When you picture a shop, you probably imagine a physical location with endless aisles and shelves packed with goods. In this modern age, however, shops often look much different. Sure, we still have brick-and-mortar businesses, but we also have eCommerce stores with owners selling goods they don’t even have in stock to online shoppers. eCommerce businesses are growing in popularity by the day, largely due to the advantages described below.
While setting up a website and marketing plan to attract customers is time-intensive, that’s basically where your efforts end with an online business. An eCommerce fulfillment center takes care of product stocking, packing, and shipping, and couriers ensure your goods get to the end user.
The same can’t be said for physical stores. Not only do you have to order all your own stock, but you have to store it in your business or a storage facility, unpack it, display it on your shelves, and package it up for shipping companies if you sell any items online.
Data Collection Opportunities
Collecting data from in-person customers is quite challenging. Rarely does the perfect opportunity present itself to ask your customer for their email address or ask them about the type of products they like. Indeed, many people are wary of giving out additional information at the check-out. Make them feel uncomfortable, and there’s a chance they won’t return or recommend your store to others.
Selling products online is different. Many customers create accounts and agree to opt-in permissions, often happy to provide their email addresses in exchange for promotional offers. You can also collect data based on the purchases they make, helping you learn more about your most popular lines and guiding your email marketing techniques.
Niche Product Potential
The owners of physical stores often have to think carefully about the products they stock. For example, they might know that a select few people want unique products, but sales would need to be far higher to make ordering them worthwhile.
When you own an eCommerce store, you can afford to get creative and stock niche products that appeal to a select group of people. This is because rather than paying for and storing those goods yourself, they are often sent directly from the manufacturer.
Owning a shop is expensive. Businesses spend thousands of dollars annually to lease retail space, and you also have to pay for utilities, insurance, employees, and many related costs. eCommerce stores are typically much more affordable to operate.
You can set up an eCommerce store online from the comfort of your home for a manageable monthly or yearly fee. You’ll pay manufacturers for the goods and a fulfillment center to store and send them. There’s typically no need to worry about leasing a warehouse or hiring a large team.
More Payment Options
Customers love variety, especially when it comes to payment techniques. In many physical locations, they might only be able to pay with a card or cash, but the sky’s the limit when you set up an eCommerce store.
Most eCommerce stores accept many different payment types, such as internet banking, credit cards, and installments. In addition, customers often have the option to save their payment details securely, making it easier to shop with particular eCommerce businesses in the future.
There’s no denying that physical stores still have their place in our modern world, but eCommerce is paving the way regarding profit potential and convenience. So if you’re considering starting your own business, don’t be afraid to explore your eCommerce options to see if this model suits you.