The brick-and-mortar store has existed for as long as anyone can remember. And rightly so, it is the pinnacle of exchange and trade between people and has stood the test of time. Why should you have an online store?
With the advent of the internet, a surge of new communication passages has arises for people, and as a direct result, so too has the medium for sales begun to evolve. Online commerce, or eCommerce, has established itself to be a convenient and profitable way for businesses to expand their sales from beyond their local communities. While the current data on the subject matter routinely shows growth in this sector, there are a few business owners who still wrestle with the idea of taking a new approach, asking themselves “Why would I start an online store when my current store is doing well?” This may be fine, but we assume it is safe to say that in the world of sales, very few will vehemently resist the opportunity to expand their income by a wide margin.
In having an online store, one is not tethered to the constraints of the corporeal. In simpler terms, the business owner, or their employees, do not have to be present in order for sales to be made. An online store is available at all times of the day, 24/7, for people to access. This creates an automated revenue generating service. While some do prefer the instant gratification of obtaining things in person, one cannot argue that just as many, if not more people, would also be completely content with ordering online and then waiting a few days to receive whichever item it was that they were interested in. The idea of ignoring an easy-to-use, convenient service to generate sales is ludicrous. A traditional store is fine. An online store is great. Combining both mediums to maximize sales is excellent.
It is in this category where the benefits of having an online store really begin to shine. For instance, take pricing and repricing product inventory. To do this in person, one would take a large portion of manhours, possibly entire days depending on the size of the business’ stock. Think about it, one would have to remove all changed items from the shelves, or find them in their inventory storage rooms, and then physically begin to make the changes to them. This includes removing labels, printing and replacing, or stickering, the new labels, creating discount shelf displays, placing them, and then replacing the product, all the while knowing that this process may have to be repeated again if it is a limited-time sale. In an online store, this can be done by simply making a few changes to the website itself, either by yourself or by the marketing firm that manages the website. Thousands of items changed in minutes all by making changes to a single cell of information.
Initially, a business owner may view the monthly subscription fees and sales percentages that sites like Amazon take as an egregious expense. That notion begins to recede when you begin to factor in other costs associated with running a business, namely rent and real estate. Depending on the location of your store, the rent or real estate can be a sizable chunk of your monthly expenditures. An Amazon professional seller account costs $40 a month with an additional rake of 10-13% of a seller’s total revenue. Unless a seller is moving incredibly huge volumes of inventory, it is safe to assume that these costs are minimal when considering the amount of sales that the account can generate. What’s more, one must also take into account the cost of electricity, water, and storage.
Lastly, the current marketing techniques that are uniquely available to online retailers are proven to work. Through making use of social media and other outlets, not only are the results proven to work, one can also track their progress. A literal hard copy of the data is available that translates your online marketing strategies and how they translate into increased profits for your business. Outdated techniques like flyers, mailed coupons, and entries into coupon books have proven time and time again to produce abysmal results. Yes, the steps needed to take in online marketing do cost money, but we feel that the end results are well worth what is being spent.
We create custom online stores through the Magento platform and provide services for those looking to become eBay and Amazon sellers. Call us at 561-819-9999 for more information.
This article was written by David Winsauer
David Winsauer works at Sticky Webz, a web design company in West Palm Beach. If he's not designing sites or developing SEO strategies you can find him at a racquetball cour or lounging in comic book shops.