Our new integration with Vend is an exciting development—something that can help even small businesses keep up with the latest cutting-edge methods used in big business. Prior to starting Rocketspark with my co-founders, I undertook a variety of marketing roles over a 13-year period. My roles were typically in large corporates and during these years in marketing I’ve seen an interesting evolution in the role websites play in big business.
The evolution of websites for big business
In my first marketing role in 1999, the company website was largely just an online catalogue of products showing specifications, features and benefits. Later on while working at Vodafone, the company website was a key customer service tool and customers were encouraged to self-serve online to manage their account and to support marketing promotions. An important function of the website in those days was to reduce calls to the call centre. At that stage there were no online sales. Selling online was the next step in the journey and this new sales channel brought its own opportunities and challenges.
In corporate life there is always a catch phrase of the moment. The phrase that was used as a catch-all for the next era of online experience was ‘multichannel’. Multichannel was all about providing a seamless customer experience across all customer interactions but with a particular focus on in-store retail, contact centre and online retail. The investment in software and systems to make multi-channel successful was significant and took a long time with many consultants and contractors brought in to assist with joining all the systems together.
The investments that big businesses have made in developing their systems are beyond what smaller businesses can afford. But in the same way that we’ve seen a progression in the online life of big business, we’ve seen the development of tools that allow small business to also progress from informational websites to e-commerce to a true multichannel retail experience.
Bringing multichannel to small business
In particular, now that we’ve integrated Vend’s cloud based retail point-of-sale system with Rocketspark’s online shop, we can provide a multichannel solution that’s accessible for small businesses in terms of time, cost and ease of use.
Previously multichannel retail was an administrative challenge for our clients. For example, we have a number of clients in the fashion industry who have one-off or low-volume items and the same stock is offered in-store and online. A major concern for these clients was the risk of overselling these unique items resulting in a bad experience for their customers. With Rocketspark and Vend working together, the e-commerce system and in-store point-of-sale system are seamlessly connected and if the stock is sold out in-store, the item can either be hidden or marked as out of stock online. Likewise, when an online sale is made, the stock levels and sales history in the Vend point-of-sale system are updated so that the items can be removed from the showroom.
The data feed hurdles that often vex big businesses are taken care of in the integration between Rocketspark and Vend with minimal fuss. For example, if you add or update a product on your website, the product changes will automatically happen in Vend, which makes multichannel a very efficient process for the small business owner. There are lots of other great features that make using Vend with Rocketspark incredibly easy. Until recently, the available technology would’ve made syncing your site with Vend quite complicated, requiring a lot of intricate and technical steps that you’d have to do. But we’ve made the process really easy by using the absolute newest Vend technology—so new, in fact, that it hasn’t even officially been released! And the new whiz-bang technology not only makes syncing easier, it makes it faster and even more secure.
We’re pretty excited about the opportunity that Rocketspark + Vend presents to small businesses wishing to move into selling online with a real multichannel experience for their clients without needing to bet the house on it. To learn more about using Rocketspark’s e-commerce system with Vend we recommend that you check out www.rocketspark.com/vend.