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Ecommerce is simply the buying and selling of goods online, but it has become core to almost every product-based business. In line with the trends of ordering food via apps and working from home, online shopping is well and truly the new normal. From reducing costs to market agility, let’s take a look at the key benefits of eCommerce.
Lower business costs
Taking business online means reducing the hefty costs that a brick-and-mortar store requires. Instead of paying for shop-front rent (plus install and utilities) on a retail shopping strip, for instance, you’re spending on a web domain and a warehouse space in an industrial location. You also reduce costs when sales traffic is low because you don’t need floor staff, rather workers can focus on other areas of the business. Square Online Store is an easy way to get started with eCommerce.
More potential customers
The sky’s the limit when it comes to accessing your target customer. You can find potential customers based on their interest in your products rather than being tied to a geographic location. Also, customers can interact with your shop 24/7 rather than having to align to opening hours that may not suit them. Furthermore, with the diversity and depth of online communities, you may discover new niche customer segments that you didn’t even know existed!
Better experience for customers
With eCommerce, you’re able to offer a more personalised and efficient customer experience. Shopping from home is more comfortable, faster and cheaper than driving to individual stores for needed products. Selling online allows you to relay more information to your customer, including product specifications, demo videos and sustainability credentials. It’s easier for customers to make product and price comparisons from their couch than in-person, and allows them to move at their own pace.
Richer customer data
You can learn so much about your customer by engaging with them online. This is because, with their consent, you can set up automated processes to capture customer information, store it, and use it for your marketing efforts. As well as their contact details and demographics, you can see their areas of interest and how they interact with your brand. Engaging with multiple touch points over time, their customer profile will build and you can use this to create targeted campaigns that are more likely to convert to sales.
Integrated marketing strategies
Conducting business online means you can harness a network of digital tools to find, educate, engage and sell to customers. Instead of printing billboards, posters and pamphlets you can use social media, EDMs (email marketing) and GoogleAds. You can experiment with promotions like flash sales more cheaply and easily and use external apps to capture customer reviews, building ‘social proof’ about your offerings. Check out Square Marketing to see how your website can integrate with your customer database and email marketing.
Faster response to market demand
Utilising digital tools means less reliance on tangible assets, which require longer lead times to produce, and more agility in responding to the needs of customers. Conducting tests for marketing efforts, and landing on advertising copy or imagery that resonates, is a lot quicker in digital form. You can also do research more easily online with incentivised post-purchase customer surveys, for instance, identifying feedback and trends that may inform product refinements or new products. Customer support can also be automated with chatbots that takes the hassle out of store visits and waiting on hold.
Multiple payment options
Selling online gives customers more options for how they’d like to pay. For instance, Square Online accepts all major cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay for faster checkout, as well as Afterpay. As well as being a customer-centric approach to offer more than just ‘cash or credit’, providing payment options means you’re more likely to close a sale. You can also use an ‘abandoned cart’ tactic to prompt an almost-customer to complete their purchase if they’ve dropped off the buying process and left a product in their shopping cart.
Ecommerce is a must for any retail business. It allows you to know more about your customers, and offer them faster and more relevant shopping experiences. Through the integration and automation of digital tools, you can access more potential customers and scale your business.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.