COVID-19 has revealed that many smaller bottle shops are unprepared to pivot into the digital space, but a new e-commerce offering by SKUvantage is lending a hand.
E-commerce product content service and technology provider SKUvantage has partnered with Storbie to help bottle shops quickly set up online stores, already populated with brands images and content, for an extremely low cost.
Storbie provides a turnkey solution for small stores that don’t have the resources and technical capability of larger retailers, to provide a credible e-commerce solution for their customers.
This avoids the complexity and cost of developing a dedicated e-commerce solution for retailers that don’t have the technical knowledge and bandwidth to develop it.
“We already work with Storbie to support small pharmacy stores develop a competitive and credible online offer without any technical knowledge,” explained SKUvantage CEO and Founder Daniel Roberts.
“When we noticed small liquor stores striving to develop an online offer to meet the challenges of COVID-19, we suggested to Storbie that it extend its offering into the liquor sector, which it did within an incredibly compressed time frame. Storbie provides the platform and we provide the product content, so that retailers have an instant online offer, with click and collect and all the necessary e-commerce capability for minimal effort.”
Preparing for future lockdowns
Roberts said the initiative has been supporting bottle shops that have previously not focused on the digital channel, which have been seeking to set up an online offer.
“Even businesses that don’t even have a domain name have suddenly been trying to enter the digital space in double quick time,” he said.
“Retailers should be planning for future lockdown scenarios and make sure that they have e-commerce set up in the event that consumers are unable to go into stores in the future.”
Roberts said COVID-19 is simply accelerating existing trends, with retailers that have the capability to serve consumers in digital channels being the ones that will survive in the medium term in any event. He urged retailers to accelerate their adoption of a multi-channel shopping experience for customers.
Ensuring a premium digital offering
Additionally, stores need to ensure they stand out from the crowd with their digital offering, putting their full range available online, with correct images of all different pack sizes.
“It’s also important to have engaging product content, so that consumers are confident in the products they are researching and aiming to buy either online or in-store,” Roberts said. “This also reduces retailers’ cost to serve as it helps customers get the product they are seeking first time, without store support.
“It is also essential to provide a click-and-collect offer, so customers don’t need to browse the store and mingle with other shoppers. This provides a point of difference for a retailer, as there able to advertise that they can maintain social distancing with their click-and-collect offer and address customers’ concerns.”
SKUvantage has also made it easy for bottle shops to source product content from their suppliers for delivery to any other e-commerce platform using an API feed and bulk download options. Its SKUcapture service also helps a retailer source product content from the broader supplier base without effort.
The SKUlibrary platform & SKUcapture sourcing service
SKUlibrary stores product content for vendor clients that wish to distribute product content to retailers via a feed and manual download. These vendors include almost all of members of the Drinks Association and numerous other drink suppliers.
“However, there many small suppliers who do not list their products on SKUlibrary,” Roberts said. “Sourcing product content from such a diverse group of suppliers is a major barrier for retailers in all categories, not just liquor.”
The SKUcapture service is a turnkey solution to source product content from suppliers that are not clients of SKUvantage. This includes maintaining accurate contact lists, chasing suppliers, and supporting suppliers where necessary to load product content into SKUlibrary to feed to the retailer. The content SKUVantage captures for a retailer is only shared with that retailer and is not distributed more widely via the SKUlibrary platform.
“The cost of SKUcapture is also much lower than the requirement of employing somebody to chase product content and ensures a much better return on investment in any e-commerce strategy,” Roberts said. “We now provide this service to a diversity of retailers across all categories.”
SKUvantage is a Commercial Partner of the Drinks Association.