The shift to online shopping accelerated in the last few months. Experts say we’ve leapt four to six years into the future as more people have adopted online shopping in the last few months.
As a business owner, you may be wondering if moving to e-commerce is the right move for you. You might think your bricks-and-mortar shop is fine. You might worry an e-commerce website is too expensive to invest in.
Now, more than ever, it could cost your business more not to have an e-commerce website set up. Here are 12 reasons you need to consider making the move to online retail today.
1. Find New Leads
How do you make sure people know about your business? In the past, you might have had to take out ads in the paper or put up billboards. Otherwise, you’d likely rely on foot traffic.
Today, most customers start their search for a shop or product online. If they’re searching, you want to be sure your site pops up.
They can then visit the site and check out what you offer. They may decide they need to drop by, but an e-commerce website also gives them the option to order from you right then and there.
2. Sell at All Hours
With a bricks-and-mortar store, you’re restricted to your opening hours. That may be well and fine for you and your staff, but it could be inconvenient for potential customers.
Suppose you have a flower shop, and you’re open Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. A customer who works those hours may have difficulty getting in to see you or placing an order over the phone.
If you have an e-commerce website, they can easily place the order with you when they get home after work or on the weekend. The customer gets their arrangement, and you get their business.
3. Reach More Customers
Let’s continue with our flower shop example. Suppose you’re considered the best flower shop in Bristol. If you only have a bricks-and-mortar shop at one end of town, though, you might lose sales to other flower shops.
That’s because it’s more convenient for a customer to stop off at one of those other shops on their way to or from work. If they need to walk or have issues getting around, then a shop that’s close at hand will get their business.
When they go online, though, they suddenly have more options. Even if it would be difficult for someone to pop into your shop physically, they can still buy from you. In turn, you end up reaching more customers by making it more convenient to shop with you.
4. Get More Customer Insights
WordPress websites also help you develop more insight into your customer base. When someone buys from you, you’ll be able to collect data on the transaction.
This can tell you more about who your customers are. It might help you develop insights into niche markets you’re serving. That, in turn, allows you to offer better promotions and serve these customers a better experience.
The website can also help you collect data on leads and visitors. This information can give you an idea of new markets you could grow into.
5. Improve Margins and Cash Flow
What else can an e-commerce website do for your business? It can improve cash flow, as well as margins.
By making your store more accessible and increasing your customer reach, your website can increase sales. Affordable websites make it possible to offer online shopping with less overhead than a bricks-and-mortar store.
6. Meet Customers Where They Are
E-commerce websites remove time restrictions on shopping, but they also remove geographical restrictions. Suppose someone is on a weekend trip out of town, but they want to send flowers to their mum for her birthday.
If your florist shop has an e-commerce website, that’s no problem at all. They can place the order from anywhere. If you had a pizzeria, they might be able to order pizza from their mobile before they left the office.
Responsive websites allow you to take advantage of the increase in mobile shopping. In turn, you’re in a better position to meet customers where they are, wherever that happens to be.
7. Operate Your Business Anywhere
Your customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the e-commerce website’s more global nature. It allows you to run your business from anywhere as well.
There’s no need to open up a physical shop for your t-shirt business if you have an e-commerce website. You can run that business from the comfort of your own home. You can even look after it while you’re on the go.
8. Respond to Opportunities Faster
Another advantage of the e-commerce website’s data collection is that it allows you to see trends with ease. In turn, you have a better chance of responding to opportunities when they present themselves.
9. Compete More Effectively
Another reason you should consider going online with your business is that it will let you compete more effectively.
In some industries, many businesses are already online. If you’re not there with them, you’re losing sales to them.
In other cases, your competitors may not have moved online just yet. You could get ahead of the curve by going online sooner. That will allow you to take a larger share of the market by establishing yourself as a leader.
10. Improve Your Marketing
You might think of an e-commerce website as a way to grow revenue and sales by offering an easier way to shop. It also offers you more effective marketing.
We already mentioned how you can draw in new leads by making sure your site is what they see when they start searching online. You can also use the data you collect to offer the right promotions to keep would-be customers moving down the funnel.
A website also lets you leverage your content marketing more effectively. You can answer customer questions and build relationships with them. When they’re confident in what they want to buy, your website makes it simple to check out.
11. Get to Market Sooner
E-commerce websites can be much faster to set up and to stock than physical stores. You can easily notify customers about pre-orders and let them know when items are back in stock.
If you’re just starting out, then setting up a website lets you open your doors earlier.
12. Get Better Scalability with an e-Commerce Website
E-commerce websites also scale more easily than physical stores. If you need to carry more products, you can simply add them to your catalogue. Stores are limited by how much physical space they have, which means you can’t stock every item all the time.
A physical store must also be staffed, whereas websites make use of technology to handle customer orders. If you go from serving 100 customers to 1,000 customers in a week, it’s much easier for the website to keep up with demand.
13. Save Yourself Time
Local web designers can help you create a beautiful, functional website. The right team can also help you maintain the site and keep it up to date.
With that in mind, you can save time, all while serving your customers more effectively than ever. Best of all, website design is more affordable than ever.
Get Your Business Ready for the Future
If you thought an e-commerce website was out of reach for your business, it’s time to reconsider. Affordable website design makes it easier to access all the benefits an e-commerce website can provide for your business.
Ready to take your business into the world of e-tail? Get in touch with an expert and discover just how easy it can be to create a beautiful website for your e-commerce venture.