Why is eCommerce Important for Businesses to Tap Into?
eCommerce, or the practice of selling and exchanging goods and services via the internet, has been a part of our world for decades now. In recent years, this form of shopping has exploded in the retail world, collectively earning businesses trillions of dollars a year. Because of this, there are many who are quick to claim that electronic commerce is bringing about the downfall of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. However, other traditional store-models have proved that a business can thrive so long as they adapt and adopt ecommerce practices. One notable example of this transition is Wal-Mart which first launched in 1962 and is now one of the world’s biggest ecommerce businesses in the world, according to Forbes. Whether you already run a brick-and-mortar store, or are considering launching your first business, these are just a few answers to the question why is ecommerce important for businesses to adopt:
- Increased convenience
- Expanded geographic reach
- Better marketing ability
- Improved scalability
- Access to customer analytics
- Lowered costs
Although there are some who may enjoy an in-person shopping experience, there’s no question that ecommerce is simply the more convenient option for many consumers. Being able to simply click a few buttons is much easier than having to take time out of our already-hectic days to visit a store and hunt through the shelves for our desired product. In addition, online stores are available all-day, every day so consumers don’t need to match their schedules to those of the businesses they want to shop with. By being more convenient, an online business has an advantage over many brick-and-mortar stores.
Why is eCommerce Important for Expanded Geographic Reach?
Another drawback of a physical-only store is that the clientele it can serve typically has a limited geographic range. Unless the product or service being sold is incredibly unique or priced exceedingly low, few people are willing to travel outside of a certain range to buy from a non-local store. However, the addition of an ecommerce element to the business can extend the geographic reach from a single city to an entire country or even the entire world.
Better Marketing Ability
Why is ecommerce important for businesses to utilize? Well, another reason is in its ability to expand marketing efforts, in the same way an ecommerce store can expand geographic reach. When an online store is launched, it’s added to search engine indexes, which allows internet users to find it when they search for relevant keywords. The better the content on your website, the more likely it is to come up in searches, through the use of SEO (search engine optimization) which you can learn about here. An online store with excellent SEO has the potential to be seen by millions of people, instead of just the people in your area, as targeted by local advertising. In addition, links to an online store and specific products within that store can be shared on social media to potentially be seen by millions of consumers.
For entrepreneurs asking themselves the question “why is ecommerce important for my business,” the opportunity for growth is another reason to consider launching an online store. One benefit of ecommerce over a brick-and-mortar business (or in addition to), is that there are few limits to how big your store can scale. Businesses can increase their product lineup, target audiences, payment gateways, and more through the use of ecommerce. This opens them up to new sales and growth opportunities that aren’t constrained by a physical footprint.
Access to Customer Analytics
As businesses grow and evolve, they’ll start to develop a variety of target audiences interested in their products. The creation and growth of these audiences is often easier to work towards for businesses who have an online presence. That’s because websites can collect analytics about the customers who visit them, providing concrete data about the age, gender, location, interests, and more of site visitors. In general, a brick-and-mortar store has to gather information through observation or voluntary surveys which yields fewer accurate results upon which to focus audience growth-efforts.
Finally, ecommerce is an important tool for businesses to use because an ecommerce store can provide a lower-cost solution for businesses. Because an online store does not require rent payments and can be run with a smaller staff, the cost of running the business prior to earning revenue is often lower compared with the costs of running a brick-and-mortar business.
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