Not all too long ago, going into business inevitably meant renting out a commercial property and basing your work from there. But things have changed dramatically in the last decade or so. Improvements in technology have led to the majority of people having a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone and many of us spend a whole lot more time than ever scrolling through the web. Unsurprisingly, companies have taken advantage of this, placing their products and wares exactly where the consumer market is placing its attention: online. E-commerce has skyrocketed and is still one of the most rapidly expanding areas of commerce now. So, maybe it’s time to test the waters of this alternative means of selling. Here are a few reasons that E-commerce may be a more favourable option for you and your business’ needs.
When you sell online your business has lower running costs. This can mean one of two things for you. You can earn a whole lot more profit which you can keep for yourself, or you can use lower costs to your advantage and reduce the cost of your products or services. This will draw in more potential buyers, creating more loyal customers and (again) boosting your profits. So, where do you manage to save by switching to ecommerce? Well, first things first, you don’t have to deal with commercial property anymore. Anyone who has operated a business in a brick and mortar setting will be well aware of the rising costs of properties in high footfall locations. People are extremely unlikely to go out of their way to get a product considering they can probably get it online delivered to their home. So competition for decent spaces is fierce and prices reflect this. Running things online means you don’t have to fork out large portions of your profit every month on rent alone. You also don’t have to worry about overheads such as bills. Instead, you can operate entirely from home, if you wish. If you find that you have too much stock for your property, don’t worry. You can use affordable storage solutions to keep things out of your personal space.
When you set up online, pretty much anyone with access to the internet can access your site. This brings your brand to a global platform without you even having to do anything different to what you usually would. Make sure to offer the option of international postage on any items that you list for sale. This won’t be of any expense to you, as the buyer will pay for it if they want the goods. If you do make a sale, it’s likely that the buyer will show off their purchase to their friends which might encourage further international sales. If possible, put effort into branded packaging. The more attractive your packaging is, the more likely buyers are to upload images of their purchase on their Instagram feed. Again, this boosts exposure and promotes further sales.
A website can also allow your store to operate twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. It runs constantly, so you can still make sales even when you are out of the house, asleep, or wherever you may be. This is brilliant. A brick and mortar store generally operates between 9 and 5. These working hours limit your profits, as many people are working through these hours. By operating online, people can shop as and when they please. Whether that’s when they have five minutes spare on their lunch break, or are browsing your site online on public transport. You need to secure as many sales as possible and this is a great way to go about making your stock more accessible.
When you operate in a brick and mortar store, customers generally have two ways of communicating with you. Coming into store and conversing face to face or calling you. The first requires time, cost, and effort. The second will involve checking up on your webpage to find out your number to call. One up to operating online! However, besides ease of sharing information, operating on the web can be a means of communication in itself. You can chat with customers and potential customers via social media, email, or a direct contact box on your website. You can also make use of messenger applications in-site too! This means instantaneous back and forth conversation with customers raising queries about products, filing complaints, requesting returns or filing for exchanges.
As you can see, there are numerous major benefits of operating online. So try testing the waters by setting up a webpage and trying ecommerce alongside your traditional brick and mortar business. If you prefer it, you can always jump ship at any time!