An online store is an investment. Before you invest in anything, you work out to see if it is worth the investment. The same goes for an e-commerce website.
Why should I invest in an online store?
What are the advantages of an online store?
How much will it cost to set up an online store?
How will I manage my online store?
Many of the businesses have questions ranging from the initial need to the final e-commerce website support.
Here, we will try to answer your questions and tell you why an online store is a must in 2021 if you are to make profits in your business.
Why should I invest in an online store?
Let us present to you some statistics on online stores.
- In 2019, the global retail sale in e-commerce touched $3.53 trillion and is projected to grow to $6.54 trillion in 2022.
- E-commerce is expected to touch 22% of the total global retail sales by 2023.
- By 2040, e-commerce will facilitate 95% of the shopping.
- There are 2 billion digital buyers across the globe.
- 93.5% of the total internet users in the world have purchased products online.
- The average spending of an online shopper per visit is almost $3.
- Asia leads the way in e-commerce sales followed by the US and Western Europe
- The foremost reason why people prefer shopping online is that they can shop at any given time of the day.
- 57% of shoppers buy products from websites that are overseas.
- In the US, about 60% of online consumers make a purchase after reading a blog.
These statistics speak volumes about the success and future of online shopping. It is here to grow and there is no stopping it.
What are the benefits of an online store?
The benefits of having an e-commerce website are immense if harnessed in the right way.
Easy website management-
If you are a small business, use a CMS e-commerce website for easy uploading of products and content change. Any new offers or new product launches can be easily handled with less technical knowledge.
Undoubtedly, an e-commerce website helps businesses to reach more people globally. An e-commerce website acts as good support to your traditional marketing techniques.
An online store is also about helping local customers know about you. This way, you make your position strong in the local market. Listing your business and website on Google My Business helps the locals find out more about your online store and its products.
People buy products almost immediately when there is a sale. So promotions in the form of discounts and offers attract people to make that online purchase. Spreading your offers all through the year also helps. If you own an online store that sells shoes, you can opt for a kid’s sneakers sale during the start of their vacations, sandals for summer, all-weather shoes for monsoon, party shoes during Christmas & New Year and so on.
Showcase the best-
Trending products, bestsellers, discounts- all these help you to showcase the best on the front page to your customers. This way you guide your customers to purchase the best. Also tactics like only 1 left in stock or free shipping if you buy before 2 hours help in impulsive buying.
With an online store, giving a personalized shopping experience to customers becomes easy. Amazon starts its prime day sale one day before for its prime customers. Also, they provide free shipping of many products to them. All this makes the customer feel like a king. This increases brand loyalty and sales.
Educate customers about products-
An e-commerce website helps you to educate your customers about products and offers and how it is beneficial for them. The product page helps you to give its details in a beneficial way through written content and appealing images.
Support to physical shop-
An e-commerce website supports your physical store. It builds credibility for your business. People are more likely to visit a shop that already has an online presence. Also, many of them prefer to go through the products in your online store before visiting the physical store to make the final purchase.
With an online store, you can select your target audience and location. Do you want to sell products only to people aged above 40 in the US? Yes, an online promotion to send this particular category to your e-commerce website is possible. You can categorize products and guide your customers easily so that their search becomes easy.
One of the biggest advantages of setting up an online store is reducing the dependency of having a physical shop. It means fewer costs and easy management. You reduce having to be dependent on employees for sales. Product uploads can be outsourced. Online promotions can be assigned to a digital marketing agency remotely.
Easy customer interaction-
Live chat helps you to connect with customers instantly and resolve their queries regarding products, prices or shipping policies. This way you offer a more personalized service to your customer.
More customer data-
An e-commerce website gives a lot of insights into customer behavior and preferences. You can find out the products that sell the most, the most visited page, if a particular offer has worked, the age group of customers visiting your online store, the days & timings when it is visited the least or most and so on. This helps you to align your marketing strategies based on the insights.
Your online store remains accessible to your customers all days and at all times meaning your online shop is never closed. This helps you to connect to people across different locations and time zones.
Remote store management-
As much as customers from any corner of the world can visit your e-commerce site, you can also manage your online store from anywhere at any time. All you need is a mobile and a good internet connection.
Has your customer added products to the cart but abandoned them without buying? Has your customer wishlisted any product? Has your customer added a product to the cart and then removed it? You can create customer retargeting ads to target such customers to land on that specific product page so that they change their minds and make the purchase. This customer retargeting will not be possible through a physical store.
With an online store, your customer gets the privacy to shop and make the purchase at leisure without the salesman trying to impose shopping on them. The live chat helps such customers to resolve their issues. This non-invasive form of shopping helps customers to have a more relaxed shopping experience.
Scaling the business-
With an online store, scaling your business is easy. You just add new products to the categories that are getting higher visitors and increase your sales. You can also increase sales of new products on your online store through ads by making that page the landing page.
The important benefit of having an online store is the insane amount of profit that you can make. But, having an online store is not an overnight success. It takes years of consistent efforts and hard work to make your store visible to customers worldwide.
What is the cost of setting up an online store?
The price of setting up an online store is cheap. It is cheap when compared to the profits you get or the cost of setting up a physical store.
But first, consider these points-
- What will you be selling in your online store?
- Do you have an existing physical store to integrate your online store sales?
- What is your budget for e-commerce development?
- What shipping options will you provide for your online customers?
Once done, let us consider some factors that will decide the overall budget.
- Server, domain, SSL certification costs
- Theme and plugin costs
- E-commerce development service costs
The server, domain and SSL costs are recurring costs. So, it is wise to go in for a basic domain and shared server. If you have many products to sell or are eyeing to scale your website in the future, it is better to go with a private server.
The themes and plugin costs can be minimized by going for basic e-commerce templates.
The e-commerce development service costs depend on whether you prefer to have your online store through e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce or you want to have it designed and developed from scratch. The benefit of developing it from scratch is that it allows you to customize your website and also make it future scalable. If this cost is something that suits your budget, go for it.
Another recommended option will be to select Shopify or WooCommerce and have it customized by any best e-commerce development company. They help you to select the theme and plugins and customize it based on your requirements and budget.
The features that you need in your e-commerce website solely decide the online store development cost. While basic features remain the same, what adds to the cost are the add-on services. But it is the add-on services that will make your online store unique and better than your competitors. Decide if the add-on features are adding value to your customers. If yes, go for it. It will be worth the investment.
And yes, while selecting an e-commerce website development agency go for the one that provides good services and customer support.
Can I manage my online store?
Managing an online store is very easy. The initial product uploading will give you a good idea about how it is done. You can also hire a good product uploader to do the job for you. A CMS-based e-commerce website is easy and you can make changes in the content and also upload new banners on your own. A good e-commerce website development agency will help you with customer support when you need it to upload the products.
Having an e-commerce website is beneficial when you study the growing trend of people preferring to make an online purchase. Also, it has low costs of setting up and once the initial cost is recovered, it is profits all the way!