Did you know that online shopping took its first steps in the late ’70s? Starting with inventor Michael Aldrich’s VideoTex that paved the way for the first instances of online retail, the rise of eCommerce giants like Amazon and eBay would follow a decade later, breaking down shopping limitations across the world. Furthermore, it would rake in profits spanning billions of dollars – and more.
According to eMarketer.com, global eCommerce is expected to “approach $5 trillion” by 2021, despite a perceived “consumer spending slowdown”. As a retail business owner, this is enough reason for you to have an eCommerce presence – whether you are a small, medium, or big-league player. Take a look at these 3 advantages of having an eCommerce website.
- Beating the “retail apocalypse”
The dominance of brick-and-mortar stores is shrinking. With escalating rent in prime position shopping malls and poor store performance leading to closures, the “retail apocalypse” – a phrase describing the shutdown of several North American stores in the last decade – is all too real.
On South African soil, retailers have felt the pinch too, most recently when the announcement was made that Massmart (owner of Makro, Game, and Builders Warehouse) could be closing over 30 stores in South Africa, due to “tough trading conditions”.
Unfortunately for the brick and mortar stores, a lot more are due to close soon, especially with the global pandemic of the Coronavirus which has tanked the market.
Now, more than ever, having an eCommerce website means that you can bypass high store maintenance costs and in-store performance issues with a solid online presence and marketing strategy.
In a nutshell: you can beat the retail apocalypse.
- No 9 to 5 shopping hour constraints
Have you ever headed to your favorite retailer after work, only to end up in front of closed doors? Having an eCommerce website means your customers never have to wait until tomorrow to do their shopping. They can do it from the comfort of their home, on-the-go while grabbing lunch and, if your website is properly optimized, from any desktop or mobile device.
The beauty of this convenience is that you can still provide excellent customer service with personalized communication, such as signup and welcome emails, and still give your customers that feeling of connection between buyer and seller.
- Selling to a global audience
Global means it’s as big as the globe… think about that! Having an eCommerce website that enables global shipping means that your retail efforts aren’t limited to one region, province, or city. People across the world can now interact with your products, and if you have made every online marketing effort to create awareness in the digital space, you will without a doubt, reap the rewards, and income.
Marketing to a global audience will allow you to reach a broader target market while potentially helping you build global relationships. Somewhere in the world, there may not be a market for what you sell, so this is your chance to make your small brand grow globally.
In everything you do, be diligent. Learn about different international rules, if applicable. Be on top of your game; have a business plan. Work honestly and improve your company’s reputation. Beat your competitors with the great product you offer and also great customer service. Having an eCommerce website can be very challenging as with most things in life, but also very rewarding. Choose your game wisely as to not overwhelm yourself.