The push and pull between online stores and brick and mortar continue to evolve, bringing physical stores online and online stores to tangible locations. Businesses are always trying to improve their models and an online presence has become necessary. Your online store is an asset, regardless of how much you do business online or in person. There are many easy-to-use platforms like WooCommerce.
An online store is a convenience to both you and your potential customers. Fulfilling orders online reduces the need for ubiquitous employees, open physical shops and around the clock usage of utilities like electricity and heat. The store also allows potential customers to shop around the clock, in the convenience of their homes or where ever they can access the internet.
The online store can be beneficial to both the store and the shopper. Additionally, for the store owner, the e-commerce store makes taxes, pricing, and shipping all easier and allows for all costs from production to customization to be priced in. And in a world where profit margins matter, knowing costs is a valuable convenience.
We live in an age of information. We basically have the whole of human knowledge at our fingertips. This can be a blessing and a curse. The curse is that we can become overwhelmed with all of the information available and even subject ourselves to misinformation. However, having an online store allows you to inform your customers. An online store gives potential customers the option of researching their purchasing choices.
By listing items for sale and with descriptions, customers can look up reviews, inform themselves and feel confident in their purchases. They can also compare through other internet queries the reviews, competition, and alternatives. Customers also know the cost of shipping and taxes before they make their purchases. This helps people make better-informed decisions that cultivate more satisfied consumers, which creates loyalty and good public relations.
If you go into a store, you might be able to look at a pair of Adidas next to a pair of Nike sneakers, but that doesn’t provide much information. You don’t know customer reviews, material information, etc.
An online store allows customers to compare their choices. Brand information is at their fingertips, which allows customers to easily put items side by side and understand why certain products are superior or inferior to other options. This is, again, a way to satisfy customers and maintain their loyalty and appreciation. Therefore, when you add your purchase to your shopping cart, you feel like you made the best decision.
04) Higher Customer Confidence & Security
Buying online is still scary. People fear things like getting their identities stolen, their credit cards misused, their cards charged but their orders don’t get fulfilled.
When you use e-commerce systems with shopping carts and checkouts, customers are comfortable with that. They understand it from using Amazon, etc. When a customer must simply email an order, there is a sense that that operation isn’t completely trustworthy.
05) Continuous Contact
An invaluable service is customer relations. As long as there has been business, entrepreneurs have been working to maintain quality customer relationships. E-commerce stores take that endeavor into the modern era.
Services like SendInBlue, MailChimp and Constant Contact curate email lists from customer information, which can be used to keep customers in the know. This helps inform customers of deals, changes and important updates. By having an eCommerce site, it is easy to create email lists and maintain client engagement.
06) Helps Customers Decide on a Purchase
Shopping in a store can be fun, social and enjoyable. However, sometimes we need time to ruminate before we come to a decision. Standing in a store can feel stressful, even if the salespeople don’t put stress on you to make a decision. However, online, you can learn, think and decide at your leisure.
Many people enjoy this way of shopping. When customers enjoy their experience, they are more likely to return. Conversely, when a customer feels pressured, they will associate a negative emotional imprint on the experience and avoid that store when possible.
07) Chat Options
With an online store, you can create the option for customers to live chat with a customer service representative. Sitting at home and engaging with an informed professional gives people a real convenience.
This is often preferable to having to get dressed, traveling, parking and going into a store in order to talk with someone about a potential purchase, and then returning home. Ecommerce stores allow consumers to fully enjoy the luxury of being at home, at all hours and obtain the information they desire. This is particularly true with a chat option because people can easily get their questions answered in real-time and without exhausting searches.
Creating A Better Custom Experience
Ultimately, having an online presence is essential in today’s business world. Originally, an online presence was tantamount to a digital Yellow Pages ad. Now, a site is more than an ad, it can be the store. Having an online store is becoming more and more viable as well as convenient for you and your customers.
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Private investor. Tech enthusiast. Broadcast TV veteran.