If you run a small retail business but you haven’t yet created an online shop – or ecommerce site – you might be wondering whether to take the plunge.
No matter what you’re selling, you have probably noticed that many retail businesses around you now offer customers the option to buy online and if you don’t join them, you could be selling yourself short. And that means missing out on customers, sales and importantly, profits.
There are many benefits to creating an ecommerce site, so if you’re still unsure as to whether you should have one, please read on.
Moving with the times
It’s an unavoidable fact that people now expect to be able to do more and more from the palms of their hands and the comfort of their sofas – and that includes shopping. If you’re not offering your products for sale online, then you’re not keeping up with the demands of the modern consumer and you could lose out as a result. We’ve recently seen the demise of many large high street chains, not to mention small retailers, who have failed to make the most of their online presence. To survive as a retail business in today’s ever-changing market, you have to adapt – and that means making yourself accessible to your customers.
Reach more customers
If you already have a website, but don’t have an online shop function, you can easily increase your customer reach by using a large ecommerce platform, such as WooCommerce or Open Cart. If you don’t have a website at all, and you want to go digital, then happy days; the possibilities for new customers are almost endless. With only a bricks and mortar offering, you’re pretty much relying on people walking past your shop or seeing your adverts. Once you’re online, you can implement a digital marketing campaign, get some pay per click advertising, work on your SEO and see the results come in. Don’t worry if these are not terms you’re familiar with, we can help you every step of the way.
Open all hours
Having an ecommerce site also means you can be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even when you’re on holiday. This means you’re not restricting your busy customers to a Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. So when they’re sat on their mobile phones at 9pm and they come across your website, you’re not relying on them to a) even remember that they’ve seen it and b) make arrangements to find and visit your shop during the hours you are open. If you have an ecommerce site, they’ve already acted on their instinct and bought and paid for the goods. Depending on the nature of your business, you can even get goods sent directly from the supplier, which is also great for stock control.
Go national – or even international
Having an ecommerce site could be just the thing to take your business to the next level, which might be selling nationally, or even internationally. Although you might already be able to manually receive and process orders from abroad, you can easily extrapolate this to a whole new level with an ecommerce site.
Get to know your customers better
Many ecommerce platforms come with intuitive statistics and analytics which will give you unique insights into your customers and their shopping habits which will ultimately help you tailor your offering better.
The full marketing strategy
Having an ecommerce site is just one piece of the puzzle – but it’s the main piece. Once you’re selling online, you can be capturing customers’ data, emailing them promotions, sending them content, engaging them in your social media channels, and ultimately, encouraging them back into your sales funnel, and even into your bricks and mortar store.
More customers + more sales = more money
There are many reasons why you should have an ecommerce site as a small retail business, and they will all help you get more customers, more sales and more money. And it’s not even that complicated. There are various design solutions for creating your online store that can get you up and running in no time. We tend to focus on WooCommerce and OpenCart as there’s not much that can’t be achieved with either. If you have a WordPress website, for example, we can easily add the WooCommerce plug-in so you can stop selling yourself short and start selling online straight away.