Are you a small business owner who sells products or owns a shop? In order to grow and future proof your business you must embrace change and consistently reach new potential customers whilst communicating effectively with existing ones – two requirements are not easily achieved with a physical store.
This is where having an eCommerce website comes in. Whether you have not yet stepped a digital foot into the world wide web or you have a basic website without a shop, creating an eCommerce website will allow your store to break-through the limitations of a physical location.
Shoppers have come to expect online ordering with research showing that 56% expect small businesses to offer online shopping capabilities. So with so many small businesses already taking advantage of eCommerce, you may already be losing out on business to your competition if you don’t sell online.
In this blog we explore some of the ways an eCommerce website will grow your business and help safeguard its success for the future.
Reach new audiences
The largest limitation with a physical store is its location which plays a large factor in a business’s success. You’ll reap the benefits if it’s in the right location but this can be costly in terms of overheads, however if you’re not in a good one the visibility of the store is lessened with lower footfall.
An eCommerce website helps to level the playing field between prime locations and less busy areas. Rather than your physical address governing your business’s location, your ability to rank in search engine results determines your visibility. Therefore potential customers who haven’t yet walked, driven past or been previously aware of your business would have the ability to find you online.
Collect new data
It can be tough to collect email addresses and other useful information from store visitors, so you could be losing out on vital marketing data. Whereas gathering such information online is a lot more effective as website users can provide these details in their own time and without intrusion.
Physical stores only have the one, short opportunity to speak to a customer making a purchase at the checkouts, who aren’t often interested in hearing about additional offers, newsletters or store cards, and even then you will always end up missing people who leave the shop without making a purchase.
Using the data to implement strategic email marketing would give you the ability to increase new and repeat business through re-engaging prospective customers on a regular basis.
Shopping where, how and when customers want
By only having one way for people to shop for your products means that you’re missing out on the increasing number of prospective shoppers who prefer to shop online.
Many prefer online shopping to avoid the travelling and traffic and they also relish in the freedom to shop when they want; including times of day that your store may be closed, whereas eCommerce is always open for business.
Often visitors have found your store online and researched your products there first, some may prefer to visit the physical store so they can view and examine the products in person before purchasing.
Even customers who don’t wish to buy online still expect to find product information on a business’ website with 62% in a recent study saying they browse online before purchasing a product in store.
Increasing awareness of promotions
Most of the time physical stores have some form or type of offer which needs promoting and an eCommerce store is another fantastic channel to market such promotions. Plus encouraging visitors to sign up to receive these offers are a great way to collect the important data mentioned earlier.
Promotions help the business to grow short term and visitors of either the physical store or online shop should be exposed to these promotions so they can take advantage of them.
Have a look at some of the eCommerce websites we’ve designed and developed