What makes Illinois a front-runner location for eCommerce entrepreneurs?

What makes Illinois a front-runner location for eCommerce entrepreneurs?

Monday, February 27, 2017Lauren Macdonald When it comes to running a successful eCommerce business, Illinois has it all: Proximity to manufacturers and important wholesalers, a central location that makes it relatively easy to ship quickly to consumers across the country, and a Chicago-based digital business incubator called 1871 that provides start-ups the support of mentors and introductions to potential investors.

Internet Retailer magazine reports that the recent rise of Chicago-based online players such as Groupon and GrubHub have helped further contribute to Illinois’ growing eCommerce efforts and have ‘put them on the eCommerce map’.

Nowadays, Chicago’s once-thriving meatpacking district in the west-end has become a technology hot spot, made hotter by Google’s expansion into the area where it is building out more than 250,000 square feet of office space. This is the perfect atmosphere for eCommerce businesses who are looking for a downtown location so as to better appeal to younger tech workers.
How to make the most of an Illinois-based eCommerce business:
  • Take advantage of Chicago’s reputationolder, established online companies have helped boost the reputation of Chicago eCommerce. Have your business follow in their footsteps!

  • Use your centralized location to your advantageNot only does the central location of Illinois make it simple to quickly and efficiently ship products to consumers across the country, but don’t forget your proximity to your neighbours up North as well! Offer convenient and affordable shipping to Canada in order to take advantage of an additional market.

  • As your business grows, be prepared to handle larger order volumeskeep in mind that your business could take off suddenly and you’ll need to be prepared in order to keep up. The last thing you want to do is get behind on processing orders and leave your customers waiting for lengthy periods of time to receive their purchases

How to stay on top of things as your business grows:

One word for you: Integration

With an integrated eCommerce solution, it’s easy to keep up with high order volumes. That’s because you’ll have a fully automated process that will do the ‘heavy-lifting’ for you. Here’s how it all works:
  • A solution provider, like eBridge, will connect your accounting/ERP system (i.e. Sage, MS Dynamics, NetSuite, Epicor, SAP, etc.) with your eCommerce store (i.e. Shopify, Magento, Amazon, eBay, ChannelAdvisor, BigCommerce, 3dCart, Miva, etc.).
  • Your orders, inventory, shipping/tracking info, customer data, and more, will be moved, bi-directionally, back and forth between your business systems.
  • This eliminates your need for manual data entry, which reduces the likelihood of mistakes being made, and exponentially speeds up your ability to process orders.
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