If you’re a retailer, you need to be selling online. Obvious right? Every retailer knows that. So, why isn’t everyone doing so? Largely it’s due to misconceptions, such as the following:
It’s too cumbersome and time consuming to start an online store.
Not true. There are many eCommerce platforms available that can have you up and running in less time than it takes to stock your shelves. Some even let you use pre-built templates. And with the rate of growth of eCommerce sales (8-12%) compared to retail (2-3%), it is clear that if you’re not on the eCommerce playing field, you’re on the wrong side of the sales trend
It costs too much.
This is a serious misconception. There are numerous free, open source eCommerce platforms from which to choose. While establishing an eCommerce store will cost some money, there are numerous affordable options. You will get what you pay for. If you want a basic eCommerce site, you can have it without investing a lot of money, and a basic site is better than no site. In addition, with most platforms, you can add incrementally to your store’s functionality, so you don’t have to do everything at once.
There’s nothing to be gained from selling online.
Are you sure? What about the following?
- Increasing awareness of your service/product.
When you’re online, you have the ability to exploit things like sponsored ads or SEO to make more consumers aware that you’re out there.
- Increasing awareness of your individual brand.
Establishing your brand is what differentiates you from competitors in your market. With a strong online presence and eCommerce capability, you are building a bond with your customers. If you provide them with a great online shopping experience, they are likely to buy from you again.
- Expanding the size of your market.
There are no geographical boundaries on the internet. The days of taking orders from out-of-state, for example, by phone are long gone. If you’re going to market yourself to the most people, you have to do it online. And, if you think fulfillment will be an obstacle too big to overcome, think again.
- Having a platform from which you can provide detailed product descriptions and information to anyone who wants it.
Remember, today’s consumer often begins his or her shopping experience by researching online. (At last report, 81% of shoppers reported doing this.) To those shoppers, if you have no online presence, you simply don’t exist. A website isn’t enough. You need to be able to convert product searches into sales, and the only way to do that is to offer online purchasing.
- Knowing your customers and their shopping preferences.
Since the big players are using sophisticated analytics to try to take customers away from you, it’s nice to know that you can counteract them by doing your own customer intelligence. For example, when you can see what the customer is buying or has bought, it’s easy to target ads, promotions, and campaigns for that customer. Not only does this help you increase sales from that customer, it establishes a bond between the buyer and seller. It makes buying from you a personal experience. And that means repeat business and even referrals. Today’s eCommerce platforms offer sophisticated analytics to help you accomplish this.
The Missing Link
Assuming you’re now convinced that all of the above is true, there’s still one issue to be solved: how in the world do you know which eCommerce platform best fits your needs? For that, you’d be well-advised to seek the services of a solutions partner. Your partner can explain the pluses and minuses of the various eCommerce software offerings and can guide you to the one that will best fit your present situation as well as your vision for the future.
At Adeo Web, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to our clients’ needs. We work with you to develop an eCommerce strategy and to see that strategy through to execution. Our design team will even work with you to design and build your storefront. This keeps your project in a closed loop and eliminates the need to work with multiple vendors. The result is a truly integrated solution that is not sidetracked by conflicting priorities.
This is why Adeo Web is the experienced, expert and trusted partner your business needs. But don’t take our word for it. Contact us today and see for yourself.