Are you getting your piece of the online pie?
ECOMMERCE IS GROWING AN AVERAGE OF 14% YEAR OVER YEAR AND IS NOW A $2 BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY!
Projections from eMarketer are showing rapid worldwide ecommerce growth through 2018. This year is expected to peak at nearly $1.6 trillion and by the end of 2018, almost $2.5 trillion. In the U.S. alone, ecommerce growth is anticipated to be somewhere between 11.6 and 16.5 percent from 2013 to 2018.
CONSUMERS CAN SHOP WHERE, HOW AND WHEN THEY WANT
Retailers should always be looking for ways to grow their business. It only makes sense to add ecommerce as an option to an existing brick and mortar buying experience. Many people like to shop online to avoid traveling time and traffic while enjoying the comfort of their own home. Shopping online also gives them the ability to shop when they want; including times that your store is closed. Ecommerce stores are open. Regardless of an individual’s reasons, more and more people are turning online to get shopping done.
ADVANTAGES TO ECOMMERCE WEBSITES
1. Reach New Customers
Physical retail relies heavily on relationships, excellent customer service, and referrals to generate new customers. Online retailers find new customers everyday from the search engines. Quite often, customers follow a link in search engine results and end up on an ecommerce website that they have never heard of.
2. Deals, Coupons, and Specials
Everybody loves a good bargain. Retail stores have known this for years and offer coupons and specials every chance they get. However, if a shopper has coupons for different products located in different stores, it can be time-consuming to use them all. Ecommerce stores give users the ability to use one coupon for all their products in one checkout process.
3. Niche Products
A large percentage of ecommerce websites are companies who sell niche products. These types of online retailers don’t have to worry about generating their sales using traditional retail stores. Traditional stores are afraid to stock niche products because they are not sure if the local market has the shoppers to support them. A niche ecommerce website can open its market worldwide and reach more potential buyers.
4. Reduced Costs
There are several ways ecommerce websites can reduce costs associated with operating a business. Businesses can reduce personnel needed for check-out, inventory management or billing using e-commerce’s automated processes. They can trim their marketing budgets by moving funds allocated for expensive traditional advertising methods to search marketing programs which are less expensive and easier to track. Lastly, ecommerce saves consumers time and money by allowing them to shop, compare products, and prices without having to drive from store to store.
5. Better Understand Your Customers
It’s difficult for a retail shop to create their ideal customer profile. They can get a rough idea of who their customers are, but their profiles are based on perception rather than actual data. Ecommerce gives you the opportunity to use website analytics to track a visitor’s buying habits. You can gain insights on what brought them to your online store, which coupons and specials appealed to them, or even what social media channel drove the most sales. Armed with this type of information businesses are in a better position to offer what their customers want.