Brick and mortar stores aren’t going away, but they can reach a wider audience by opening an online storefront. Many businesses are realizing the value of selling online and enjoying the boost it brings to their walk-in profits. With millions choosing to shop online, ecommerce is a trend that will only continue to grow.
It’s also a great way to market your business and gain new sales. According to Dimensional Research, 90% of customers were influenced by positive online reviews. Having an online store increases these reviews and draws customers to your business.
An ecommerce store works as an extension to your current brick and mortar location. Customers don’t just expect standard delivery. Approximately half of customers find it easier to shop online and pick up their order in store. If you don’t offer a way to browse inventory and order online, you could be sending customers to the competition.
The Growing Popularity Of Ecommerce
In 2014, US consumers spent over $300 billion online. This is almost double what consumers spent in 2009. Experts predict this number to rise to over $440 billion by 2017. Ecommerce is not going away nor can it be ignored. Odds are, many of your competitors are already online. In fact, the US Online Retail Forecast indicates as many as 192 million US customers will be shopping online by 2016. This is too large of an audience to let slip away.
With 87% of online users having made at least one online purchase, it pays to at least set up a simple ecommerce version of your store. Whether they actually make a purchase online or use the site for price comparisons before shopping in store, it’s a beneficial investment in the future of your company.
The Reasons Customers Love Online Retail
According to Statistic Brain, customers loved shopping online mainly to save time. Over 70% of participants liked being able to stay home and not have to spend time driving to the store. Over 50% included reasons such as having access to more variety of products, comparing prices easily, avoiding crowds and finding lower prices.
Overall, consumers just love having the option. Having the ability to shop anywhere at anytime is appealing. As the statistics show, ecommerce is growing more popular as a result.
Ecommerce Working With Brick And Mortar
Many businesses feel opening an ecommerce store means they have to shut down their brick and mortar store. That’s not true. While some companies do close their stores in favor of online only, some online only retailers are starting to open brick and mortar stores, such as Amazon. The reason is simple – the two retail types compliment each other.
The Accenture study found 89% of consumers want the ability to choose the right shopping channel for them. Offering both ecommerce and traditional gives customers what they want. It’s a way to offer two versions of your store and drastically expand your reach to millions versus just your local community.
With millions turning to search engines to find what they’re looking for, an online storefront ensures you remain competitive. Locals may not realize what you sell. Potential customers throughout the country might discover a new favorite store. It’s a marketing tool that when leveraged correctly helps grow your business.
Ecommerce won’t completely replace brick and mortar, but it is necessary for businesses to have an online option to stay competitive. Millions are waiting to find you. All you have to do is get online.