In 2020, many retailers around the globe were forced to temporarily close or take their business online. While the future remains unclear, the pandemic will definitely have a lasting impact on the retail landscape.
If you own a brick and mortar store and are still wondering whether you should take your business online, here are 5 reasons why you should.
1. Cost effective
Traditionally, ‘expanding’ your brick and mortar store meant opening another physical location. That means scoping out a property, renovating, furnishing, and hiring new staff. It can be a costly endeavor. However, with an online store you don’t have to worry about any of that. Opening an online store means opening another sales channel, without the added cost of operating a physical location.
In some cases, it may cost you nothing at all. Or at least, very little. Especially if you’re using a platform like WooCommerce, which is a free plugin for WordPress. A WooCommerce site can cost you very little, especially if you’re willing to put the work in yourself or if you have any web development experience. If you’re interested in learning more about what ecommerce platform is best for you, read our guide.
2. Increased reach
Running an online store means almost anyone can find you, not just the locals. Your reach can potentially be international, opening up an entirely new market, and customers that otherwise would never have been exposed to you. Selling online expands your reach exponentially, and helps you increase your sales similarly.
3. 24/7 sales
Another way having an online store increases sales is by being available for customers to shop all the time. Your sales are no longer confined to your daily hours of operation from 10-5. With an online store, you can make sales any time, and all the time. Shoppers no longer have to wait for you to open to purchase from you – they can shop at their own convenience, which means customers that might otherwise not be able to get to your physical location during your opening hours will have the opportunity to purchase from you.
4. Better customer experience
Shoppers will be more satisfied by their shopping experience if they don’t have to venture out and make the journey to your store location, and wait in line to purchase their items. The instant gratification of making purchases online, coupled with the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their own home, makes the shopping experience more enjoyable for your customers. If you also provide options such as shipping, delivery, pick-up, and multiple payment options, your shoppers can shop their own way.
5. Better customer retention
Because shopping online is so convenient, and allows shoppers to shop on their own time and on their own terms, your customers are more likely to return after having a positive experience with you. Having an online store makes it easy and convenient to shop with you, unlike a brick and mortar store, which some of your customers may have to go out of their way to visit.
According to Cybra, companies who incorporate omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies with weak omnichannel strategies only retain 33%. It’s no wonder why!
Are you convinced?
If you’re interested in starting your own online store, check out our guide to ecommerce platforms, Shopify vs. WooCommerce, how to set up your WooCommerce store, our beginner’s guide to starting an online store, and how to improve your online store.