If you are still relying on selling your services and products through a brick-and-mortar store, you may be missing out on a big opportunity. According to recent surveys, up to 97% of consumers look online first for products and services before buying locally today. Setting up payment processing and an online storefront can come with many benefits, including a larger new customer base, no geographical limitations, and a competitive edge. Here’s why you should consider setting up an e-commerce business.
Keep Your Business Competitive
While some people will always shop in-store, online shopping continues to grow in popularity. About 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen Xers are more likely to make purchases online than in-store. You shouldn’t just be concerned with online shopping, either. Most people will at least start their search for local services or products online. If your business isn’t there, many consumers won’t know you even exist and you are handing business to your competitors.
E-commerce businesses tend to have lower operational costs than brick-and-mortar stores. This is a tangible benefit that can allow you to pass on lower costs to your customers to get a greater edge over the competition. Business costs can be reduced in many ways. The most obvious is the lack of real estate and high overhead costs. The automation of billing, checkout, payments, and inventory management can also reduce the number of employees you need. Even marketing and advertising an e-commerce business can be more affordable than marketing for a brick-and-mortar shop.
Provide More Information
Customers today want to be informed about what they are buying, comparison shop, and read reviews. An e-commerce business can deliver all of this with ease. There are no limits on how much information you can provide on your products and services whereas providing information on a physical display can be challenging. Making this information easily available can lead to more conversions and higher profit.
Move Past Geographical Limits
By opening an e-commerce store, you are no longer limited to selling to customers in your area. You can essentially go global and even tap into niche markets in your industry that wouldn’t be profitable in your highly local area. Even if your business is service-based, you may expand with an e-commerce storefront that allows customers to purchase specialty accessories or products related to your service.
Other Benefits to Consider
There are almost too many perks of running an e-commerce business to list, including many benefits that are industry-specific. Here are additional benefits that may be worth considering if you’re thinking about opening an online storefront.
- Convenient and easy for customers to find and buy your products
- Provide product datasheets to customers
- Track customers’ buying habits
- Enables customers reviews to increase trust and allow previous customers to help sell your products or services
- Storefront is open 24/7
- Expand the market for niche products and services
- Easily scale and grow your business
- Create different traffic streams for customers