For many businesses and customers, Covid-19 has been hugely disruptive and caused many negative effects. However there is one notable exception: online shopping.
This isn’t an isolated trend, as e-commerce has been an exponentially growing industry in recent years, and as most businesses were forced to move online, that trend spiked.
Online shopping isn’t something that will go away. In fact, an e-commerce presence is going to be absolutely vital for all retail businesses going forward. Here are a few reasons why.
Brand Visibility and Your Own Space
If the decline in foot traffic with social distancing measures in place has highlighted anything, it’s that the best way to get your brand out there is to be online.
With an e-commerce store, you can take the identity and aesthetic of your brick & mortar building, and put it on a more visible and accessible stage. By having your own website where people can purchase your products from, it creates an easy space for your business to continue.
Depending on your products and business, while you can sell via Amazon or Etsy or any other 3rd party platform like that, you never properly “own” that space. There are extra payment fees and other rules you have to comply with to stay on that platform. But having your own website that is completely owned by you, it gives you much more control over your business.
By having your own e-commerce website, this can be the new home for your business, one that customers can drop-in on and use any time they like, allowing you to expand and grow virtually.
The Convenient Truth
Shoppers want convenience. Many people simply don’t have the time or the inclination to shop in person, especially now.
With an e-commerce website, you’re making it as easy as possible for your customers to not only buy from you, but also for them to browse and see all products offered, and find out about new products that they might have missed out on in-person.
Instead of being pressured in-store to make a decision on a product, a good website means customers can browse at their own leisure, and find exactly what they’re looking for, on their own terms.
An e-commerce website can be used to build an enjoyable and seamless customer experience, making it comfortable for them to return to again and again.
If your online presence is the most important marketing toolkit a business has, then an e-commerce website is the most versatile tool, the one you need to unlock the full potential of your marketing opportunities.
With an e-commerce website, you broaden your email and social media marketing opportunities, improve your conversion rates, and deepen the integration of your marketing efforts.
It also means that going forward you have scalability.
You want your business to grow, and it will, and as that growth happens you want to make sure you can scale your business accordingly – something that can only be done simply and easily if you have a dedicated e-commerce website.
The future of marketing lies in targeting and personalization. In the past, businesses had to rely on reaching as many people as possible, in the broadest way possible. A bus stop ad or radio commercial can only be targeted in certain geographical areas, and not much more than that.
With an e-commerce website, you can gather more data on your customers, and use that data for targeted offers, loyalty programs, personalized promotions and more, to ensure your products are reaching the right people at the right time.
Lowering Your Overall Costs
The cost of having a physical setup can be prohibitive and detrimental for some businesses. Once you add up everything from rent and insurance to labour and advertising, it can easily eat into your profit margins and render any future growth or development a high-risk investment.
With an e-commerce website, the marketing costs are less than a traditional brick & mortar storefront, and both the initial setup and running costs will be significantly cheaper.
Of course the choice is not to be either exclusively a physical store or only online, the two can work in conjunction very well. A feature on a few of our e-commerce websites includes an in-store pickup option, which for local customers means being able to save on delivery costs.
Security And Resiliency
One of the most important recent lessons that any business has had to learn is that you never know what your next crisis might be. With an e-commerce website, you have built-in resiliency and security.
Even if your physical store is closed, or has reduced foot traffic, you’ll still be able to bring in customers and fulfil orders. A website is a way for your business to continue, even when the world has seemingly stopped.
The best e-commerce website is one created by and run by experts. To find out more about how Radar Hill can build just that for you, get in touch with us today.