With the advancement of technology, many retail businesses have found success online regardless of if they were start-ups or SMEs. Indeed, the temptation to go online can be real—but it may seem risky and daunting especially for those who have no idea how to get started. In recent years, many businesses have shifted online in hopes of surviving through these trying times, with some truly realising their online potential throughout this process. If you’ve ever been inspired by these success stories or thought about bringing your retail business online, then this article is made specially just for you.
From reducing costs to ease of scaling up, selling online brings in many benefits for retail businesses. Now, let’s look through the 8 main reasons why you need to get your retail business to sell online today.
1. Online Presence
Branding. Branding. Branding. Having an online store greatly helps in establishing your business’s brand awareness and reputation. For small businesses, a strong online presence allows you to easily compete with other giants in your market especially when you provide exclusive online value-added services such as great reviews and SEO-friendly product descriptions. Customers will be more likely to choose you over your competitors and become your loyal customers in the long run.
2. Increased Revenue
One of the main reasons why many businesses want to sell online is to increased revenue—and this sentiment is true for a variety of reasons. When your business goes online, the world becomes your oyster as your store is no longer limited to certain geographical areas as compared to a physical storefront. Your business can easily reach out to new customers, and potentially provide value-added services which may contribute to improving your business’s reputation. At the end of the day, sales will be rolling in as you watch your profits grow.
3. Low Operational Costs
When you move your business online, it generally means that you lower your fixed and operational costs. For instance, you can save on rent and utilities in maintaining a physical store. In addition, you can reduce the number of employees as online stores can be automated which helps you save on wages. Now, if you’ve ever had a headache over how to attract customers to your physical store, being online or on an e-Commerce platform saves you the hassle as you’re granted access to tons of affordable yet effective tools for digital marketing—which can be much more cost-effective compared to traditional advertising methods.
4. Wider customer base
One good thing about online retail, or e-Commerce is that businesses can gain and reach out to new customers easily—thanks to search engine visibility. Your business will no longer be restricted in a single location or sales channel as being online allows customers to reach you from anywhere and anytime. Whether you’ve started on a social media campaign or simply created an online store on popular shopping platforms, there’s bound to be customers who end up stumbling and browsing through your online store clicking on that checkout button.
5. Open always
Having an e-Commerce store up means that it is always open at 365/24/7. This means that you won’t miss out on the chance of making sales when you sleep, or needing to be present at the store to ensure everything runs smoothly. By implementing effective digital marketing campaigns and employing the right e-Commerce staff (or setting up automated replies for FAQs), your products can easily speak for themselves as customers browse through your online store. This would be extremely convenient for customers as they can shop from anywhere and anytime without having to worry about your business’s operating hours.
6. Easier to scale up
Thinking of expanding your business? The traditional way of doing it would mean opening up new stores in new locations—but it costs a lot of resources and time. In comparison, online businesses are much easier to scale up compared to physical stores for a variety of reasons. Unlike physical storefronts, you won’t have to search high and low for a strategic location for new storefronts, in addition to costly rental and utilities if it is in a good location. All you’ll really need is just more storage space (which is much more affordable, and you can consider pay per use warehouses) and a few more employees to cater to the growing demand of your business online.
7. Customer data
Whenever a customer purchases online, they are required to fill out their basic information such as name, age, phone number, email and address to proceed with their orders. While these data may seem basic, it allows you to capture more value from customers in return. For instance, you can send out monthly newsletters to your customers via email with products that are usually preferred by their age group or geographical region. You can also easily inform your customers through text messages regarding any upcoming sales or promotional activities. Of course, remember to acquire your customer’s consent (by stating the T&Cs when they sign up on your website) before sending out newsletters and messages.
8. Customer Buying Analytics
Have you ever found it difficult in tracking what items are popular among your customers? In traditional retail, you often need to invest in an elaborate inventory management system or do it the manual way (as in, physically keeping count) which can incur a lot of time and money. By selling online, you’ll have more insights to customer details such as their favourite shopping items and also where your customers are buying from. This will grant your business a great advantage as you can now easily cater to your audiences with such information in hand. Aside from statistics provided by your e-Commerce platform or online website, Google Analytics also helps in providing valuable consumer buying habits which can be beneficial for your business.
The New Retail Age
Remember, traditional retail isn’t dying, but it’s transforming. While physical storefronts may seem to be expensive to maintain, there are still benefits of having them. For example, it is definitely a bonus point when customers are able to visit your physical stores to examine or pick up their products; while an online store can help further establish your online presence and provide flexibility. Today, with Multichannel Fulfillment Solution option, you may engaged ecommerce fulfillment provider for pick and pack, and last mile delivery too. With so many advantages and efficiencies that lie ahead, what are you waiting for?
Interested in transforming your retail business online?
With over 20 years of experience in e-Commerce, let us at JustSimple Digital help you achieve your online dreams. We provide a range of e-Commerce services ranging from web design to digital marketing campaigns—all customisable to meet your business needs. Get a free website quotation today, set a free consultation with our E-commerce Expert, let us help you get started!