization features are included in a Company Store, so you don’t have to install and manage a separate plugin. You can customize the product page to collect the user information you need to complete the order such as “Last Name” for an embroidery option. And if you need to take it a step further, Variable Data options are also available for print orders. Additionally, in a Company Store, you can turn on features so shoppers can quickly request a product sample or a quote.
2) Program Management
A Company Store helps you efficiently support the program your client needs. Whether it’s a Reward & Recognition program, a Corporate Franchise Program, a Marketing program, or a temporary Pop-Up Store – you can provide one centralized ordering location to organize, collect, and manage large orders. With permissions, you can give users different rights and privileges throughout the same store. And with a variety of integration capabilities, your store can easily communicate with outside systems.
3) Brand Integrity
Your client has worked hard and invested in building and maintaining their brand. With a Company Store, there are a variety of ways you can help them be sure their store serves as a natural extension of that brand. Our talented design team (or yours!) can build the store to mimic the look of feel of your client’s website. When you and your client handpick the products and customize the details together, such as product images and descriptions, you help your client maintain the integrity of the brand they’ve built.
4) Spending Controls
Lastly, another significant differentiating factor between a retail and a promo eCommerce store is being able to help your clients manage their spending. In a Company Store, you can utilize a lot of features to track the flow of money in the store. With Permissions, you can control who can and can’t shop in the store. Manager Order Approval System (MOAS) notifies managers for order approval before shoppers can finalize their checkout. Account Balances, Customized Payments (such as Purchase Orders), Gift Certificates, and Coupons Codes offers your clients additional payment flexibility within the system. And Budgets can also be used to help groups of users stay financially on track.