<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=q34Yl1a8FRh2uG" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="">

The Great Office Supplies Caper

E-commerce or "out"!

by Ian M. Elliott | 8/31/15 12:00 PM



In a small business environment e-commerce is often thought of as no more than an online catalog and shopping cart with little to no effort made to transition an existing base of business onto an e-commerce platform. 


However, in our opinion it's not effective to operate a traditional relationship based business outside of an e-commerce strategy as it leaves the base business vulnerable to attack by competitors who have deployed more sophisticated systems.

If a small business can successfully establish and operate from an integrated platform it will permit a business transformation to take place once management fully understands how to exploit the potential.


A business has customers for a good reason, namely there's a value proposition that its customers recognize and is sufficient to motivate them to send in orders. However, implementing a fully integrated e-commerce solution can facilitate taking an existing business online and, in doing so, improve the customer experience.

Until this core business is conducted online, the chances are the value proposition is being eroded and that a serious threat to the business exists. Savvy competitors are already implementing sophisticated technology platforms and quickly expanding their abilities to reach-out and contact more prospective customers, nurturing them with better offers and improved transaction and information work-flow efficiency. Inevitably, some of the customers they reach out to and win will have been previous customers of businesses that failed to recognize and mitigate this threat by deploying their own integrated e-commerce solution.


In order to effect business transformations as well as to protect an existing base of business it's vital to get that business online and to deploy state-of-the-art inbound marketing and CRM software.  Not only will this facilitate improved service to existing customers it will also help with the development of sales leads through the pipeline until they become loyal, long-term customers.  So, once in place, not only will existing customers have a better experience but the technology for efficiently and effectively expanding that customer base and grow sales will also be in place.

Most would not dispute there's a clear migration of business from offline to online taking place. This migration would not be occurring if it wasn't improving business efficiency and customer experience. So for an old-school business operating on disjointed information technology systems and with little to no e-commerce activity the outlook is not promising.

For the longer term, as business owners consider exit strategies then, in order to attract quality buyers and justify attractive multiples on earnings, not only does the business have to be profitable with a history of revenue growth, it has to be efficient, and on-line with strong repeat and organic web-traffic.


If a business isn't online and and hasn't "cracked the code" for developing site traffic then;

1. It will be worth less to a prospective acquirer.

2. It will also likely be much smaller and less profitable than it otherwise could have been.

3. Ultimately, economics dictate that less efficient enterprises are eliminated.

Understanding the full value of an integrated information technology platform and how this becomes the foundation for growth can be difficult to understand.  Why not download our free e-Book written specifically for small independent resellers in the office products industry.  Just click on the button below.

Free e-Book DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Click Here for Access

Topics: Business Transformation, E-commerce

Subscribe to Email Updates

Digitol Logo

Become a founding member of our Digital Business Transformation Service!

Learn more with a no-obligation phone consultation.

Learn More

The Office Products Trilogy

Free e-Books

Authored by a 35-year executive veteran of the Office Products and Supplies industry and containing unique perspectives on the industry, the modern digital world, and roadmaps for independent office products resellers to set off down the path toward digital transformations.

Book 1 - The Path to a Business Transformation

Free e-Book DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Click Here for Access

Book 2 - Mergers & Acquisitions: A $20 Billion Growth Opportunity

Free e-Book MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS Click Here for Access

Book 3 - How the Industry has Failed the Resellers

Free e-Book INDUSTRY FAILS RESELLERS Click Here for Access

Calculating Returns

For your Digital Strategy

The world has transformed from analog to digital. Digital equals data and most business operators don't like messing with data!

Check out our suite of Business Calculators!

  • Break the problem down into manageable segments.

  • Interactive - experiment and watch the results.

  • Develop a better understanding of how to translate effort into results.

Essential business tools to help you manage your digital transformation!

Calculators Click Here

Business Projection Model

Built to demonstrate a path for the growth and profit potential that can be achieved in either the office products or equipment channel when leveraging an integrated business platform designed for the 21st-century digital environment!

Access our FREE proprietary business projection model.

Financial Plan Modeling Platform Start Here

IT Scorecard

Access our proprietary Information Technology scorecard. Select answers from pre-populated drop-downs and develop your own task list and priorities for implementing a fully integrated software platform.

Once an integrated technology platform is established, then start to have some fun transforming your business, leveraging business intelligence alongside your personality in your market.

Access Free IT Scorecard