Our entire world is online. It’s becoming rarer and rarer these days to see things that don’t rely on the internet and connectivity to perform the function they’re designed for. From a myriad of Internet of Things and smart devices to our financial systems and personal or business banking – it’s all connected and it’s all online. We’re spending more and more time online and becoming more reliant on the conveniences it offers, and one of the areas that doesn’t look to be slowing down is the area of the online store and e-commerce. If you’re a retail business with a brick and mortar presence, there are many compelling reasons to add an e-commerce store to your portfolio. Let’s look at some of these reasons.
Your Customers Expect an E-commerce Option
Your customer base is evolving along with the times, as are their spending habits. As consumers, we’re growing to expect that our favorite retail stores are going to have an online retail and e-commerce website presence and an option for us to purchase online. This might mean you, as a retailer, taking advantage of e-commerce giants’ existing platforms, like becoming an Amazon Seller, or it might mean running your own e-commerce store. Whichever option you opt for, being able to service these digital customers is essential because the global e-commerce market share is increasing.
The E-commerce Market Share is Increasing
In April 2019, CNBC reported that, for the first time in history, the total market share of online US retail sales was higher than general merchandise sales. The ability to convert at least a part of your market share to online sales is almost a pre-gone conclusion in that kind of e-commerce market, where under normal conditions year on year growth of e-commerce is growing by around 2% per year. That might not sound like much, but by 2020, online sales accounted for around 16% of total retail sales in the United States, so there should be an urgency in the retail sector to create an online store to augment their physical presence locations.
There Are Unique Marketing Opportunities
Online marketing is a big business and there are many different platforms and ways that you can market your business and products using online platforms like social media and on-demand video services which enjoy very large market shares, and in a lot of cases, particularly with their younger audiences, bigger than traditional media. The internet is so interconnected, which means that when you do create online storefronts, you’ll also be embracing new ways of marketing to reach a more inclusive audience. Marketing online can, at first glance, feel like quite a foreign concept if you’re new to it, but the basic ideas aren’t all that new. Brands have been relying on influential people and creating talked about adverts and marketing campaigns to harness word of mouth to market their products for decades, only now it’ll be on Instagram or Twitter instead of television.
You Can Rely More on Automation
The basic retail sales process involves quite a big investment in human resources, from your procurement and supply chain staff to those involved in receiving deliveries to stocking shelves and creating displays in store, all the way to the final checkout where your cashier will actually sell the product to the customer. You’re also paying for all the overheads like electricity, security and premium store rental.
Online, with some basic idea of how to create an online store, you’re able to automate a lot of this process, and even employ some popular online sales techniques like dropshipping to save a lot of money on overheads. Not only are they an excellent web hosting option for your online store, but the Wix website platform is equipped with all the tools you might need to build these automation workflows into your sales process, which can only save you time and money when you’re building your e-commerce website.
You’ll Reach New Customers
Traditional ways of marketing reach only a specific subset of consumers. While television and radio adverts might reach a good percentage of the older consumers, increasingly the younger generations rely less and less on terrestrial and satellite television and radio and more on on-demand and streaming services as they are far more convenient. These younger digital natives are consuming content online at unprecedented rates and being able to reach them by embracing e-commerce means speaking to them using their language.
Being able to unlock new marketing opportunities and streamlining your fulfillment processes using the power of e-commerce, as well as giving your existing and potential customers more options for spending money with your business, is always going to result in better customer engagement and spending, and that means a better bottom line. Don’t hesitate, and convert those potential online sales into profit now.