Online shopping is blooming. We all notice that. This is because information technology and information security have innovated dramatically in the recent years.
People are busier. They don’t spend much time on physical window shopping unless on weekends. Shopping offline can take time and cause frustrations (for example, finding a parking space, waiting in a long queue for checkout, ect). With the development of the Internet, consumers now purchase goods and services online at ease and with confidence.
Many business owners think building an online store is expensive and complicated. In fact, managing an online store is easier and requires less resources than an offline store. Here are the reasons.
Buying online store display is much cheaper than offline
To get more customers to shop in your offline store, you have to rent a premise in a busy area. If it isn’t in the center of the CBD, it should be in the center of a suburb. As a business owner, you would know how much it costs. It isn’t cheap, right?
Now let compare with buying a space online. To get an online store, you need an “address”. This address lets customers find you to buy your products or services, called domain. A domain is a unique address that distinguishes you from other online stores. Buying a domain is relatively cheap, depending on your chosen URL and domain name registrars.
After having an “address”, you need a “premise”. An online premise is where you keep your business assets and display products or services. This is known as hosting. Hosting can be bought together with domain or separately from two different providers. In whichever way, domain and hosting is much cheaper than renting a physical space.
Online store helps you save money on fitting costs and utility bills
To start running an offline store, you need to pay for fitting costs. This can be setting up the lights, air condition, signage, shelves, interior decor, counter, ect. All of these instalments are expensive. Offline stores even cost you more money on maintenance and utility bills to keep the store operating.
On the other hand, for an online store, you only need to build an ecommerce website. An ecommerce website can be done by hiring a professional or using a website builder. Either let the specialist do the job for you or build a website by yourself, an ecommerce website is cheaper than setting up a brick and mortar store.
Online store saves you cost of operation
Not only fitting and maintenance costs are counted in operation costs for an offline store, there are many other expenses, such as staff and management, inventory management, transportation and distribution.
Offline stores require you to pay wages for staff in stores and staff in customer service departments. The sales staff duties are answering customers’ questions about the product, checking the availability of products, processing checkouts for customers, receiving returns, ect. The staff can only work within the store’s opening hours.
On the other hand, online stores don’t need sales staff. Customers can pick the products they want and process checkout by themselves. The checkout confirmation is sent automatically.
For more information about the product or the availability of the product; online customers can find this information stated clearly on the website.
In addition, many offline stores use inventory management systems to track their stock, online stores also have this feature installed within ecommerce websites. The availability of items is updated automatically on the website, letting customers know. Thus, there is no need for humans to be involved.
Moreover, online stores can save the cost of moving products since they have only few warehouses to store the products ready to be shipped. Different from offline stores in which the products have to be distributed across the stores to be ready on the shelves and at the back.
Advertising online is effective and efficient
Selling products online and advertising products online is a winning combination. Traditional advertising is now more expensive and less effective and efficient than online advertising because people spend more time online for searching information and shopping.
Online advertising is more effective because people are using the Internet more than before. There are many online platforms you can show your ads on. You can advertise your products or services on search engines, where people search information about the products they need, so they have the buying intention. Or, you can advertise your products on social media platforms, where people spend a lot of time on, so their interests and behaviours are well disclosed.
Online advertising is more efficient because of its high return on investment. Online advertising gives you more control over the budget and online presence. You can manage how much you want to spend on online advertising and where you want to show your ads. Managing the performance of your online advertising efforts is easier with integrated data sources. With this, you can find out more meaningful insights for your advertising campaign. In addition, with the availability of data, you can target customers more precisely, so you only pay the advertising budget for potential customers.
Overall, acquiring an online store isn’t expensive. An online store can bring a lot of advantages and help you compete with your competitors. Shopping behaviours are changing so keep up with the trend and stay ahead of the game!
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