Ecommerce offers retailers a variety of ways to reach consumers and conduct business without the need for an offline store. What not all retailers can sell online today is almost economic suicide. But before entering the world of e-commerce, familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of selling online.
Advantages of e-commerce
Online vendors offer the advantage that online sales are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can increase sales and profits faster than brick and mortar facilities.
Online sales allow retailers to sell their merchandise anywhere in the world at no additional cost. This means that e-retailers can target a highly concentrated segment, such as expanding into global markets or selling burka to Middle Eastern women.
Smaller retailers on Main Street don’t dream of competing with national chain retailers, but Mom and Pop shops can find themselves in higher level arenas with big box competitors.
People can find and interact with brands as they build their online presence, such as leveraging an entirely new (potential) customer base. Most of your online traffic is natural, so if you build your e-shop right, your customers can find me without spending a dime. All you need is a powerful Facebook, Twitter or other social media platform to spread the news. Also, traditional advertising is expensive, but if you engage in digital advertising, it is less.
Disadvantages of selling online
One of the biggest downsides of online sales is the constant fight against security. Shoppers are increasingly frustrated with providing personal and credit card information, but security concerns still prevent many consumers from shopping online.
Retailers selling exclusively online may need to work harder to build trust and relationships with their customers. When selling online, personal interactions are limited and competition is fierce in cyberspace. Store owners can find it very difficult to find repeat customers.
Delivery of goods becomes more difficult as online retailers expand their customer base to include shoppers from other countries. The retailer is responsible for all deliverables and it is the retailer’s responsibility to resolve any issues if the customer does not receive the product immediately.
The Importance of Omni-Channel Retail
Retailers selling online treat animals that are very different from traditional brick and mortar stores. However, it’s focused on Omnichannel Retail, which means retailers selling under multiple “channels”. Today, retailers can have online stores, traditional brick and mortar stores, and even mail order or catalog businesses. No matter how many channels you use, the customer experience should be the same. In addition, the brand must be consistent across all channels.
The bottom line is that some will make you believe that your brick and mortar sleeves are dead, but in truth you can’t get any better. Despite the growth and importance of e-commerce, consumers continue to visit brick and mortar stores frequently, which doesn’t seem to change anytime soon. E-commerce and traditional store retailers will continue to grow until there is a big change in the retail landscape