For small businesses creating an online store is a fantastic opportunity that will help to grow your company even though you may be limited on time, budget or staff. But with a little bit of know how you can create your very own empire – boost your revenue and generate an exciting opportunity for you and your business! Launching an online shop for your business can pose many questions and you may feel you need a helping hand to ensure that you setting off on the right foot into the world of eCommerce. So first questions first….
What are the advantages of eCommerce?
Widen your customer base
For those that have a physical store on a UK high street you may find that your shop can be limited to a particular area only, where your presence, possibly, is known in the local community, this can be shortening your customer base. The beauty of having an online shop for your business is that you can advertise your brand, services and products to the world’s largest high street – the internet! A staggering £1 billion is believed to have been spent online in 2016’s Black Friday event online (ref), where shoppers beat the queues and hunted for bargains online at their own convenience.
Remain open 24/7
eCommerce offers online shoppers ultimate convenience 24/7 365 days a year, that means your products are available to your customers around the clock. As a business owner you won’t have to put up the sign ‘We’re out for lunch, back in 10’ and subsequently worry about loss of trade and income. Did you know that the peak online shopping time is at 10pm? An online shop is an opportunity for you to maximise your business profits whilst putting your feet up with a cuppa in the evening!
Cut your operational costs
This is perhaps one of the most beneficial advantages of an eCommerce site, where you can cut down costs and find the best way that works for you and your business. You can use channels such as pay per click and social media advertising (paid and unpaid) keeping you spending to a minimum!
The automatic process of checkouts, billing and payment means that you can reduce the cost of manpower that it takes to process your customer’s payments. What’s more this is an automatic way to manage your books and inventories.
Your eCommerce site can be run literally from anywhere, so you can cut down the costs of renting a physical store. So whether you’re jet setting and using your phone, to late night bookkeeping you can run your online shop at a time that suits you, wherever you may be. And of course you can run your eCommerce site alongside owning a physical store, an online shop is a fantastic way to boost your business’ income.
Get to know your customers
Using analytical tools you can discover your most popular products and really get to know your customers and what they buy and view. You can discover your client’s shopping habits at different times of the day and different times of the year, wherever they may be in the world.
It can really help you to develop your brand and understand the market and subsequently strengthen your business so you can provide for your paying customers.
Instantly lead your customers to the right products
There’s nothing worse than getting lost in the aisles of the supermarket and being unable to find exactly what you’re looking for, or rushing in and out of shops trying to find that last minute Christmas present. The beauty of online shopping means that you can get connected with the right products in a simple Google search without even leaving the house.
Keep your customers informed
Through the use of product descriptions you can provide your customers with an abundance of useful information about the product, not only is this providing exceptional customer service but it will make you a master of your trade. You are the expert of your products, so you can help your customers make the right product choices.
Find customers you never knew you had
By investing in an online shop you are giving your business the all important platform, so you really can make your presence known. It may mean that customers can find you through a simple Google search and discover a shop they never knew existed! What’s more with the use of newsletters you can keep connected with your customers and update them with the latest news and offers to keep the custom coming in.
Need more advice on creating your online shop? Why not speak to one of our experts today and take the next step for your business. We have a dedicated team on hand to help turn your dreams of your very own online shop into a reality.