As online sales market share continues to soar – according to current estimates online sales will make up 10% of all US retail sales – perhaps it’s time to consider supplementing your B&M (“brick and mortar”, refers to physical store) with an e-commerce site. For the uninitiated though, the idea is quite daunting, sounds expensive, and for all they know, may not even generate any income. So, how is one to know when the time is right to make the move to online sales?
Making the move to an e-Commerce site:
Does your product fit the bill?
Before even considering an e-commerce site you need to determine whether it’s even a possibility. The issue here is shipping. While there is a means of shipping any product, some items – perishable goods, bulky or heavy items, and the very fragile- present difficulties and increased costs that may make the move online less feasible, or even possible.
An E-commerce site will increase your presence
How do current customers discover your store? Is your main draw through word of mouth, through the yellow pages, “local search sites” like Google local and yelp, or simply passers-by stopping in? Having an e-commerce site extends your presence, not only to the global market, but even within your local marketplace. Globally, your base of potential customers will increase exponentially. This is true locally too, albeit on a much smaller scale. Most people these days use search engines the same way people in the past used the phone book – to find local places to shop. Having an e-commerce site means those people can find you. Additionally, by showing up in search you’ll not only be seen by potential customers, you’ll even have the opportunity to show why they should choose you over the competition.
E-commerce sites never close
Websites, unlike physical stores, never need to shut down. And staying open 24/7 won’t even cost you a cent because an e-commerce site doesn’t require anyone to be there to work. You’ll now be able to capture sales that you’d have missed in the past.
While not every company can make the move online, those that can should grasp the opportunity to do so. The increased presence and lack of down time make this a no-brainer.
Convinced? Check out Hara Partner’s top five tips for choosing the e-commerce site that’s right for you.