Customer shopping behaviour is constantly changing over the last few decades. The revolution of technology and the internet provides customers 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 sales persons. 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. 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.
There is no doubt that the retail market is intensive. It is easy for buyers to switch the brands. Businesses are finding the 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 ecommerce website is much cheaper than a brick-and-mortar store. There are many ecommerce 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
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 ecommerce platforms allow 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 ecommerce 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 you 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, ect. 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.
7. No Location Limit
People prefer to go shopping near their local area. Stores opened in the East side may fail to present customers from the West side. This is not the case for online shopping. Customers can buy products from anywhere in the world, as long as this can be shipped to their location. With online shopping, buying the products from another state or another country is not a problem.
8. Influence Purchases
An online store with attractive product images, descriptions and good reviews will induce customers to buy. People are researching online before they buy, having a presence online gives you more opportunities to be found by customers and influence their purchase decision.
Moreover, with the use of social media and online ads to showcase your products in front of your customers, you will influence their purchase even though they never think that they need your products, until you pitch to them.
9. Better Customer Insights
Customers’ behaviours are tracked online via cookies. Data received from cookies can help your business better understand your customers’ needs and expectations. Getting insights from your customers is advantageous. Knowing what your customer needs and expectations make you innovate your products to meet customers demand, improve customer service to increase customer satisfaction, ect.
One important aspect of using customer data is personalisation. By knowing your customers, you can send the message to the right people, at the right time, in the right place. For example, people who abandon their shopping cart will receive a reminder email to remind them to finish their purchase.
10. Marketing Through Social Media & Search Engines
65% of shopping journeys start with online and the two biggest research sites are social media and search engines. Marketing through social media and search engines allow you reach the potential customers at the right time when they are interested to purchase the products you offer.
There are billions of users on social media and million search queries on search engines everyday. Marketing through social media and search engines can help you reach more potential customers and increase sales quickly.
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