3 Big eCommerce Myths to Avoid
By Tally Mack
Selling your inventory online or building an e-commerce presence for your pawn shop is no longer just an option - it’s a necessity if you hope to stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.
It used to be that the only competition you had to think about were the shops in your neighborhood, but your customers can shop from any store in the world through the phone in their back pocket.
Look around your showroom floor and see if you can find an item that isn't already available online. E-commerce and mobile shopping make it so easy to find a good deal, and yet many pawn shops have yet to make the transition to selling online. So we asked ourselves, how can Bravo make doing e-commerce better for pawn shops?
Well, first we've got to debunk some of the myths that are holding pawn shops and other small businesses back.
Myth #1: “Building an online shop takes too much time.”
Moving all your inventory online, and keeping it up to date, can seem super time-consuming! Is it worth taking time to clean and prepare items for quality photos, write accurate product descriptions, and figure out how to attract online shoppers to your site?
The answer is yes. E-commerce sales are growing, accounting for a whopping $215B in 2021. The pandemic helped spur some of this growth – and you can see that the trend is only getting bigger as customers get used to the comfort and convenience of having everything available at their fingertips. The sooner you get your store online, the bigger slice of that pie you’ll claim.
We knew this trend was coming when we built the Bravo Point of Sale, which is why we made it easier than ever to help transition your brick-and-mortar store to include an online revenue stream. Here’s how:
1) The Bravo Shopkeeper app makes capturing new images easy. Save images to your Bravo point-of-sale instantly, then automatically pull them anytime you need to put a new item online – to whatever e-commerce site you use.
2) Save time and price accurately with the Bravo Price Estimator – and get an average of $5 - $10 MORE on every loan or sale. Employees answer questions in theBravo Estimator to help them properly underwrite every loan or purchase based on the item’s condition and capture the most important details about the item. The perfect product description is generated for every item automatically, saving you that extra step. PLUS: Bravo aggregates prices from shops across the nation so you can make sure you’re getting the most value out of your items.
3) Take the guesswork out of marketing your online store. Bravo-generated item descriptions are automatically optimized with Google AdWords AND Google Product Listing Ads, which geo-target online shoppers in your local area.
Myth #2: “Selling my inventory online means one extra list of items I have to manage manually.”
Many pawn software platforms offer templates that help you create and upload item descriptions quickly online, but for a cost. But being able to manage inventory online quickly and easily is so critical to your business’s success that Bravo made our item templates FREE for all users.
But uploading information to your website is only one part of the process. It used to be that when you posted an item listing online, you’d have to remember to manually remove it from your website if the item sold in your physical store, and vice versa. The last thing you’d want is to disappoint buyers by telling them that an item they saw online is out-of-stock. Many stores avoid this problem altogether – by removing certain items from their sales floor and making them available online only.
Therefore, a critical piece of busting this myth is making sure your point-of-sale platform is integrated with your online store. When an item sells, Bravo automatically removes the item from your inventory, regardless which e-commerce platform you’re using. Bravo can be integrated with:
– Your store website
– In-store sales
Your inventory is synced on all platforms, all the time. This means that wherever an item sells – online or in-store, the item is flagged wherever else it’s posted and your employees can see it right away.
Myth #3: “The in-store experience is better for customers.”
There are a lot of reasons why pawnbrokers believe their customers prefer coming into the store. Low prices are important (and as we mentioned above, having a price estimator can help you avoid underpricing your items), but shopping in-store avoids those pesky shipping fees and gives customers an opportunity to haggle or negotiate.
Fortunately for consumers, free shipping is standard on most retail websites. If online shoppers can’t get free shipping from you, they’re not going to come into your store instead – they’ll find free shipping somewhere else.
While it’s true that most retail websites don’t let customers negotiate on price, that doesn’t mean pawn websites have to function the same way. Pawnbrokers can offer the same in-person customer service and experience online.
Bravo was built by fifth-generation pawnbrokers, which is why our platform incorporates these important cornerstones of pawn customer service. With Bravo, you can choose if you want to offer free shipping and allow negotiating on an item-by-item basis. All offers are displayed in the Bravo Dashboard or the Bravo Shopkeeper mobile app for quick viewing so you can accept or make a counteroffer.
Don’t Lose Out on an Untapped Revenue Stream
Regardless of your business size, location or customer base, it’s more important now than ever to adapt to an increasingly tech-based world.
Bravo was founded by pawnbrokers who believe in the power and importance of pawnbroking. And with every product we launch, we aim to help you compete with the biggest retailers today. Find out how Bravo Point of Sale and our suite of tools and features can help you grow your business and stay on top of your potential.
About the Author:
Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.
Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of Business Development, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of CompuPawn and the recent launch of UsedGuns.com.
Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.
Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!