There are plenty of challenges when it comes to selling firearms and accessories online. Until a few years back, this field was almost entirely dominated by brick-and-mortar stores. While the situation is changing, there are still challenges when it comes to setting up an online retail outlet as opposed to a regular real-world store. Let us take a quick look at some of the more common issues faced by this industry at a holistic level.
Ø Customer Preferences
The industry’s clientele has always been more interested in browsing wares by physically checking them at the store. However, the pandemic affected people’s perceptions to a significant degree. The enforced lockdowns not only led to more online shopping, it also motivated firearms retail outlet owners to create their own cyberspace presence.
Firearms customers tend to prefer real-world stores and would rather go and make a purchase after a physical inspection. This issue is further compounded by the fact that online gun sales are directed to duly authorized dealers. Since the end customer has to go to the store to make the purchase, it makes more sense for him to select a weapon on the spot.
Ø Legal Issues
While setting up a legal online firearms sale is now relatively simple, there are nonetheless a few notable exceptions.
First and foremost, all online firearms sales are positioned as “conditional.” In other words, they are contingent upon the express completion of all relevant and applicable state, federal, and local steps. These include background checks and delivery to an authorized firearms dealer.
Firearms dealers have to consider the myriad differences in local and state firearm laws. They also have to weigh the cost/benefit ratio before accepting a sale and shipping the product to particular localities, prior to making a sale.
In most online sales, the transaction is completed once the product has been paid for and shipped to the customer’s address. However, this is not the case where firearms are concerned. The firearm is typically shipped to the relevant Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder.
In most cases, it is an outlet located close to the customer. Once the FFL holder takes delivery, they inform the customer who will subsequently pick up the weapon. They charge a small transfer fee for providing this service. Many customers prefer to purchase directly from the dealer instead of waiting for delivery and paying extra charges.
Ø Ecommerce Website
Not every eCommerce website is built the same way. In fact, most site builders are not even aware of the intricacies of this specific industry. Apart from that, the site has to be scalable and has to be available 24/7. This means a robust backend infrastructure and a great front end as well.
Make Ready Arms offers gun-friendly ecommerce that has been designed from the ground up for your online firearms store. Just get in touch with us and see how we can help you create that perfect firearms and accessories eCommerce website.