Updated: Apr 11
Customer shopping behaviour is constantly changing over the last few decades. The revolution of technology and the internet provides customers with a better shopping experience. These days, people spend less time on offline activities and more time online. They conduct research online rather than go to the store and speak with the salespersons. Buyers also make more direct purchases online via their mobile than in brick-and-mortar stores.
The help of technology and the internet changes the way people do business and buyer purchase habits. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 had left a harsh situation for retailers, especially the brick-and-mortar businesses when around 60% of customers believed that the virus had deterred them from visiting offline stores. As you consider selling online, here are 10 reasons why you need an online store today.
1. Online Shopping is Trend
It is expected that ecommerce will make up 22% of global retail sales by 2023. According to the National Retail Federation, 80% of online shoppers and 63% of mobile shoppers think that new technologies and innovations improve their shopping experience. The technology is continuously developed and customer shopping experience will be better in the future.
Moreover, people are busier. They don’t spend much time window shopping. According to Google, 65% of shopping journeys start with online. That means people do research online before they make a purchase decision, whether online or offline purchase.
Yes, your customers love Online shopping. They can browse the shop from the Comfort of Home, get access to exclusive deals, and a bunch of other benefits. They can even apply a bunch of tips to save money when shopping online.
There is no doubt that the retail market is intensive. It is easy for buyers to switch brands. Businesses are finding their ways to do better than their competitors in any means. One smart strategy is to focus on customer experience and satisfaction. If you want to win in this game, you shouldn’t miss this trend.
2. Lower the Cost
Having an e-commerce website is much cheaper than a brick-and-mortar store. There are many e-commerce platforms that allow you to set up an online store quickly. These platforms provide competitive and various packages to choose from, depending on the scale of your business. If you are not tech-savvy, it’s ok. There are many web design agencies out there providing eCommerce web design with affordable packages.
The cost for a traditional brick-and-mortar store is significantly considerable while the cost for an online store is much cheaper. There are many expenses you have to pay for an offline store: rent, inferior fitting, equipment, decors, utilities bills and staff salaries. An online store doesn't require those expenses. Although an online store carries some hidden costs, this is a small amount compared to an offline store.
3. No Frustrations
Providing customer convenience and flexibility will get their satisfaction. Online stores allow customers access to the stores whenever and wherever they want, giving them more control over their buying journey. For instance, customers can purchase your products even when they commute to work, at their lunch time or before going to bed.
An online store will eliminate most of the frustrations of offline shopping. You don’t need to travel to the stores and there is no traffic if you buy online. Sometimes, finding a parking space in a shopping centre is exhausting and your product you want to buy is out of stock or you have to wait in a long queue for checking out. Your customers won’t have those with online shopping. This not only saves time for customers but also gives them more control over their shopping.
4. Better Customer Experience
The importance of customer experience has been emphasized as the priority of Retail by Elliott Poulter in the Retail Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts For 2021. Knowing your customers can become a competitive advantage in the industry. And having an online store can help your business fulfill this.
Online stores let customers browse products and compare prices easily. Before making a purchase decision, people tend to go online to search for the information and compare the price from different stores. In most cases, customers prefer to read reviews about the products before spending money. An online store allows you to publicise the information of your products, the prices and reviews from the previous buyers, so let customers access them.
Most e-commerce platforms allow the business to create a user-friendly and mobile-friendly website. Customers are able to browse products easily and quickly either on desktop or mobile. The check out process in these platforms are simplified, so customers don’t have to go through many steps to be able to pay. In some big e-commerce websites, customers can experience virtual to try the product on.
5. Open 24/7
Offline stores can be accessed during its opening time, but your customers’ purchase intention is not only in daytime. Customers might have an intention to buy a product before they go to bed, early in the morning or in the middle of the night. You may miss a lot of sales if you don’t have an online store that is accessible 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.
6. Easy to Expand
Imagine how much it will cost to expand your business to the other side of the city. A lot! You need to pay for rent, new inferior fittings, decors, staff, inventory, etc. By contrast, what would you do if you want to expand your online store? Nothing! Because your online store is already able to reach customers from the other side of the city.