No one can really argue against the benefits of ecommerce website to the world as a whole. Reason why it has risen in such a phenomenal speed to take away more than 75% of world’s commerce today. People have rave about it countless times, yet no one really sat to list down the many many benefits of having an ecommerce store and what it brings to a company compared to just having a physical store.
Today, I want to make an attempt to list as much as i can, the benefits it does for you if you build an ecommerce store to augment your physical business, or just start a business directly by having an ecommerce webshop.
This list is not an exhaustive list. We will add items to this if new information comes up. But for the purpose its publication, I have gathered 30 benefits an ecommerce website does to you and your business:
#1. Easy access to new customers
First among the many benefits of ecommerce website is the ease of access. Did you know that over 4.2 billion people use the Internet? This means there are a plethora of people on the Internet looking for your products or services. That makes the benefits of Internet marketing to consumers (and businesses) immense.
People can access marketing materials like your website and your social media profiles at a time that works for them. Your business gains brand exposure and conversions while giving people a more comfortable shopping experience.
#2. Easy to use and update
For small businesses, you might not even need a web guy/gal to take care of this for you! Every ecommerce platform today have a content management system(CMS) for easy of content update. CMS is a piece of software, integrated with the coding of your website that makes it easy for you to add, change, or remove content from your website with very little or no technical knowledge! That’s how easy to update ecommerce systems are today.
#3. A website improves productivity
Your company website increases your productivity because you spend less time explaining your product to customers. The resources you want your customers to have access to are readily available to them at their finger tips. It saves you valuable time, and effort.
Technology allows us to think more about the end-goal and less about the smaller, more tedious tasks it takes to get there.
Source: fredmouawad on ways internet improves productivity
#4. Customer education
Customer education is a built-in problem for every company. It needs to be addressed before, during, and after a challenging product is brought to market. There is an old article published by forbes that says, “Don’t Market To Your Customers; Educate Them Instead”. It contains really really good insight about customer empowerment:
…the more informed and empowered customers are, the more satisfied and confident they are with their choices.
So, use your website to teach your customers and potential customers about you and how your product/services add value to their lives in general.
#5. A website can easily expands your market reach
Today, every decisions people make is driven, informed and executed using the Internet. When a friend tells you about a business or service that interests you, what do you do next? Most likely, you Google it. Or perhaps go to social media to see how much people are talking about it. Our decision to buy are heavily influenced by what information we find in the internet.
Creating an online presence for your business is no longer an option—it’s an expectation, and required support for your traditional marketing initiatives.
#6. It extends your local reach
A website not only expands your market reach, but equally important is that it extends your local reach. People who are not able to go to your physical store will be able to order from you from the comfort of their home. They are revenues you miss sans ecommerce website.
If you are like me, whenever I am on a new place, I go to google to search for local businesses. The first step to be found is to be there when people looks for something. You can’t be found if you have no online presence.
A website absolutely extends your local reach.
#7. Immediate promotion of products & services
51% of people now prefer to shop when businesses promote products online. 80% of people have purchased something this month.
The people are there. They want online products. You see the opportunities.
#8. Excellent promotion for your brick and mortar business
People are constantly looking and using google my business to look for product and services they want to spend their money on. Optimize each location of your business for local searches and increase your business’ digital presence. This is an excellent benefit of having an ecommerce website to augment your brick and mortar business.
Connect your website to google my business so that everytime somebody search for your product, Google will be able to display yours.
#9. Where you are is not that relevant
While location is important for physical store, it is not that much relevant when you have an online presence. This is another benefit of ecommerce website.
Physical location caters to a very specific, and certainly very small, cross-section of the populace, says forbes.
Compared with the larger population of the country, or the world, relatively few people will actually see your storefront, and fewer still will actually be in your target market.
You can be anywhere else in the world, and sell your product in a specific location on the internet. Or you can be everywhere you want to be. That is what the nature of internet is.
#10. Plenty of great tool for finding new employees remotely
You’ll be surprised to know that about 43% of U.S. workers are already working remotely to some degree (with the number only expected to grow!), and a whopping 86% of people believe they’d be less stressed in a flexible job.
And there are plenty of them hiring places you can find to get the best remote staff for your company. Hiring systems like indeed, careerbuilder, and smashfly is just 3 of the many hiring tools you can find.
#11. The benefit of a unique online identity
Your customers and potential customers are expecting to see you online. People want to see your identity available to them to see where they are. If they don’t see you there, you could be losing out on the opportunity to increase your customer base and get the word out about your business.
An online presence is one of the most important investments that you can make for your business.
#12. Ability to set-up your own business email addresses
An email address like firstname.lastname@example.org tells people you’re serious about your business.
For example, say you receive an email regarding an offer of a profitable business opportunity. What do you do? You look at their email address and it’s a Gmail address. For many people, that may be the first clue that something is wrong and they would start to question the trustworthiness of the business offer.
Having your own domain name allows you to create a brand and a business communication channel that is unique to you and your business.
#13. A website is an effective platform for two-way communication
A website is not only a way for you to get information about you and your business to the world. Of equal importance is, people and potential customers can provide you valuable feedback anywhere they are in the globe. A two-way communication is a powerful and dynamic tool in problem resolution, says this article from mhub.
Two-way communication creates a more democratic environment, whereby people can share their thoughts, ideas and opinions, regardless of corporate hierarchy, and improve relationships right across the structure. Effective two-way communication is required in order to solve problems better.
#14. You can do cheap market research
Undertaking effective market research will allow a company to understand how its customers will respond to their service, product or campaign. You can then use the feedback to tweak your service for optimum results. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
In fact, there are free market research tools you can use right away. Places like Google trends and google news are excellent and free resource for your market research.
There are a few websites you can use, including:
#15. A website enable you to build reputation
Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business while 74% of them are inclined to trust local businesses with positive reviews? This goes without saying that reviews can greatly affect your bottom line.
In the words of Warren Buffett,
“It takes years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
Having a website provides your customers a platform to give reviews about you, to help you start building a solid business reputation.
#16. Unique reporting tools with analytics is available
Data analysis is now something everyone can do using analytics. But these are only be available to you if you have a web presence. Analytics tools give you the insights you need to achieve things like growth, resolve issues that are urgent, collect all your data in one place, forecast future outcomes and so much more. Things that are otherwise impossible to come up with in a physical store.
Having a website or an ecommerce website benefits your business decisions, because you are guided by statistics that matters to your business the most.
#17. Your Business has a global access
Do you run a retail business that’s doing well and you’re wondering how to expand sales globally? Are you hesitant to break into ecommerce because of security concerns, or simply a lack of understanding about that element of business?
It goes without saying that brick-and-mortar setups are bound by location, and depending on your product or service, this could be key to your revenue.
#18. Saves on rent expense
There will be some initial costs to do with web setup and maintenance – for instance, shoptech ecommerce system, or even doing an overhaul, costs only a few thousand per year, and for this fee, you also get to use other built-in features that will help you run your business more smoothly. This is especially the case if you are already paying for space to store inventory and are willing to ship from your location.
#19. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
You keep your shop open 24-7 and you are able to expand your offerings to a global audience, this means that you have the potential to create a passive income stream – that is, your revenue doesn’t necessarily rely on great salespeople or opening hours.
You and your customers are no longer restricted by logistics such as location and time of day, you have plenty of opportunities to boost revenue in new ways.
#20. Improved customer service through greater flexibility
When a shop is set up right, the ease of searching, browsing, and ordering can easily outweigh the extra shipping cost. This is especially the case if special features such as live chats that are set up to answer customer questions 24-7, a feat which is becoming more and more affordable if you consider overseas outsourcing.
Overall, a webshop is just a smoother and more comfortable experience for many. Not only does a customer not need to leave the comfort of their own home, but they also get to avoid traffic and parking. Not to mention pushy salespeople trying to upsell or interrupt your conversation with a friend.
#21. Easy and inexpensive way to improve your advertising effectiveness
Digital advertising is one of the many benefits of ecommerce website. It is inexpensive compared to traditional channels and can be more easily adjusted to suit into your budgetary constraints. By the way, you can use a blend of traditional and digital to market your entire operation, or even switch to primarily digital and save a lot of money.
#22. Better lead targeting
Ecommerce allows you to gather, synthesize and use customer information and data more easily than traditional channels. Things that would be difficult to access to in a physical store. This is another great benefits of ecommerce website. This is especially the case when you consider retention activities like customer loyalty programs – essentially you can track your customer’s buying habits more carefully which offers the opportunity to target marketing and promotional efforts in a more accurate way.
#23. One of the great benefits of ecommerce website is savings on transaction costs
Ecommerce eliminates processing errors that run rampant with human processors. This translates into less wasted time solving order and invoice problems. Although inaccuracies do not incur fees or penalties, they do take up considerable employee time and energy. ECommerce frees up staff members to focus on profit-generating activities.
#24. Unlimited income potential because of expanding market
According to this rjmetrics,
at three months the average ecommerce site is generating just over $150,000 in monthly revenue, by the end of year one in business they are averaging almost $330,000 in monthly revenue, and after three years they’re bringing in over $1 million in revenue every month; an increase of over 230% between year one and year three.
#25. You can personalized email campaigns messages
The beauty of ecommerce compared to a physical store is that, you can group your customers by their purchase histories, locations, genders, ages or even job titles. These data is available to you on your administration dashboard. You can go deeper with these segments and try to come up with more relevant email campaign messages.
For instance, you can send customers emails that have personalized product recommendations. This helps them build loyalty because customers feel special when they see such tailor-made recommendations. It helps them save time searching for the perfect jewelry and, in many cases, it translates into sales.
#26. Easy to get started with minimal cost involved
Here is a summary of how the costs affect business from pixelfish, comparing the cost of starting a physical store with the cost of having an ecommerce store.
As you can see the cost for setting up the physical store for Business A is about $55,000 compared to only $15,000 for setting up an online store for Business B.
That equates to a saving of $40,000 which could easily be put towards promoting Business B online!
Some can even start an online retail business with a $200 starting capital. Imagine these simple benefits of ecommerce website can do to your business.
#27. Ecommerce shops are recession proof
There was a study on ecommercetimes about recession and if the resiliency of ecommerce was just a fluke. The conclusion from the article is that: since e-commerce businesses focus more on relationship building activities and customer loyalty than brick-and-mortar retailers, the e-commerce model thrives.
Transitioning to new commerce models or expanding your existing efforts can lead to significant increases in revenue, profit, customer satisfaction and predictability of your cash flows and scaling costs.
#28. Able to manage store anywhere in the world
Running an ecommerce business means that you don’t need to sit in an office from 9 to 5 or suffer through a commute day-in and day-out, or struggle in choosing what clothes to wear on a certain day. All it takes is a laptop and a good internet connection to manage your business from anywhere in the world.
#29. A webshop has minimal maintenance cost
Ecommerce businesses benefit from significantly lower running overhead costs. As there’s no need to hire sales staff or maintain a physical storefront, the major ecommerce costs go to warehousing and product storage. One could even reduce further investment cost by choosing to run a dropshipping business. As merchants are able to save on operational costs, they can offer better deals and discounted prices to their customers.
Trully, ecommerce for your business benefits not only you but also your customers!
#30. Minimal staff to run the webshop
One of the benefits of ecommerce website I really like is that, I won’t have to pay in-person staff and in fact could consider integrating something like a chat-bot into my social media and customer service activities instead of live help.
Some are even going to the length of hiring overseas virtual assistant or marketing specialist when they are looking for people to handle customer service or other activities on a 24-hour basis.
Want to know more?
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Is there anything else you’d like to know more about the benefits of ecommerce website and wish was included in this article? Let us know!