What Advantages Does An E-commerce Website Bring You?
If you are considering opening a retail business no doubt you've done some research in the expenses and investments involved in a brick and mortar store. Finding a place to rent or lease that is affordable and in a good location for your customer base is just part of the battle to fight. Finding a place to store inventory and manage it can also be both costly and time-consuming.
E-commerce can go a long way to resolve many of the issues will encounter trying to run a traditional retail shop. Most startup retail businesses aren't Lowe's or McDonald's with multiple locations. Picking the right location at the right price can be a challenge. E-commerce eliminates the need to figure out exact demographics and store locations. You've instantly gone from locally accessible to globally accessible for a fraction of the cost. Customers who normally can't reach you due to lack of transportation or are too far away can buy your products with a few clicks.
E-commerce can also lower everyday operational costs that come with a brick and mortar retail store. Rather than having to pay to prints store-front advertising and specials, organic search engine traffic and social media used properly are far less expensive or free marketing strategies. Checkout, billing, payments, inventory management, and refunds being automated greatly reducing expenses in personnel. As mentioned before, there is also no expense on leases or renting space for your store, other than the minor cost of paying for a domain name and web hosting. As well as lowering costs e-commerce increases profits. Rather than having set hours E-commerce retail businesses are open and accessible 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.
E-commerce isn't all rainbows and butterflies, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider in your decision as well. Probably the biggest complaint overall is the lack of any personal touch or human interaction. This can deter some potential clients as they prefer to deal with other people face-to-face rather than with a computer screen. One of the other issues is the delay in receiving the product. With the exception of digital products which can be downloaded immediately, the customer will have to wait at least a day for shipping. For customers who need a product right then, Ecommerce obviously isn't going to complete the sale. Retail products that often use the customer experiencing the product as a sales point will also not have this advantage with Ecommerce. Products that have fabrics or scents that may sell the product, one may lose customers to a traditional retail shop.
There are a few disadvantages to e-commerce, but for a majority of retail businesses, especially those just starting, it is a great option to consider. If starting capital is a concern, this could be a much better option. The ability to be open for business 24-hours a day is a huge advantage to overcome some of the expenses over traditional retail stores. Your business can still be making money for you even while you sleep!