Imagine if you could fly customers in for free from anywhere in the world to buy from your business. Your customer base would grow beyond every expectation and your sales would skyrocket. Well, with an ecommerce website, selling online is not the ‘next best thing’, it’s an extraordinary opportunity.
Any business selling products or services can set up an online store. Whether you sell tangible goods or intangible products such as life insurance, tarot readings or personal style advice, you can start selling online. Here are some reasons why.
Expand your customer base worldwide
Your online store can be open for business to an audience far wider than your local area. Depending on what you sell and how far afield you are willing to ship it, you can limit or cultivate your customer base accordingly.
There is no such thing as being closed to window shoppers and browsers. Your potential customers can view your products and all the information about them whenever it suits them; in the middle of the night, during their lunch hour, sitting on the bus in peak hour or on a lazy public holiday afternoon. Your website will provide customer service, close the sale and bank the money for you!
Give your customers what they may already be getting elsewhere
Consumer confidence in purchasing online has reached an all time high and continues to grow at a rate of knots. Many customers prefer the non-invasive sales pitch that comes with online purchasing. They also report enjoying the freedom to buy without having to endure traffic jams, parking hassles, indifferent shop assistants, aching feet and wasted time. If your products or services are already being sold online, then you are likely being left behind.
Capture more useful marketing information
When you sell online, your customers provide you with priceless information about their consumption habits, preferences and demographics. All this data can be used to market more efficiently and cost-effectively. It provides you with an invaluable opportunity to up-sell, companion-sell and encourage repeat purchases.
Reduce your spend on real world real estate
By increasing your incoming revenue with an online store, you can afford to reduce your spend on real world real estate and its associated rentals, fittings, utilities and signage costs. It’s true for many businesses that the more successful the online store, the more likely it will be that the number and size of physical stores will be scaled down.
As more and more consumers rebel against poor customer service, inflated prices and inconvenience in the offline world, businesses that previously resisted selling online are now seeing it as the way forward. Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman stores is one of the most famous examples of a traditional merchant realising he was missing out on a massive chunk of the retail pie. Online versus offline has not yet reached a critical tipping point but with ecommerce sites and payment gateways becoming easier to establish than ever before, there’s no reason to delay your entry to this powerful medium any further.