With the constant rise of online stores and websites, eCommerce has become an indispensable way to grow your business to a higher level. E-commerce offers many ways for retailers to reach consumers and conduct business without the need of a physical storefront. However, the online market is not for every business and the level of competition is very high especially since there are already giant platforms such as Amazon, and eBay that have been in dominance for years now. It is important to analyse your business (or business plan) to see if selling online could work for you and ultimately determine if the benefits of selling online greatly outweigh the alternative. Let us look at some of the benefits of opening an online store for your business.
In general, an online store costs less to set up and run than a physical shop, although it’s important to recognise that making e-commerce work requires continuing investment. The difference in cost can come down to thousands and thousands of dollars spent on rent, utility expenses, property tax, insurance etc. On top of these expenses, typically a physical storeowner will have to hire many more employees than that of an e-commerce storeowner. With an e-commerce store, the start-up cost is only a fraction of the expense.
Expanded Customer Reach
Online retailers can increase their sales and profits faster than a brick and mortar shop as selling online offers the advantage of having an open store, twenty-four hours a day, and seven days a week. Selling online also allows retailers to display their merchandise in any part of the world without additional expense. While the small retail storeowners on Main Street may never dream of competing with a national chain retailer, it may find itself on a more level playing field with its competitors through the addition of online sales.
An online store can be updated instantly and as often as you like – for example, to promote a ‘deal of the day’ on your front page, without the need for expensive printed display material. Take for example changing the price of a product; with an e-commerce store prices can be changed in the back end by simply changing the products’ price field. There are also no space constraints with an online store so you can display and sell as many products as you want, and even non-seasonal products could always be available anytime.
Measured results through online marketing
Business owners are finding they can reach more and more qualified customers with better targeting, thus improving the chances of online promotions and lowering your marketing costs. With improved customer profiling, the opportunity to target products and services at specific groups based on buying data is much easier with good analytics built into your website. Additionally, with investment in search engine optimization (SEM), an online shop becomes more accessible to customers searching for your products.
There is no doubt that selling online can bring many added benefits to certain businesses’. It is the responsibility of the business owner to inform their selves, assess the situation, work with a professional and take the necessary steps towards reaching the goals for your business.
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