E-commerce (or eCommerce) sector is growing at a rapid pace around the globe. The never before power brought to people by easily accessible high-speed internet and mobile devices with a plethora of shopping apps has already changed the scenario in an unprecedented way. People are finding online shopping more convenient and highly enjoyable in comparison to traditional shopping. As statistics shows, e-commerce is about to cross four trillion US dollars in market capitalization. It’s a prominent figure. It is the first reason that businesses who are not yet online need to break into e-commerce before it’s too late.
Whether you’re an existing business or an upcoming entrepreneur, it’s the right time to think that your online business presence is one of the most significant aspects of your growth. Over the traditional businesses of brick and mortar, e-commerce has many advantages, and it’s exciting to think about it. Let me list the top ten reasons why should you have an online store or eCommerce business:
- It’s highly cost-effective
- It’s convenient to operate
- You can reach customers around the globe
- It’s easy to start, quickly
- You can manage a better customer relationship
- You’ll avail better marketing opportunities
- You can create better brand awareness
- You’ll get a minimum of 10 times more customers
- You can sell quickly and easily
- You can easily handle more orders
1. Highly Cost Effective
Unlike the physical store of brick and mortar, you don’t need a massive amount of funds to start and maintain your online store. There are many angles to perceive how e-commerce is highly cost-effective to you. Let me list the top five aspects as follow:
No expenditure for space
When you’re going to initiate an offline store, the first expense you need to bear is the rent or cost of a physical store at a good location in the market place. Depending upon the size and position of the market, even for a small space, you need to pay many thousands to a few lakhs of rupees every month. As discovered in many pieces of research, in India, average store space expenditure is not less than 15% of the expected turnover. On the other hand, if you’re opting for eCommerce, you don’t need such a heavy amount to pay towards rent. Your space investment won’t be more than 3% of your expected turnover. The reasons are as follow:
- You can operate your eCommerce even from your garage.
- If you are selling only on popular online market space like Amazon or eBay, you can start your business with zero joining costs. You need to pay a reasonable commission only if a sell is made.
- If you’re choosing to have your own online store through a self-hosted eCommerce site, monthly server space rent will be one thousand rupees at the highest. You can choose a low-cost plan with a few hundred rupees only.
- If you desire to have a fully hosted eCommerce site from a reliable service provider like Shopify, your all-inclusive cost will not more than three thousand rupees per month.
No expenditure for design
Professional storefront design, large display windows, costly display racks, indoor and outdoor store decoration, convenient sales counters, lighting, electrical fittings, air conditioners, and other consumer convenience installations at physical stores are quite expensive. On the contrary, nothing of these is a necessity for your online store. With a normal computer, a high-speed internet connection, a small printer, a handy bar-code reader, a weighing scale, a good camera, and some packaging materials, you can comfortably run your eCommerce from a little corner at your home. All these initial costs can be managed in around fifty thousand rupees in opposition to many lakhs for a physical store.
Less expenses towards salary
It’s not easy to manage an offline business without enough sales and assisting staff. In opposition, eCommerce can save your expenses towards the salary, that otherwise you would have to pay, for your sales and assisting staff. You alone, or with a part-time assistant, can run your online business smoothly.
Fewer inventories are required
A lot of inventories are not obliged to star an eCommerce. You can commence with few inventories and may gradually add more to the stuff as selling rises. On the contrary, you need houseful inventories to initiate a physical store.
Low marketing cost
The topmost cost-effective feature of eCommerce is low marketing and advertising cost. You are not going to spend on fancy glow signboards, banners, leaflets, pamphlets, or on mass media advertising. Enormously powerful and profoundly cost-effective digital marketing strategies can efficiently, effectively, and appropriately spread the words about your products to the world.
2. 24X7 Convenience
Online stores are truly convenient stores. It’s convenient for the shoppers as well as for the store runner. Unlike a physical store, online stores are open for 24/7 hours. The customers have ample scope to visit your store and make purchases at any time – day or night, on a working day or a holiday. It’s all about the convenience of making a purchase and selling an item. This can highly boost the chances of a higher sale. You can also avail of higher autonomy to work for your business as per your convenience. There is no 9 to 9 rule to follow.
3. Global Reach and International Presence
While traditional businesses of brick and mortar are confined to a single geographical are, such as a city or a part of city 9unless a chain business), there is no geographical limitation for an e-commerce. You can sell beyond the borders. You can get customers from any corner of the world without any limitation. While a physical store has limited numbers of customers, an online store is never confined to limitation in terms of the number of customers. You are selling great products and maintaining customer satisfaction indexes, you truly don’t have any limitation. Being global was never so easy.
4. Quick and Easy Start
Although advertising sentences like ‘Start Selling within Minutes’, don’t have any practical sense, staring selling through e-commerce is about 20 quicker and easier than selling through physical stores No e-commerce require any sophisticated arrangement or preparation to start selling . Inventories, quality images of inventories with good description and specification along with right marketing strategies are adequate to help you selling within few hours.
- It’s estimated that you can start selling through an established online market place within 48 hours of registration. In order to get you registered as a merchant of an online market place, you need not more than 20 minutes. Within next 24 hours, your account will be activated through simple verification process. Mean time, you require to watch some tutorial video on how to upload products and start selling. Act in accordance to the processes communicated to you. There are easy and quick processes.
- If you’re subscribing to a Shopify plan, setting up of your store and uploading inventories with all enhancement can be completed within few hours.
- If you’re opting for professionally designed website for your e-commerce solution, you don’t need to have take much burden. Your service provider is there to help you. Though a website from scratch takes time, it’s lesser than the time consumed for making all arrangements and preparation for an offline store. If your products are great, your website is well optimized and you’re in connection with a right marketing consultant, you’ll start earning quickly.
5. Better Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
It was never so easy to manage customers and helping your goal to sell more. Now, you can integrate many free and low cost analytical tools like Google Analytics and Google CRM to your e-commerce site so that you can track the customers’ flow and behavior and potentiality of a sell as well as to keep all the personalized relationship with your customers. There are plenty of online applications to help you know adequately and accurately about your potential and existing customers, setting goal, interacting with them in real time without being in real time and doing re-marketing. You can easily convert the visitors to your site into customers, you can resolve the complaints of your customers more efficiently, you can design your marketing strategies with full automated features, you can make better business policy, you can know details about your customers in order to act in accordance and you can do a lot of other things to help your business goal. Nothing of such advantages is associated with any traditional business of bricks and mortars.
6. Greater Marketing Opportunities
Though digital marketing (aka, internet marketing) has many universal marketing approaches for both online and offline business, the greater benefit from the approaches can really reach to e-commerce. Digital marketing helps to reach more customers at low cost and it’s better inherently associated with e-commerce. Whether it’s SEO or SMM or PPC or email marketing, these approaches are not only amazingly powerful, but also wonderfully cost effective in helping converting an unknown to a regular customer. This is the primary reason why e-commerce is growing rapidly.
7. Better Brand Awareness
Businesses having websites have better opportunities to create greater brand awareness than businesses with no website. By virtue of its virtual present, an e-commerce site fulfills this requirement at first. In addition to your store’s presence on the web and visibility to search engines, linkage of it to social media through free business accounts and well informed marketing by spending little can help you create significant brand awareness all over the internet through very powerful search engines like Google and social media like Facebook. The statistics is that more about 5 billion people worldwide are the consumers of the internet and more than 90% of them are the users of social media and search engines.
8. 10X or More Customers
Tendency, affinity and love towards online shopping is rapidly growing. Worldwide eCommerce sales are expected to grow up to $5 trillion by 2021. Online shopping is so effective in terms of convenience and comfort that people’s engagement with e-commerce is increasing ever. 73% of online shoppers agree that emergence of e-commerce has changed their lives and could brought better comfort. They also say that e-commerce is able to provide better prices and better service. Monopolies have already ended. It’s your term to prefer to sell from home with ease, flexibility and cost effectiveness! Customers are already online!!
9. Quick and Easy Scaling
One of the biggest advantages of e-commerce is that you can scale your business whenever you decide to do so. When your business will start doing better, you can add more inventories, spend more on advertising as well as can employ more staff to handle the work loads. But in case of a store of brick and mortar, it’s very difficult to scale quickly as you require bigger spaces for your inventories to be displayed. It’s not always possible to find another but bigger and suitable store to sift your business in a city place. Sifting and renovations can also harm your business scaling.
10. Quick and Easy in Processing High Numbers of Order
In a typical brick and mortar store, if the order volume increases at a sudden, it will be headache for you and create wearing situation to your customers. No one loves to stand in a long queue. However, online stores can handle such situation because even after high volume of order, no one has to stand in a queue. You can process the orders at your own comfort while keeping in line with your customer satisfaction policies.
These are just few of many advantages of e-commerce. I’ve just listed the most prominent aspects. There are few disadvantages too. You may have many doubts. Additionally, I suggest you to read – How to Start an Online Business / E-commerce. After all, if you need further assistance, please feel free to ask me in the comment.