If you have been working hard establishing your business and are ready to take it to the next level, launching an e-commerce website is a great way to increase consumer traffic and revenue. Whatever your product or service offering, you can be guaranteed there is a customer waiting for you on the other end.
While it may be a natural transition for some, those who are slower to adopt new technology are missing out on what the online world has to offer. These days customers are not just sitting on their laptop at home looking at your website, they are using their portable devices on the train on the way to work, while watching their kids play sport from the sidelines and even while walking through shopping centres and if your business isn’t accessible you’re missing out!
MAKE MORE MONEY
It’s the reason you started a business in the first place – to make money! And without an online store you are not accessing another stream of revenue. If you are able to offer your goods or services in multiple locations you are opening up more opportunities for customers to find you. And you might be surprised to learn just who is shopping online. Currently eight out of ten Australians shop online and very soon one out of every ten items will be purchased from ecommerce stores. Ehopper.com reports that millennials and Gen X shop online twice as much as older generations. And men reportedly spent almost 30% more online than women in the past year.
BE MORE ACCESSIBLE
Are you prepared to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Well with an ecommerce store you don’t have to; however your customer can access you whenever they need to. This means new mothers waking with a baby in the middle of the night can buy online at 11.30pm. Or early birds can pick up the items they need from your online store at 5.00am. Whatever the reason, shoppers can access your products around the clock at a time that is convenient to them.
OPEN UP MORE COMMUNICATION WITH CUSTOMERS
One of the advantages of having your own online store is it allows you to communicate and market directly to your customers. By selling to customers online you are accessing more information than you would in a traditional retail transaction. Targeting your customers via their email allows you to promote items for repeat business. Not only do you know who your customer is, you know what they have purchased in the past, therefore making it easier to direct sell.
ACCESS NEW CUSTOMERS
Research shows that most shoppers are accessing some type of search engine prior to making a purchase decision. If you aren’t online and you don’t have search engine optimisation you aren’t even in the running to supply them with the product they are searching for.
EASY LUG AND PLAY PLATFORMS
Shipbob.com says that with the rise of Easy Plug and Play Platforms like Shopify, Magneto and WooCommerce creating a website can be a straight forward process. Templates are available for those who want to keep it simple and they are often free or cheap. And once your website is operational it isn’t difficult to integrate it with your existing software for payments and order fulfilment.
CREATE A MORE SATISFYING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Aside from the obvious benefit of increased sales, an online shop offers the benefit of convenience to customers. By being able to access your product from anywhere in the country, and even internationally customers are more satisfied with their shopping experience. They feel a sense of connection with a retailer by being able to search their business website, find out more about products, hours of operation and contact details.
INCREASE BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Providing an online store doesn’t mean you necessarily have to forgo human interaction. A lot of online retailers combine ecommerce with in store pick up. By allowing your customer to “click and collect” you are still maintaining old fashioned customer service. In addition if a customer has pre-ordered they can visit your business and avoid the hassle of queues and wait times because their item is already packaged and waiting for them. It allows the retailer and the customer the best of both worlds and works particularly well in the hospitality industry where meals can be ordered online and collected in a timely manner.
REDUCE BUSINESS OVERHEADS
In many instances the creation of an online store not only increases revenue, but it also cuts down on operational costs such as payroll. An online store can often take care of itself therefore eliminating the need for a large amount of staff, or a reduction in staff hours.
SHOW YOUR CUSTOMERS YOU CARE
One of the benefits of having an online shopping platform is you are able to tailor offers and discounts to your customers. Everyone loves getting a great deal and by targeting specific customers with extra discounts or freebies for repeat business you are continuing your engagement with them and also building loyalty and good will.
An online platform allows you to keep your customers updated on your products including price and quality. It allows potential customers the ability to compare your product with those of a competitor giving them an educational approach to purchases. You can help your customer further by providing further information about the product and other products which may be of use to them also. According to webalive.com.au last year Australians spent a total of $26.8 billion dollars on online shopping, a number which represents almost 10% of Australia’s total retail sales. By the end of 2021, the Australian ecommerce market value is predicted to be $35.2 billion. So they question you need to ask yourself is..