Western & English Today

Fall 2016

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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FALL 2016 16 Western & English Today W hen the internet went mainstream in the early 1990s, few manufacturers or retailers envisioned exactly how it would revolutionize business. Now, with nearly one billion websites worldwide, and more coming online every day, the internet has forever changed wholesale and retail objectives. Both entities must decide if their website is simply an advertise- ment or if it actually sells merchandise. In the manufacturers' case, selling online is a slippery slope indeed, especially if retailer toes inadvertently get stepped on. Everybody wants to know what ev- erybody else thinks, so learn what your peers have to say about this sensitive subject here. CASTING THE INTERNET NET At Double D Ranch in Yoakum, Texas, e-commerce has been the norm since 2003, even though it's not marketed or pushed, says creative director Cheryl McMullen. "Initial reaction from our brick-and- mortar stores was somewhat negative, but they understood that we have a larger, national customer base and that their stores couldn't possibly service everyone. Our own site off ers the end consumer ac- cess to our entire collection." So, you're asking, isn't Double D competing with its retailers on- line? Well, kinda, sorta, yes, but not exactly. " e company reduces that possibility by off ering priority shipping and customer support such as advertising and social media to brick-and-mortar stores that have made the investment with us," says McMullen. "All products on our site are marked at 2.2 percent instead of keystone, giving retailers a price advantage over us." She says that during the past four years, the company's top ac- counts have become e-commerce, not brick-and-mortar. On that note, the company has no plans for a physical store now, she says. NAVIGATING THE 'NET' The business opportunities afforded by the internet have pushed more and more manufacturers to start selling directly to consumers online, and now it's become a hot topic of conversation. By Stephanie Stephens

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