Over the past decade, consumers constantly change the way they want to shop and merchants are trying to keep up. Shoppers fluidly search, compare, and buy from online sites, marketplaces, mobile apps, physical stores, and social sites. As innovative technology aids their journey, consumers are looking for remarkable experiences across these digital and physical touchpoints with brands.
1. Fast Go-to-Market Time
Unlike traditional retail, your eCommerce store can be up and running in just a few clicks (if you’re looking for a basic store.) You can get off the ground quickly with eCommerce solutions, especially if you’ve already created word of mouth or a social following to tap into. You can quickly get a site up and running and then drive traffic to your new site.
2. Low Cost
When you’re first starting out, eCommerce allows you to avoid many of the large, upfront investments that traditional retail can incur – like a physical storefront, inventory, or payroll. With an online store, you can sequentially build out your business as your sales grow.
3. Shoppers Start Online
The use of digital channels keeps increasing. 87% of shoppers begin product searches on digital channels, up from 71% last year. Even if they end up buying from a physical store, shoppers are more likely to start their search online, especially on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
Shoppers research online for a variety of reasons to compare prices, compare brands, search customer reviews, check inventory levels, and more. The only way to ensure potential shoppers find your products is to have an online presence. Even if it’s just to check store hours or locations, it’s important that customers find the information they’re looking for. You always want to be where your first customers are shopping, and evidence points to online.
4. Customer Data Insights
One advantage of online selling you might not have thought of is how easy it makes it to collect, measure, and act on customer data. If you want to be hyper-focused on the customer experience, then you need to own your consumer data. Online selling lets you collect first-hand data by tracking customer interactions. You’ll have a constant feedback loop of actionable insights to continue to innovate your customer experience.
5. Reach New Customers
As mentioned above, eCommerce selling can take on many different formats. Each channel has its own unique audience that sellers can reach. An online site can help you reach international shoppers. Social sites can reach new demographics. Marketplaces like Amazon provide the widest audience, but can also help you find niche markets.
Unlike brick and mortar, online channels aren’t limited to who can physically visit your store. Whether you’re just starting out or an existing seller, you can reach someone online that you couldn’t before.
6. Content Marketing Strategy
An online presence allows you to provide more information about your products and services to your customers. A branded site especially gives sellers a place to provide key content to customers.
Key product content includes in-depth product descriptions, product comparisons, in-store inventory availability, and pricing. This information helps a customer make their purchasing decision both in-store or online.
8. Meet Customers Where They Want to Buy
Shoppers don’t just research products online. They also complete purchases online too. eCommerce makes even it easier for shoppers to hit that buy button, no matter where they are. Shoppers can complete purchases from Instagram Ads, mobile apps in-store, and more. eCommerce allows sellers to remove friction points and make it as convenient for buyers to purchase the products they want.