E-commerce: 8 Benefits to Merchants
1) Easy expansion - One “Online Shop” Serves All
Typical brick & mortar stores are limited by the geographical area they serve. If you want to expand your business, opening new store is the only viable way. It is costly considering the rental, renovation, headcount and more!!
With an e-commerce storefront, there is no boundary! You can serve and acquire virtually any customers from all corners from the country, or even over the world.
2) Extra Channel to Reach Out to the Customers
Does PURE Play of online business really work? Not always, as it really depends on what you are trying to sell. The harsh reality is, you need a lot of marketing dollars just to penetrate through the trust barriers of the potential customers, let alone letting people know you are there out of millions of website around the world.
However, online store is a perfect complement for a Brick & Mortar stores. By combining offline and online store, merchants can work out a multi-channel strategy which will impact their bottom line. Online store is a 24/7 channel that never sleeps. It lets you reach out to your current or potential customer, or vice versa all the time. It helps you to expand your business into younger user group. The basic idea is to get them to reach you to BUY via multiple ways, from phone, fax and drop-in or even order online!! You are definitely going to SELL MORE!
So, how do you get started from here? As long as you been in business for quite some time, any brick & mortar retailers will have a pool of loyal customers. It's 80/20 rules (we might generalize stuff a bit) – 20% of your customers represent 80% of your revenue. You can start with the 20% with your online efforts, by offering them the latest product news, exclusive promotions etc to get the momentum going.
3) Affordable Means of Expansion
A physical store will cost you a bomb considering the rental, renovation, utilities, labours and a lot more! Not to mention the risk you endure if the response, location, crowd & traffic etc is not what you expect. Let the figure tell the stories!
On contrary, a well setup online store is not capital intensive and will typically cost you 20% of total cost or less for your brick and mortar store.
4) Cost-effective Way to Market Your Company & Products
So you have new stocks and products pouring in frequently, and you are finding a hard time just to update your brochures!
The life span of printed brochures are short. By the time your valued customers receive these brochures, the information is probably out-of-date or your have run out of stock.
What's better, faster, and cheaper way to reach out to customers than a frequently updated e-commerce website coupled with email marketing? It cost you almost next to nothing. With advanced Customer Relationship Management tools built in our webShaper e-commerce software, you can even do specific targeted marketing e.g. sending out promotion to people who had bought PRODUCT A online.
Furthermore, you can add even more personal touch by using the SMS module* to send all your speical promotions, events news or ordering status straight to your customers' mobiles!! The SMS message can show your company name (up to 11 characters) and thus enhancing your brand awareness and value.
* SMS Module is not part of the standard module provided with webShaper e-commerce software.
5) Cut Down “IDLE” or Unproductive Time for Staffs
When is the busiest moment (peak hour) for a brick & mortar retailer? To majority of you, it's certainly the weekends. During off peak hours – mostly weekdays, your employees will have its “IDLE” time which can be termed as unproductive. If you setup an online store, they can be trained to operate it, where they can gain invaluable e-commerce skills and knowledge. Imagine it not just help boost your bottom line, it also adds more value and fun to their work too.
6) Stock Clearance
Old stocks are every retailer's nightmare. Let's face it, consumers taste nowadays is changing too fast to be predictable. You might have some merchandise which is wildly popular elsewhere but it just can't sell. So, clearing these old stocks can be a matter of profit or loss.
With an online storefront, you can easily publish it out in newsletter to reach all your existing or potential customers. Value of goods vary and is largely determined by their geographical area. You wouldn't know someone else from the other part of the world might just be interested in what you sell and pay a premium for it!
7) Most complete product catalogue
you could ever have
Every retailer will have a list of products to sell. Be it your products' brochures, newspaper advertisement, or even your physical store, you can only showcase limited products due to limited space. With an e-commerce or e- catalogue website, there is virtually no limit. You can store a complete list of your products, even those not currently in stock inside the database.
8) Empower the Customers
Consumers are increasingly searching for information on the Internet prior to making a
purchase. Make your e-commerce website available to them. Your clients can easily
navigate and search through all the product listing, do some research on the
net, find out more about the product you are offering, and by the time they
reach you (via whatever means or channel), they probably prepare enough
cash in hand just to take away the goods already.
By empowering the
customers, the whole buying process has just be shorten! Furthermore,
providing valuable information about your business like contact information,
store hours, products information, policy, FAQs all add to creating a positive
customer experience which are very hard to be duplicated by your competitors.
|Do you know? A new study shows that most people who use Web searches to look for products end up purchasing them offline. It shows that 25 percent of Web searchers purchased an item directly related to their query. Within that group, 37 percent completed the purchase online, and 63 percent bought the item offline. The study was sponsored by Google and conducted by ComScore Networks.
Neowave e-commerce team
Neowave is a software company focusing on developing the best tools to help merchants to sell more. Any comments on this article? We would like to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org