E-commerce is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world today. In 2013, B2C e-commerce purchases worldwide amounted to more than $1.2 trillion. These figures are easy to understand when listing all the benefits this business model comes with. In this article, we shared some of the most important ways in which e-commerce can boost your sales.
Overcoming Geographical Limitations
Before e-commerce small retail stores could only sell their goods to customers who are residing or passing through their area, and only big retail chains could engage customers from different cities and regions. One of the major benefits of e-commerce business is its ability to connect businesses to customers who reside all over the world. Overcoming geographic limitations can drastically increase the number of sales.
Introducing New Marketing Opportunities
E-Commerce business is much easier to promote. Sales and discounts can be easily marketed on social networks, which are a great channel for maintaining good business-to-customer contact. Google and other search engines can also be turned into a powerful marketing tool. Search engine optimization increases search engine ranking, which brings more customers to the shop. Website administrators can also introduce more elaborate content marketing strategies that would make potential customers visit your website every day drawn by the interesting content you are posting.
Lowering Store Running Costs
Online store requires much less workforce to maintain, which is just one of the ways how e-commerce lowers retailer’s costs. It also doesn’t require premises on top locations, which means no rent and bills. Many successful e-commerce stores started working from the owner’s home before their business started to grow. Of course, we should also add many successful and cheap marketing tools like, SEO, AdWords and social network ads that can lure customers into shops, at much lower prices than TV or billboard marketing campaigns that were mostly used by location-based stores.
It’s Easier for Customers
Customers can locate the product much easier in online stores. If we remember the good old days when we were visiting dozens of different shops in order to find the right product or the most affordable price, we realize how many advantages e-commerce brings to customers. It saves them money and time and gives them a chance to compare products from different online stores with one or two clicks. Online stores also have category listings, search boxes and plenty of different tools that enable customers to find a desired product fast and without any hassle.
Online stores also come with plenty of information about the products and links to manufacturer’s website. Physical stores, on the other hand, have limitations on product information. Since it is very difficult to teach employees to provide enough information about each product in their store, customers often leave location-based retail stores without buying the product, because the store employee wasn’t able to answer all of their questions concerning the product they were interested in.
Customers also prefer e-commerce stores, because they offer many different ways of payment for goods they’ve purchased. Customers who can’t buy goods in regular location-based retail stores with their PayPal or Skrill accounts can use these and many other ways to pay their bills on e-commerce sites. Larger payments can also be done in a much safer environment, by using licensed and compliant payment engines such as Escrow for example.
Remain Open All the Time
Unlike location-based stores, e-commerce websites remains open all the time. Shopping can be done anytime and from anywhere. This is very convenient for customers, especially those who live in a different time zone, and it is also beneficial for store owners, since they are able to receive more orders and earn more money.
Creates Targeted Communication
Many online stores have cookies that can be used as very practical marketing tools. These follow customer’s purchases on and off the website, which enables the store to create special ads and offers for each customer category and display them to targeted groups of customers. For example, if a customer wanted to buy a bicycle, he/she will see lots of store ads that sell bicycle helmets and other cycling equipment.
These are just some of the benefits e-commerce comes with. There are also some disadvantages, but the overall opinion is that e-commerce increased the number of sales and enabled many entrepreneurs to earn millions by implementing this great business model.