The end of brick & mortar stores; Why should your business be selling online?
Before the internet became widely adopted, brick & mortar stores dominated the shopping scene. People used to flock to physical stores for their shopping as opposed to making a few clicks from their couch. While brick & mortar stores are still successful, they have been overshadowed by tech giants who are offering streamlined services via the internet. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a further strain on physical shops across the globe, it is becoming more apparent that e-commerce stores are not only the future, but also the present. This has become increasingly noticeable as we witness the slow demise of former retail powerhouses such as Myer and David Jones, while also watching the breakout of businesses such as Amazon and AliBaba. This article will detail 5reasons why your business should be selling online.
Expediate unnecessary costs
Perhaps the biggest advantage to e-commerce stores is the lack of costs that they incur. They have no need to rent a physical building, or hire retail employees to work during store hours. There is even an option to avoid warehouse costs all together, as drop shipping proves to become a more viable business option. As a result of this, it is possible to start an e-commerce store with little to no capital. One of the only costs is undertaking the crucial task of purchasing a domain name for the business.
Availability at all hours
One of the biggest cons of a physical store stems from the fact that customers can only browse when the shop is actually open. Conversely, online stores can be accessed at any time from any location, meaning that it is incredibly convenient for consumers. They can make a purchase whenever they please.
Additionally, due to advancements in technology, online stores can often offer live help at any time. Chatbots are becoming more and more developed, and are now capable of understanding and responding to semi-complex human enquiries. These bots therefore offer a form of customer service without incurring a cost.
Due to the nature of physical stores, there is no form of personalisation for the shopper. While customer service representatives can be helpful, they do not know the individual on a personal level, and can therefore have a hard time making a helpful recommendation.
While this may be a major disadvantage of brick & mortar stores, online shops do not share the same issue – Nowadays, many websites do have the ability to collect and analyse browsing data in order to personalise the online experience. E-commerce stores as Amazon employ complex algorithms in order to show personalised items based on factors such as location, search history, and past purchases.
While it may be a security concern for some, the evidence suggests that personalisation is crucial in retaining consumers. Nearly 60% of people state that they would return to a site that recommended products that were of interest to them. Additionally, 53% of people believe that retailers who personalise their service provide a more valuable experience than those who don’t.
No limitations on customer reach
Realistically, most brick & mortar stores can only offer their products to shoppers who live within a reasonable distance of the store. As a result of this, physical stores have a substantially limited target market unless they decide to expand into other geographical locations.
Fortunately, e-commerce stores do not have to deal with this issue. Due to the global reach that the internet provides us, online stores can target whoever they want regardless of geographical location.
Can quickly respond to market demand & consumer trends
Responding to changing market demands & consumer trends is a relatively slow process for brick & mortar stores. Physical stores lack flexibility and cannot effectively advertise an item until they physically stock it.
On the other hand, e-commerce stores can rapidly respond to changing demands. For example, if a consumer wants an item that is out of stock, they can simply click a ‘notify me’ button. This not only ensures that they are in the loop, but also lets the business know that there is a potential buyer waiting.
Online stores can also effectively advertise a product that they don’t yet have. A fantastic example of this would be the numerous e-commerce stores taking advantage of the strong demand for the PS5; Before the console was released, these retailers were sending out advertisements to their client base, informing them that there was an option for pre-order. These clever advertising methods were a big reason why the PS5 was completely sold out across Australia within a month of its release.
Finding the right domain is a key first step
While there are a multitude of factors contributing to the success of an e-business, owning a relevant domain is something that should not be overlooked. A strong domain can often be the deciding factor in whether an online business is successful or not. At Domain Pilot, we extensively undertake a range of research in order to conclusively figure out which domain would be most effective for your business. Additionally, we also assist businesses in the process of registering and buying the domain in question, making it easier for aspiring business owners.