Did you know that 80% of Americans have made an online purchase in the past month, and, that over 51% of Americans prefer to shop online? eBay alone generated over 10 billion dollars in net revenue from online sales last year, while Amazon pumped out over 11 billion.  

Is your business capitalizing on eCommerce? If not, Bravo can help!

Navigating the roadblocks and hiccups when trying to configure an eCommerce presence for your pawn shop can be daunting. Numerous aspects come into play when entering the world of eCommerce, like:

  • Setting up a website
  • Researching and implementing payment systems
  • Figuring out how to leverage search engines
  • Optimizing listings to show up on relevant search engine queries
  • Learning how to navigate commerce engines

As eCommerce continues to rise, the list of useful tools will continue to grow. Staying ahead of the curve will help increase sales AND make the integration into eCommerce for Pawn Shops a simple, manageable, transition.

1. You Need a Functional/Easy-to-Use Website

An essential first step in the eCommerce world is to have a user-friendly website. While websites are common, you can't just put up any old webpage and expect it to turn into sales. The first thing a consumer will find when looking for a product is your website. That means that you need to convey your business's purpose and showcase the professionalism of your pawn shop.

One thing most people are worried about when they are looking for pawn shops is the aspect of security. You want the people reading your website to trust in your business so they can be a repeat customer. Security becomes crucial when people are making their buying/selling decisions.

With White Labeled ShopDot, Bravo can help you create a company-branded website that is fully functional with your POS system. You can sell products online and automatically keep track of your inventory through the website integration. The Bravo Pawn Platform is the only solution that allows pawnbrokers to:

  • Manage inventory
  • Create a branded website
  • Display inventory on eCommerce channels including buya.com, company-branded sites, usedguns.com, eBay and more
  • Access excellent customer service and training on all platforms
  • Report on your business’s sales objectives
  • Place the power of the POS system in the palm of your hand
  • Capturing beautiful product photos
  • Chat with customers and employees

If you have more than one location, that’s no problem. We aggregate all of your locations and items that will increase your website traffic and ranking!

2. Understanding Pawn Shop Payment Systems

One of the best features of the Bravo Pawn Platform is its ability to integrate your website with a reliable payment system. Getting used to a new payment system can be difficult—BUT—our team works around the clock to provide payment system assistance.

Having a reliable, well-known payment system helps check the boxes of trust and security. That’s why we offer PayPal and BLUEDOG on our eCommerce enabled sites—as well as in our consumer mobile app, MobilePawn. It’ll make processing transactions easier and safer for both you and your customers.

3. Leverage Search Engines to Move Products

Now that you’ve got a site with a trustworthy shopping cart, how do you get consumers there?

There are basic ways:

  • Word-of-mouth
  • In-store collateral
  • Organic search rankings
  • Maybe even luck?!

If you really want to attract customers to your site, you’ve got to put a little muscle in it.

We can help with that too with marketing tools that can get your product listings in front of more people. We’ll feed your inventory into Google, Yahoo, and Bing every day to give you strong search engine visibility.

Bravo also purchases Google AdWords for your merchandise and then utilizes geotargeting for online shoppers near your retail location using Google Product Listing Ads! That way you can drive more traffic to your listings and make faster sales! It’s worth the investment for us because we don’t get paid unless you do!

4. How Bravo Works with eCommerce Engines

And finally, the big way to increase your eCommerce footprint: Our Commerce engine integrations!

In the world of online merchandise, there is no bigger behemoth than eBay. With over 1.42 billion total website visits in January 2018 and an estimated overall revenue over $1 billion, no one does online sales like eBay.

What does that mean for your pawn shop?

If you are using Bravo, you know that we’ve had a seamless eBay integration since 2001. Our goal is to make it easy for you to post 100% of your inventory on eBay.

What’s even better is that you can simultaneously post the same inventory on multiple online marketplaces! With Bravo Pawn Platform, you will have your items posted on Buya.com, your White Label website, AND eBay! Increasing the amount of places you have your products listed will result in a higher chance for a sale! It sounds obvious, but you have to keep in mind that many retailers do not have the ability to seamlessly integrate all of the most crucial platforms to simultaneously list inventory.

If you’ve been hesitant to follow the eCommerce road, know you have a partner who can help you easily navigate all its twists and turns. Just call your rep and we’ll get you turning inventory for higher margins faster than ever before. If you are not a Bravo customer then now is the time to reach out to our team for a demo of our product!

And maybe the most fundamental question is: How much does it cost to make a sale?

The next step is to understand how Activity-Based Costing works with your eCommerce presence...

How Activity Based Costing Can Improve Profitability

Activity-Based Costing (ABC) is a system that fitting perfectly with the eCommerce side of retail. It is a methodology that was initially designed for manufactures and over the years refined to keeps costs under control by attributing activities to particular costs for each activity. This allows you to maintain costs and determine the amount of effort/cost it takes to acquire or retain a customer.

Utilizing an ABC will reveal your shop's bottlenecks and allow you to focus on better revenue-generating activities. You will find out that acquiring a new customer may take more time (or activity) than putting resources into return customers. With ABC, you can assign indirect costs into direct costs rather than simply running off traditional costing.

Additionally, performing an ABC analysis provides the cornerstone for decision making within the company, including:

  • Updating corporate strategies
  • Determining the best way to handle environment/industry changes
  • How to work through the appearance of new competitors
  • How to serve high demanding customers
  • And more!  

With an ABC model, you are analyzing overhead expenses alongside your profits with extremely high accuracy! You have the ability to regulate your pricing policies, assess inventory, and perform a cost/benefit analysis. In the world of eCommerce—the more data... THE BETTER!

Here are some of the benefits of using an ABC model:

  • Track in-store and eCommerce inventory
  • Reduce day-to-day operations
  • Employ an optimized eCommerce business model that is based on your traditional in-store activity
  • Simplify overhead allocation
  • Institute a reliable determination of profitability
  • etc.

ABC is the perfect way tool for managers to amplify the store's profitability. By benchmarking the activity vs. product cost—you can hone in on the actual product cost. It is incredibly easy to get caught up in the "illusion of profitability" when using a traditional costing system.

The only thing you need to take away from the ABC model is understanding how it employs a two-stage methodology.

  1. You are tracing overhead while examining the activity costs
  2. You can determine the "true" cost of every activity and cost object (ie. products, processes, services, and customers)

With these two steps, you can effectively track your in-store and eCommerce activities and develop a strategy to easily increase profitability and improve your shop's efficiency.

Overall, entering the world of eCommerce can be simple when you encourage the implementation of Activity-Based Costing.

Trust us—your business will thank you!  

Now let’s take a look at how to analyze your eBay activities!

eBay Cost Activity Numbers

We work with lots of pawnbrokers and the vast majority of them, after analyzing their cost activity, are actually losing money.

We have found that the average eBay Cost Activity (ECA) is $16.50 per item absent eBay fees.

Selling profitably on eBay is nearly an impossible feat. To figure out your operations eBay profitability, you’ll need to track down some costs.

  • People – How many people do you have selling on eBay, how much do you pay them annually, do they earn an extra commission for eBay sales? How much of your time is attributable to eBay selling?
  • Office expenses
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • eBay Fees – Last 3 months
  • Shipping – Last 3 months
  • Monitoring Quality
  • Manage Customer Inquiries
  • Manage Customer Orders
  • Tracking Inventory Manually (time) and/or Systems (how much do you pay for the software)?
  • Payment tracking
  • Prepare goods for shipment
  • Unit Sales – The number and average sale for the last three months/margin
  • Unit Returns – The number and average sale
  • How many web customers do you have?
  • The $ amount you are spending on your website
  • The $ amount you are spending on your SEO
  • Truck – If you’re a multiple-store operator and you are transporting your items to a central location to list, how much does your truck cost, including gas and driver?

From these numbers, here is what we’re trying to dig into:

  • Number of items sold per month
  • How many total employees are dedicated to eCommerce
  • How many items are sold per day
  • How many items are sold per day per employee
  • Selling cost per time
  • Gross sales, Gross Margin, Gross Profit

If all of this sounds like a mess or a tad overwhelming—that is totally normal! At Bravo Pawn Platform, we intentionally developed our product with all of these eCommerce tips in mind to alleviate the hassle of venturing into the eCommerce world.  

Our goal is to find you a process that facilitates profit, scales and doesn’t affect the quality. We have the tools to help you. Do you need help?

Call us at 888-407-6287 ext. 1 or click here to sign up for a Bravo demonstration.

About the Author:

Photo of Tally Mack Bravo CEO
Tally Mack | CEO of Bravo Systems

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!