Adding online sales to the traditional retail business model should be a no brainer. This blog is for established businesses that are looking to add an eCommerce element to their brand. We’ll walk through the advantages of having an online store as well as some of the challenges. This is going to be a pretty broad overview so we won’t get bogged down with anything too technical.
Why Go Online
It seems like everyday I read new facts about the growth of online shopping and decline of traditional retail. This isn’t going to change, and eCommerce is going to take up more of the market for the foreseeable future. We’ve had numerous clients take advantage of the momentum by adding an online store to their brick and mortar, and they’ve found great success.
You’ve already done the hard part.
Creating a business from scratch is very hard work. Establishing a brand, sourcing products, even making business cards all take time and countless hours of work. Luckily, you’ve done all that hard work already. Now we just need to get your products online.
Adds another revenue stream to your existing business.
This is pretty obvious, but it still needs to be stated. Getting your existing inventory online is only going to create a new channel for you to make revenue.
Having a retail presence increases the trust of your online store…
Trust plays a big part in online sales. People don’t want to be scammed! Stories of fly-by-night online stores just charging cards and disappearing with the cash can be found everywhere. With a physical retail location listed on an eCommerce store, it tells potential customers that you’re the real deal, and what they buy from you is actually going to show up at the door.
Having an online store increases the perception of your retail business.
Customers expect businesses to have an online store these days. With Amazon and other giants out there making it so easy to complete purchases, consumers are spoiled with the options available. Your customers expect you to have a fully functional website that they can browse at their leisure.
You already have customers.
This is a huge advantage. Acquiring new customers is the most expensive part of marketing a business. Retargeting your existing customers is way easier, and cheaper, than starting from scratch.
No longer restricted by the physical limitations of your retail store.
No longer are your sales limited to the hours your brick and mortar location is open. With this increased hours of operation, sales can happen anytime. Also increased is your market size, from your local town to potentially worldwide. Both of these will increase your customer satisfaction, as some want to shop online or don’t have time to visit the store during operating hours.
It’s cheaper than traditional retail.
Starting an online store is very cost effective. Compared to a brick and mortar operation, the barrier of entry is so much cheaper. Running an online store can cost less than $100 a month, compared to $1000+ just for the rent on your store front, not to mention other bills. Digital marketing is also more cost effective than traditional, and you can cross market to your brick and mortar customers.
Some things to watch out for.
Some people would be a bit confused by the technical stuff, but thats why consultants and agencies exist. It’s not all easy though, you still need to fulfill the orders, manage your inventory, market you products and deal with the customers. This is going to add a bit more work to your business. This blog Shawn wrote brings up a lot of things people don’t think about.
Do your own research! This blog barely touched the surface of everything that goes in to adding online sales to your business. You should start writing down what the barriers are to you getting online. Then research how to overcome those barriers. Another tip would be speak to a professional about it. We’re always looking to help out over here at Electric Eye. If you’d like to talk to us, just fill out this form.