Four Reasons Why a Business Needs Online Shopping to Succeed
As many entrepreneurs know, one of the most important things for businesses is keeping up to date and staying on the cutting edge of business technology. For retail business owners, that means adapting to new digital payment methods like Apple Pay or Interact Tap, and adopting new advertising methods by expanding ads to social media. But arguably the most important modern business practice a retailer should adopt is expanding into the world of online shopping. There are so many benefits to online shopping, and without an online store businesses miss out on potential customers–and profits. If you aren’t already sold on the idea, here’s a list of four reasons why your retail business needs online shopping features!
1. Reach Customers Far and Wide
One of the best things about online shopping is the huge number of people you can reach with just a click. If you only have a brick-and-mortar business there’s an entire network of potential customers you could be missing out on. For example, say you own a natural soap business in Calgary, and a buyer from Montreal comes across your products while browsing online. As badly as that customer might want to try your products, they probably won’t make a pilgrimage across the country. But if your business has online shopping, customers from Regina to Rio can access your products quickly and easily.
In addition, it’s arguably easier to get the attention of customers via the internet than it is by other means. Google Shopping is a great feature that allows business owners to advertise their products easily. It displays the products on customer google searches, just a click away from potential buyers. What’s more, it uses Google’s algorithms to seek out potential customers based on their interests. So you can cater to a personalized audience of shoppers across the globe without having to leave your office!
2. Shopping Any Time
Another advantage of having an online store is that you can generate revenue outside of business hours. Even if you have a bustling storefront all day, you can only keep a shop open for so many hours. Whether you close at 5pm or 9pm, or even if you’re open seven days a week, the doors have to close at some point. There’s always a possibility of losing customers because your store is closed when they try to stop by. But with a 24/7 online store, customers can shop ‘til they drop no matter the time (or time zone).
Customers can browse your inventory from the comfort of their own home. It works better for a busy schedule and allows time to decide what products are right for them. And even if an online customer doesn’t purchase right away, they can look at your inventory online before visiting the store in person. Giving customers 24/7 access to your services will also give your business a larger window where it can meet sales goals.
3. Increase Profits
Giving your customers an online shopping option will not only be convenient for them, but it will also be profitable for you as the business owner. It goes without saying that increased numbers of customers mean an increased profit margin for the business. And it will also lead to a higher demand for products and services. After an online store takes off, the key to maintaining the increased profits is keeping up with the demand and making sure you don’t run out of product stock. And this goes for the brick-and-mortar store as well: don’t short stock one to give to the other.
It’s also important to have good customer service associated with the online store. Customer will share their good experiences, and positive feedback from customers will help increase the store’s reputation. Another great way a business can increase profits is using online-only store promotions to help reel in a larger market. Entrepreneurs will find that an online store will not only increase profits but make them absolutely skyrocket.
4. Simple and Cost-Effective
Finally, arguably the best reason to set up an online store for your business is that it’s super simple and cost-effective. It may seem daunting at first, but when you break it down the list of bare essentials, the process is actually rather simple:
- Display all your store’s products on your website, including pictures, descriptions and prices.
- Update your website to process online payments.
- Account for shipping costs and sales tax for online transactions.
- Arrange for a shipping method to send out your products.
There are plenty of simple programs that can help make your business’s website eCommerce compatible, or you can outsource to a qualified web design company. Creating a new online store or updating your website with eCommerce is inexpensive, easy, and essential for any entrepreneur looking to keep up with modern shoppers. Whatever you spend getting your online store up and running, you’re sure to not only make it back but increase your profits.