E-commerce retail is booming, and by 2021 it is predicted to reach an astonishing $4.88 billion. With an ever-growing digital transformation of our lives, no wonder the commerce sector has transformed too. We’re now more likely to make a purchase online than visit a physical store and save our time, money, and energy for other things we consider more important.
So what are the advantages of e-commerce that make them so attractive?
There are no borders
With a brick and mortar store, you are limited to a particular geographical location, and the number of your potential customers is more-less predefined. On the other hand, an e-commerce store knows no geographical borders. Your potential customers can be miles away, and as long as they think that they’re making a good bargain when they are purchasing from your online store, your location is not that important.
Expand your reach with SEO
While a physical store counts on strengthening its brand image and customer relationships for acquiring more customers, e-commerce has one more powerful tool to rely on – search engine visibility. When a customer does a query in the search engine, the results may lead them to an e-commerce store they’ve never heard of or visited before. Over 30% of e-commerce traffic comes from organic searches, and the additional traffic e-commerce gets if they rank well in searches, may significantly improve their conversions, and their bottom line.
Cut down on your costs
Starting up and running an e-commerce business requires fewer investments when compared to a physical store. Marketing and advertising costs can be very cost-effective, and if you automate certain processes such as checkout, payments, billing, etc. you can cut down your personnel costs too. Plus, you don’t have to rent a property on a prominent location for a brick and mortar store.
Sell niche products
Ecommerce retail is perfect for creating a market for niche products. When products are too specific, it can be challenging for buyers and sellers to locate each other in the physical world. With the rise of e-commerce retail, they can now find each other easily through search engines. Most of the highly specialized industries are taking advantage of this opportunity to broaden their reach and sell their products online. For example, oilfield equipment suppliers have a limited number of potential prospects in the physical world, but there is a steady demand that they can address easier via e-commerce.
Find the products faster
Going from one shop to another to find your favorite pair of sneakers, or trying to locate the desired t-shirt in an overcrowded shop can be tiring and time-consuming. With e-stores around, you’re just a couple of clicks away from finishing your purchase from your favorite armchair without any hassle. You can type the name of your desired item, use intuitive navigation or advanced search to find it, and wait for the doorstep delivery.
Available all the time
Unlike brick-and-mortar stores that have predefined business hours, e-commerce purchase is not limited to exact hours. This is the number one reason people shop online – your customers can shop around when they feel like it, no matter the time of the day. Your e-store is available 24/7/365, increasing both the satisfaction of your target audience and your revenue.
When purchasing at the physical store, the information you get on the products is limited. You can never display every information your customers would like to know, and even the best of your employees can’t respond to all the potential queries of your customers. E-commerce retailers can make all information easily accessible by the customers – they can post photos showing products from every angle, and include detailed product descriptions. Furthermore, e-commerce makes it possible for online shoppers to compare various products and their prices before they make a fully informed decision on their purchase.
Running an e-store enables you to fit your campaigns to your audience better. Using various tools, e-commerce retailers can quickly gather data on their customers, starting from the demographics to other relevant traits, interests, needs, and habits. E-stores can benefit from this valuable data, as they can use it to segment and personalize their campaigns. For example, they can use email automation tools to send tailored email campaigns to different groups of their customers and personalize them for even higher conversions.
More convenient shopping
From the fact that the e-stores are available all the time, and that they can gather information, compare and decide on their purchase whenever they want to, there are other reasons why shopping online is more convenient. Exclusive deals, bargains, coupons and group buying are all easier to avail in e-commerce stores than in physical stores, and you can also eliminate the time and costs of travel needed to benefit from them.
Now that you know of all the advantages of e-stores, you can augment your traditional retail business by opening an e-store, too.