If you’ve read our blogs before you’ve heard us talk about digital storefronts and how they can save you time, energy and stress — which is true. But you’re probably wondering what exactly a digital storefront is. Simply put, a digital storefront (DSF) is a cloud-based system as a service. Even simpler, it’s an online ordering system, inventory tracker, on-demand printer, marketing and design assistant brand enforcer, sourcing tool, billing tracker, and more all rolled up into one.
TAKING CONTROL OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN
In this online marketplace, businesses can buy and sell goods without following the traditional buying process. In the past, suppliers controlled the buying process, making it nearly impossible for small to medium-sized businesses to get the same bulk discounts, preferential pricing and streamlined ordering processes as the big guys. With the DSF, that all changed.
Any business, no matter the size, can now generate margins and create efficiencies with DSFs. Companies take the power back from suppliers and control the buying process by creating a one-stop shop for ordering through DSFs. DSFs aggregates customer demands and sources the orders for them, so businesses receive better supplier pricing. Businesses can order all their print products in one place and receive a single bill at the end of the month.
DSFs are efficient, engaging and effective e-commerce solutions. They are simple-to-use online ordering systems designed to save you time and money by streamlining processes and taking the manual maneuvering out of the ordering process.
DSFs allows your company to decentralize the ordering process in a way that saves each employee substantial time. You’re able to increase your revenue per employee, as employees spend more time on value-adding activities and less time on manual tasks.
Here are the features businesses love:
Since the DSF is an online ordering system, you can order from anywhere at any time, including nights, weekends and holidays. It’s a self-service platform that allows your team to easily enter, customize, proof and order prints without a printing representative and from one single source. The storefront has pre-loaded templates, brand colors and company information, so your team doesn’t have to have to spend a ton of time designing or getting approval of prints.
Inventory Storage and Tracking
The DSF has a warehouse feature that helps companies keep track of inventory and use of marketing materials so you can make educated decisions about ordering. You will never have another situation where employees show up with outdated materials, order too many brochures or don’t have the promotional items they need for a trade show. This could ultimately save you money, time and a lot of added stress.
Streamlined Ordering and Billing
The DSF is always stocked with common office supplies and marketing materials and ready to go, so orders can ship immediately. Anything outside of the regular items that needs to be ordered can be done directly through the DSF — your team no longer has to worry about sourcing.
It also helps streamline processes between accounting, marketing and purchasing to keep projects on budget, on time and efficient. You won’t have to play the monthly game of trying to keep track of supplies, ordering and billing through a series of emails. Instead, you can simply check the digital storefront to see exactly what was created, ordered and billed. Plus, the DSF sends one invoice for everything at the end of the month.
Marketing and Brand Management Functions
It’s crucial to keep marketing consistent whether you’re a small business or a large corporation. DSFs provide coordinated, consistent and relevant materials in an easy-to-use and easily accessible format. Storefronts are loaded with customizable fields within a brand template for different locations with set budgets. Although employees can tailor items (for example, select text and images) on the materials as needed, all other design elements remain consistent.
Aside from just being awesome software, companies see a lot of efficiencies start to fall into place with DSFs. When you switch to a DSF, your company can expect to see:
All in all, DSFs are a great investment that easily pay for themselves. Implementing a robust e-commerce solution like the digital storefront will save your company money, your employees time and you a lot of stress. Learn more about what a digital storefront can do for your bottom line at fphorak.com.
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