Buying on eCommerce stores is becoming a norm nowadays. It has been predicted that 80% of internet users in the country will purchase via any digital channel in the coming year’.
As an individual, a budding entrepreneur, retailer or a business, a website optimized for ecommerce is an ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE. But beyond being a requirement it comes with a variety of valuable benefits.
Gone are the days when it is compulsory to buy goods or pay for services rendered in person. Thanks to ecommerce stores, this traditional method trading has been revolutionized. The task of shopping is now easier, more fun to do and business hour time is not a limiting factor with customers having the freedom to shop outside the business hours. All these are made possible by the availability of the various online eCommerce stores. The convenience which eCommerce stores offers has conversely made consumers lazier. Why make the long journey to a retail outlet when you can access it from a mobile?
Quickly, let’s delve into the 10 benefits of having an ecommerce store
COST EFFECTIVE & AFFORDABLE
Running an ecommerce store is highly cost effective as you avoid costs that would affect your real world counterparts. Some of these avoided expenses include
Staff: An ecommerce store doesn’t require the hands-on attention required by an entire team of employees. Processes such as inventory management, billing and operational costs can be fully automated.
Physical Store Bills: With an ecommerce store, you will be saving money for physical store expenses like rent, storage shelves, electricity and other running costs. The only amount required for an ecommerce store is for the design and development as well as occasional maintenance.
Advertising: Ideally, having an ecommerce store does not exempt you from this, but it makes the process easier and measurable and the pricing is more affordable. You also overcome the location constraint usually encountered when advertising. It means that you will reach more people and have a higher chance of these people becoming customers on your ecommerce store.
Travel costs: your customers no longer have to spend money travelling to your physical store to make purchase. This is a factor that will benefit your business as the advantage of saving by your customer will conversely increase the likelihood of making sales. Customers not within your location can have their goods transferred to them through courier.
NO GEOGRAPHICAL AND TIME BOUNDARIES
Visitors and customers have access to your ecommerce store all the time from any location in the world and they will be able pay for products and services at their own convenience. At whatever time they choose, either at 10am or 4pm or at 1am. Ecommerce stores give the advantage of being able to purchase anything at any time with ease. Ecommerce not only remove geographical and time boundaries, it also offer the benefits of being able to purchase practically anything at any time, 24/7 with ease.
BETTER EQUIPPED TO TRACK CUSTOMERS BEHAVIOR:
Having an ecommerce store gives you the chance to keep track of your customers’ buying habits and also monitor their purchasing behaviours. With this, you can be able to adopt new plans and approaches to engage and constantly deliver what your customers want. An ecommerce store store will give you access to data that can help you to determine customers’ buying pattern and the product they will likely purchase.
EASIER TO ENGAGE:
When running a physical store the number of customers you can attend to at the same time and the amount of information you can convey is limited. But with an ecommerce store, you can engage with several customers easily at a go and deliver customized messages that will motivate them to make purchases. An ecommerce store makes it easier to engage with your target customers.
GAIN NEW CUSTOMERS THROUGH SEARCH ENGINES:
Search engines are becoming a part of our daily tools and you can take advantage of this to meet huge number of people searching for your product or services. You do this when your ecommerce store is positioned on the first page of search engines through a well-planned SEO strategy. A strategic SEO can lead to an influx of people to your ecommerce store which a physical store simply cannot be able to do because people are constrained by physical location. Increase in traffic to your ecommerce store can increase significantly your potential paying customer.
GET CUSTOMERS TO SELL YOUR OWN PRODUCTS:
Today’s customers have become savvy when it comes to taking decisions to make purchases online. One of the things they look out for are ratings and reviews by other who had earlier used the product or service. This trend is on the rise and it is not going down any time soon. Encourage customers who made purchases on your store to leave a positive review about your product or service and visitors to your ecommerce store will be encourage to make purchases based on the positive reviews of other. This can be your greatest means to turn these visitors to paying customers.
Just like a real physical store, having a well-designed (structural and functional) ecommerce store that delivers the right information to customers is perhaps one of the first steps to engage with your audience. An attractive and inviting ecommerce store will make visitors stay longer and explore the website the more. That extra second spend will increase their chances of making a purchase leading to improved revenue.
EASIER TO LOCATE:
Locating the address of an ecommerce store is much easier than locating the address of a physical store. A visitor only needs the URL to locate an ecommerce store unlike a physical store that can be buried in an obscure part of a street and customers may find it difficult to locate. Even with a detailed map as a guide, locating a physical store can sometimes be demanding for visitors. There is no doubt that locating a physical store is much more difficult that an ecommerce store.
EASIER TO FIND PRODUCTS:
No longer do to customer need to search through a physical store to get a product. With the search option available on every ecommerce store, a visitor will only have to input the product in the search form and press ‘search’. Immediately, they have their product with the options to customize their search criteria and access to other related products. With an ecommerce store, information is easily available and visible to visitors and customers at a glance.
E-COMMERCE IS ECO-FRIENDLY:
This is an advantage on a broad scale. It not only affect you and your customers alone but the whole society at large. E-commerce aids the environment in a number of key ways
- Reduced paper usage – By consuming less paper required for day-to-day physical store records, you are saving trees and preserving the habitats of valued species.
- Less vehicular traffic – Since you are saving customers the trouble of travelling on the road to your physical store, you are subsequently aiding the environment by minimizing traffic and air pollution.
- Optimum use of energy and resources – Also since you are not using a physical store location, you will be helping to conserve valuable energy and resources like water, electricity and land. You may have an office space but the rate of consumption will not likely be like those of a physical space.
It should be noted, however, that having an ecommerce store alone is not enough to ensure more sales; rather strategically deploying and supporting it with other digital media channels that communicate the unique selling point will increase the chances of higher conversion rates and ultimate success.
Having a physical store also has its pros and cons but if your target markets are also on the internet, then you should use that to your advantage by having an ecommerce store store as well. However, if your target customers are not digitally savvy, then a physical store will be well suited for your purpose.