As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, customers have fully embraced online shopping. It is reported that eCommerce stores globally saw a huge increase in online spending compared to the previous year. It has now changed consumer behavior and there’s no going back.
Consumers say they do an average of 43% of their monthly retail purchases online. That's because now consumers not only shop retail online, but also pay their bills online. Everything has become so much more convenient for our daily lives.
Retail businesses in more rural areas are the most impacted by this change as the growth of online shopping has allowed retail businesses to reach more people living outside urban areas. Meanwhile, customers are celebrating the buying choices that they online get rather than the limited retail shops in their area.
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce basically refers to an online store that's selling goods and services online. In recent years, it has become an extension to the shopping experience of retail brands. For example, retailers with physical stores can now offer self-pickup to online shoppers. Local restaurants also saw an opportunity to allow customers to make reservations online. Almost half of restaurants now accepts online payments at their physical locations shows just how comfortable customers are now towards the digital lifestyle.
Online stores can allow businesses to find totally new audiences — especially the ones that may never enter their business areas. Small & independent retail businesses are now incorporating ecommerce websites and leveraging digital marketing to gain thousands of traffic from different audiences everyday. Most entrepreneurs are doubling down efforts and marketing budget on digital ads instead of traditional media.
Benefits of selling online
The main purpose of the internet is to help us get connected. But now once we're connected, we're hooked! Despite all our efforts to put down that phone, we need to admit that we're addicted to it. The rise of ecommerce has allowed all kinds retail businesses to have a fighting chance. Now even local mom-and-pop stores can ship their products nationwide.
But if that's not enough to convince you, here's some benefits of running an eCommerce store:
24/7 shopping: Well designed eCommerce websites can be automated to bring in sales any time, day or night. This makes shopping easier for customers, and that kind of accessibility is a huge competitive advantage. As a business owner, this also allows you to bring in sales while you’re off doing something else, giving you as an entrepreneur more time to focus on growing other aspects of the business.
Omnipresence: Having an online store gives you more channels for customers to find you. You can drive traffic from unlimited sources all over the internet that helps your brand get into the consideration stage in your customers mind. Websites can also be integrated with social media to let customers shop from their feed, then retargeting them in Google searches to capture purchases as soon as they are ready.
Sales funnel clarity: Currently, it’s nearly impossible to track how often a single customer comes to a physical store to browse before making a purchasing decision. However with an online store, business owners can track customers every click, providing valuable insights into the purchasing process and paving the way for remarketing opportunities (such as abandoned cart emails) to nudge customers who may be on the fence about purchasing.
How to start an online store
To get started selling online, you need an ecommerce website that is capable of listing products and accept payments. Shopify has everything you need for eCommerce, so you can get up and running quickly and easily.
If you need help setting up your online store, hire an expert to help you.
Design Your Store
Setup the contents of your store and design pages to help customers find what they are looking for. This includes listing up your products and setting up the descriptions so customers knows what they're buying.
Take Secure Payments
You’ll want to collect payments from your customers to confirm the order right away. Tricky part is to choose between which payment service provider to choose from. You may use multiple payment providers at the same time but do note that there are costs into maintaining the payment integration.
Online Stores Is An Upfront Investment
Investing in digitalising your business will be beneficial for brands in the long run. But be prepared for the work ahead. Business owners must understand that there are other costs associated with running a successful online store such as design fees, marketing cost and web hosting fees.
Talk to an expert, for free consultation on building your online store.
Your online store sets your business up to market on variety of platforms. Such as, Facebook, Google and Tiktok. Similar to retail stores, if you don’t have enough traffic coming into the web store, it’s essentially useless.
So be prepared to change-up your business budget to make room for digital ads costs to reach customers online.
Customize Your Shopping Experience
Whether you’re a retailer, restaurant, or a professional service provider, you want your online store to reflect your brand and gives a sense of business. Having that consistent font, colors and layout throughout the store also gives customers a better experience of your b