Some of you may still be debating whether e-commerce would help your business. If you are, you might be wondering what makes it that much better than just running a brick-and-mortar store where people can engage with staff and see your products with their own eyes. While physical stores where you can build a rapport with customers has its own clear advantages, there’s a lot of clear gains in selling online that you simply cannot get any other way. Here are a few of them, so you can get a better idea of how it can work for you.
One of the easiest benefits to see is the convenience that it offers your customers. Without leaving the house, your ideal customers know exactly what you have and how they can get the products they need for themselves. For a little extra, they can pay for the convenience of having everything they need shipped right to their door, which is especially important if you sell bulky objects like appliances or furniture, or things that are fragile.
That convenience removes the friction that often stands in the way of people purchasing certain things. Many might be hesitant about the idea of buying a new furniture set or piece of tech because they’re not sure how they’re going to bring it back to their home. Some others might just keep putting off buying that thing they really want because it would mean picking themselves up and getting to a brick-and-mortar store. But when all their choices are right in front of them, it’s all too easy for them to just look at what they want, and buy it in just a few clicks.
But it’s convenient for you and your business, too. By setting up an e-commerce solution for your store, you’re also bringing down overhead costs for things like storage and building rentals. While you’ll still have to pay for storage if you sell physical items, you have more control over how much space you need because you have much more precise inventory data that’s updating in real time. That gives you more control over what items you can restock differently than in a physical store. Depending on what products you sell, this may even be an opportunity to develop an on-demand service where you only create or stock what people need from the moment it’s ordered, freeing up even more space (and time, too!).
All of this also gives you the power to guide customers’ expectations around aspects of a purchase, such as delivery. By encouraging them to buy from your online store, you can also give them all the information they need, like a date to expect their order, any necessary installation information, and whatever else they might need to enjoy their purchase. It also gives you an opportunity to show them what other customers have bought or looked at in order to encourage them to purchase more.
That leads to yet another benefit of your business having an e-commerce solution for your company – data. Most specifically, data on what your customers buy. This can help you in so many ways. It can give insight into how customers respond to ads and promotions on your website, and how long they consider purchasing before clicking away. Depending on the data you gather, it can even let you know what parts of your website are easier to use than others. But most importantly, it gives you a real view of what products and services are in high demand, and what ads and promotions encourage the most sales.
This is also good for your consumers, because you provide them an even more convenient, friction-free experience. With data on what people’s purchasing habits, you can create targeted promotions that better serve them, and even make decisions about what products and services don’t meet their needs. You get to focus on the things that actually grow your business by listening directly to your customers. And the best part is you can do all that without them actively needing to give you feedback, making it look like you’re proactively improving your services.
E-commerce is a bigger field than you might imagine, and there are lots more benefits than just these. If you’re still debating whether investing in e-commerce would be good for your business, maybe this helps make that decision easier for you.