Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, same-store sales were steadily decreasing. Nowadays, retailers are directing shoppers to their online platforms, as they are closing down bring-and-mortar stores. Although offline shopping isn’t going anywhere soon, there are multiple advantages of online-only shops for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Although no one wants to contract the new coronavirus while out shopping, safety isn’t the main reason why people are switching to online stores. Convenience is the keyword here, as shopping online saves customers the trip to the store, laden with traffic jams and long lines at the counter.
When an 80-year-old learns how to order online they won’t go back to the local convenience store! That’s why starting an online shopping platform is more lucrative in the long run. As more and more consumers discover the benefits of online shopping, the market is only going to grow.
Startups often lack the funds to buy their own place, so they rent office space. In the retail industry, the cost of leasing space is among the highest operative costs. Running an online business, on the other hand, doesn’t involve paying rent to anyone.
The only expenditure is maintaining the website and providing logistics (warehouse and delivery services) which you can always outsource. Furthermore, an online shopping platform employs far fewer people than a brick-and-mortar store, so the payroll won’t weigh you down.
In traditional stores, managers rely on savvy salespeople to convince shoppers to buy a particular product. Such interaction doesn’t exist online but that doesn’t mean that a website cannot be turned into a powerful sales tool.
Just like in a brick-and-mortar store, visitors are allowed to browse the wares using the “search” option. On an eCommerce platform, customers can configure any product they like. For the apparel industry, this means choosing the color, print design, and the size of a dress, for example.
We’ve already mentioned that convenience is important for shoppers. Traditional stores are often far away from customers, so their geographical location plays a major role in boosting sales. Opting to start an online-only store means that you won’t have to worry about geolocation. The products and brands available from your website can be shipped to any address nationwide.
Door-to-door canvassing and handing out flyers are still relevant marketing methods. After all, brick-and-mortar stores rely on foot traffic to draw in new clientele. However, starting an online shop means that the brunt of your marketing efforts will be focused on online marketing.
In the digital world, online traffic is everything. Hiring an SEO expert to devise a digital marketing strategy helps you generate leads, increase traffic, and ultimately, boost sales. In the beginning, targeting people who are already online should suffice, as they are well-versed in payment methods and delivery policies.
Let us not kid ourselves: the main reason why shoppers return to a particular store or brand is the quality of goods or services they offer. However, if the competitors offer the same value for money, then retailers rely on consumer loyalty to complete sales.
Again, this is easier to achieve online, as visitors are hit with promo deals the moment the homepages loads. From BOGO offers to frequent buyer programs, there are various ways to award loyal customers. When you do this online, there is no cost of promotional stands or printing vouchers.
Setting up shop on the Web comes with numerous advantages. From lower operating costs to easy marketing, there is no real reason to open a brick-and-mortar store in 2021. The end of the pandemic doesn’t mean that shoppers will turn their backs on convenient online shopping.