Suncoast CEO offers Six Best Practices For Online Retailers

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Excerpt from Forbes magazine by Tricia Bolds, president/CEO, Gulf Coast Pet Supplies of Sarasota:

In the competitive world of online retail, it helps to stick to a few simple but effective tactics.

In the last year alone, I earned a spot on lists like Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies, Top 40 Executives under 40, and Entrepreneur of the Year — and I attribute a majority of my success to the fact that I follow a specific set of business practices. Here are the six principles we use to wow our customers (and earn repeat business) year after year:

  1. Price: Offering thousands of products definitely is an advantage in the pet industry, where prices determine your placement in many search engines or websites. However, learning how to beat the pricing game is always the best strategy. Try offering bundles of your best selling or similar products at a discounted price. You can hire a graphic artist, make your own labels, and prepackage several items to make a new or bundled product that no other store offers. You will find that most customers will buy in bundle, especially if they feel they are getting a better value.
  2. Cost of Shipping: Over the last several years, we have tried a variety of online shipping price strategies. They included a weight-based shipping price (actual shipping costs), bundled items (lower shipping prices) and an average built-in shipment cost (“free” shipping). We have found that most customers do prefer the third option. Even though the cost is built in, the consumer likes to believe they are getting something for free.

Read all six steps and the rest of the article here: Forbes Magazine