If you own a brick and mortar retail store you might think the best way to expand your business is through opening more stores in other locations or moving to a larger premises. Whilst these are great ways in which you can expand there is another option that allows you to expand your business and increase your presence without having to consider the cost and complications of moving to or opening in new locations.
Taking your business online might sound scary, but with ecommerce dominating the retail world, failing to step up and online could leave you struggling to keep up with both consumer demands and your competition.
Where your store may only exist in one location in one country, attracting a small percentage of the target audience you’re looking to appeal to, your ecommerce website is global. With an online store you can be found by customers anywhere in the world, meaning you can attract a whole range of people who are looking for and are interested in your products and your business, compared to the smaller amount finding your business on the high street.
Using targeted keywords in your website content, your website can be ranked in search engine results, giving customers searching for these keywords the opportunity to find and visit your website.
Collecting customer data in store can be tough, especially if customers simply want to pay for their item and go, however online you can gather much more information during the checkout process, without annoying your customers. Gathering information such as customers locations, ages and most importantly their email addresses you can learn much more about your customers and also find ways in reach you can reach out to them another time.
Collecting customer email addresses allows you to send out marketing emails throughout the year. These emails not only keep your customers informed of things happening within your store, including offers and sales, but they also help to remind customers of your store and your products.
Most consumers these days want the convenience of shopping how they want, when they want, from the comfort of their own homes. Shopping online gives people the chance to shop when they want to at whatever time they like, including on a evening when your brick and mortar store is likely to be closed.
With more people every year opting to shop online instead of on the high street, it could be time your business adapted in order to meet consumer demand.
Ultimately your website is the biggest marketing tool your business has, it’s the main hub of your business and it’s likely the first place people will head to in order to get an impression of your business. Without a website even marketing tools such as email marketing and pay per click prove tricky, as you haven’t got a website to send your customers too, leaving you to resort to traditional forms of marketing which may not be as effective.
A fully optimised, well designed and mobile ready website could be all it takes to turn your business from a small high street retailer to a professional, recognised brand.
Selling online comes with a number of advantages, from increased visibility, more leads and a higher ROI. With ecommerce becoming even bigger and better in the upcoming year, if your business isn’t online now it should only be a matter of time before you take the leap into ecommerce.