Low start-up costs and the luxury of being able to sell anywhere in the world 24/7 are just a couple of the many benefits of running an ecommerce website over a traditional store. Let’s explore 5 of the key benefits…
1. Lower Set-Up & Running Costs
While ecommerce does come with costs of its own, including hosting, domain name renewal and an ecommerce platform, a huge benefit is that it’s significantly cheaper versus a traditional store.
The physical alternative, with outgoings like rent, insurance, business rates, utility bills and so forth, will almost certainly hit your pocket a harder. Then you’ve got to factor in your catchment area, taking into consideration how you’ll be limited to locals and those willing to travel only a reasonable distance.
With an ecommerce store, however, the world in your oyster (but do keep an eye on taxation, local laws and shipping costs where they apply).
2. Bye-Bye Awkward Opening Hours
The awkward opening hours of some traditional stores can become the bane of many customers’ existence. When they’re at work, the store they wish to visit is open. Then, when they finally leave work, it’s closed!
Inconvenient opening times exist for a number of reasons, but mainly because the people who run them are only human, and can’t be expected to work around the clock to fulfil the needs of each customer’s differing schedules.
With ecommerce, your website won’t need to take mandated breaks or even sleep. And therefore, so long as it’s being maintained properly by you, the owner, its ‘doors’ are effectively open to the world every second of the day.
3. Stock & Walk-In Customers
When it comes to the benefits of storing stock, it’s not so cut and dry; it all depends on what kind of products you’re actually selling. Bear in mind, however, that ecommerce websites don’t necessarily have to hold any stock whatsoever.
For instance, you could sell digital products like software and ebooks, etc, dropshipping, or make goods to order. But if you do need a place to store your stock – especially if it’s of the large variety – then you may need to hire a storage facility. Of course, a traditional store may also suffice here.
Oh, and a word on walk-in customers. While you will have to take the time to promote your ecommerce website in order to put it on the map (using SEO practices, etc), this can be a much cheaper method for drawing new customers.
To capitalize on the most walk-in customers for a traditional store (actual physical people!), you may have to ensure that it’s located in a busy area like a high street or shopping mall. But you’ll of course have to expect higher rent rates.
4. Time Demands & Marketing Channels
While running an ecommerce website can act as a part-time gig for some, it can also become a way to earn a full-time income – and in some cases, without even having to actually work full-time hours.
For a traditional store, however, there’s no way of getting around the fact that someone always has to be there in person – even if the store’s empty! This can be very demanding when it comes to your time, or, at the very least, at an expense if you’re paying staff to fill your boots.
When it comes to marketing your ecommerce website, there are several channels – search engine and email-related, etc – that you can take advantage of to maximize traffic and internet ‘buzz’ surrounding your company. And courtesy of some creativity and inventiveness, it can be very affordable.
With traditional stores, options can be significantly more limited. After all, it’s not like you can ask every person – whether they buy something or not – to sign up for an email newsletter and so forth. OK, technically you can; but perusing-only-customers will probably feel hassled and inconvenienced.
Click Here to learn the best ways to market your store online!
5. Niche Products for a Niche Audience
Finally, in another point that further highlights just how important having an unlimited global audience can be, ecommerce websites increase your chances of being able to sell niche products, or anything that may seem a tad obscure to the majority of people.
The problem with a traditional store is that you’re limited to the tastes and demands of what the local community wants to buy; in fact, due to having a very select crowd, owners can feel like their hands are tied when it comes to choosing how best to fill their shelves.
Meanwhile, with an ecommerce store – and some active promotion on your part to increase your website’s global audience – you’ll be much more likely to receive sales for such items. (In other words, niche customers for your niche products!)
Click Here to check out HostGrids website builder and start your store today.