What Are The Benefits Of An E-Commerce Website?
There’s no doubt that eCommerce websites offer many advantages to consumers and can significantly improve their online shopping experience – but what about retailers? What are the benefits of an e-commerce website for business owners?
The Importance & Benefits Of An E-Commerce Website In Today’s Market
E-commerce was already viewed as the way of the future – but that’s become evident now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic made the “outside world” into a place of uncertainty, social distancing, and caution. Even more so, it served as an accelerant for many industries, pushing things years ahead of where natural growth would’ve otherwise taken them – and e-Commerce benefitted from this trend, too. More people were forced to shop online, bringing to light the numerous benefits of e-commerce websites – for businesses and consumers alike.
Important E-Commerce Statistics & Facts You Need To Know In 2021
Over the last few years, and with the ongoing digitalization of modern life, eCommerce websites have become an integral part of the global retail framework. Given the rapid increase of Internet access and adoption and the growing preference for online transactions, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that e-Commerce platforms are thriving in all corners of the world.
Check out the following up-to-date e-Commerce statistics and trends to gain some insight into the current state of affairs and the industry’s future:
• The number of online shoppers will likely reach 2.14 billion in 2021, which would account for about 27.2 percent of the world’s population
• It’s estimated that global eCommerce sales will reach $4.9 trillion by the end of 2021
• 69% of United States consumers shop online, and up to 25% of online shoppers report doing so at least once a month
• An average of 52% of online stores already have omnichannel capabilities; eCommerce trends suggest that an omnichannel approach to marketing will be a must for e-retailers in 2021
• Mobile eCommerce (m-Commerce) is estimated to account for 53.9% of all eCommerce sales in 2021; in the United States alone, mobile eCommerce already accounts for 45% of eCommerce sales
10 Benefits Of An E-Commerce Website For Your Business
Online stores give your customer access to a wide range of products and services, all without leaving their home or office.
But beyond the benefits of eCommerce store for your customers, it’s also worth considering how an eCommerce site can benefit you and your business:
Lower running costs, ability to oversee your eCommerce business from anywhere in the world, increased product visibility and reaching a virtually unlimited number of people, a personalized customer experience; the list goes on.
Read on for a more detailed take on the significant benefits of eCommerce website for your business!
#1 Ecommerce Store Has Lower Start-Up & Running Costs
One of the most tangible benefits of selling online is the lowered cost of everything – from the initial launch of your eCommerce website to the general maintenance costs. The costs of launching Internet-based stores are typically reserved for web hosting, domain name, web design, logo design, and relatively low sign-up fees on eCommerce platforms.
The automation of the checkout and payment options further lowers your payroll expenses, and since your business doesn’t require a physical location, you’ll save on rent and utilities. If you choose to run a dropshipping business, you can even avoid the huge upfront investment of stocking up on products.
#2 Your E-Commerce Business Can Go Global
Physical retail is bounded by the specific geographical area and caters to a particular – and limited – audience. Your location dictates where your customer base is and which area you can service. There’s no way to avoid these geographical restrictions and go global – not without moving your office-based business over to the Internet, that is.
That’s the thing with eCommerce platforms:
They can make the entire world a potential marketplace for your business; where you are is no longer relevant. Operating on a global scale allows you to reach and engage a much broader target audience. It opens up more opportunities to grow your customer base, run the business from anywhere in the world, grow your brand, and see profits long before your local competitors do.
#3 There Are No Time Restrictions For An Ecommerce Website
Unlike brick-and-mortar stores that generally have set working hours, your e-Commerce website will have no time restrictions. You can keep the sales system running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, as an e-Commerce business, you can maximize your sales and profits since access to your products and services is no longer limited by the store’s opening hours.
As for customer service, the growing use of chatbots will ensure 24/7 availability, as well – without having to pay the staff to be there. The average customer will always appreciate that round-the-clock availability.
#4 E-Commerce Simplifies Scaling & Inventory Management
Another notable benefit of having an e-Commerce website is that it makes it a lot easier to scale your business and handle inventory management.
One person and one website; that’s all you technically need to start an eCommerce store – and you can go from there. As your sales increase, you can diversify your product range and scale up your business with minimal operating costs, which will, in turn, enhance your profit margins.
Ecommerce websites also allow for simplified inventory management and adjusting the offering based on how your business is doing overall. In short, you can build your eCommerce business as – and when – your sales grow.
#5 Tapping Into Massive Search Engine Traffic Potential
A brick-and-mortar retailer would have to up their marketing efforts to get more visits and ensure that the store is located in a high-traffic area to get more walk-in shoppers.
But an eCommerce site allows you to tap into massive search engine traffic potential. Good SEO practices will ensure that your online store appears among the top results in SERPs. With that in mind, you should focus on transactional keywords that will drive revenue and make sure your product content, including product descriptions, is optimized, unique, and up-to-date.
Even if you run a primarily physical store, an eCommerce website gives you a chance to reach new customers through search engine visibility, create an additional source of traffic, and boost sales.
#6 E-Commerce Creates Markets For Niche Products
Buyers and sellers of niche products will often have a hard time trying to locate each other out there, in the physical world. It’s virtually impossible to find a specific product without going from one store to another. But online, it doesn’t take much for your e-Commerce store to be discovered:
People will type in the keyword in the search engine, and e-Commerce websites – including yours – will pop up.
Ecommerce websites have a unique opportunity to cater to a niche market simply because the Internet makes that search for very specific products and services a lot easier. And if you’re looking to serve the niche markets, an e-Commerce site will ensure better online exposure for your products, opening your business to a much wider audience.
#7 Easier To Get Insight Into Customer Data
People are generally more comfortable providing an email address, phone number, and other personal information to an eCommerce website than to physical retailers.
Your eCommerce store can use that data in many ways: You can get in touch with your customers, improve their shopping experience, retarget customers with shoppable ads, and offer personalized product recommendations.
#8 E-Commerce Businesses Meet Customers On Their Turf
Shopping is no longer about pushing a shopping cart through the store, trying to locate the right aisle, or find the desired product. To be precise, your prospective customers – up to 87% of them – will start their search for specific products or services online.
Your business should strive to meet prospective customers on their turf, where they’re doing most of their shopping – and current evidence points to online marketplaces: According to the latest statistics, it’s estimated that, by 2040, a staggering 95% of purchases will be facilitated by eCommerce platforms.
#9 Increased Control Over Brand Messaging & Affordable Advertising
An online presence is no longer something optional; it’s an expectation. Your eCommerce website is a fantastic way to tell your brand’s story, build your reputation – and it will be the best marketing tool you’ll ever have:
Nine out of ten people turn to the Internet to read reviews and research products before purchasing. It’s the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.
Set up Google AdWords for PPC advertising, use social media and email marketing, incorporate blog posts into your content marketing strategy; these are but a few examples. Either way, it will be far more cost-effective than traditional marketing channels.
Furthermore, these technologies bring the unique opportunity to employ techniques such as eCommerce upselling, product bundling and holding seasonal sales and other special events at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing efforts.
An eCommerce store that utilizes these techniques with careful strategy and thoughtful implementation will grow faster, get more sales quicker (and overall), and, ultimately, profits.
#10 Easier To Keep An Eye On Analytics
Lastly, it’s worth discussing analytics and insightful metrics that can be beneficial for improving your business’ performance and results over time.
Unlike traditional retail, an eCommerce website offers you invaluable insights into customer behaviors and actions, allowing you to make better business decisions.
You can track how your website’s doing, view your average order value and cart abandonment rates, best-selling products, learn about your customers’ buying habits, revenue by traffic source – and much more. All of that adds up, giving you the overall picture of your online store and business performance.
You can turn these bits of quantifiable data into actionable insights – and make your future business decisions based on metrics that matter to you the most.
What’s In Store For Your Business In 2021?
Based on the benefits of an eCommerce website to both consumers and businesses alike, it’s evident that eCommerce selling is the way forward.
If you already have an online store, know that you’re in a prime position right now. You can meet the customers’ demand for buying products and services online in these uncertain times.
And if you’re still sticking to the brick-and-mortar business model?
It’s time to think about setting up an eCommerce shop and get the best of both worlds – online exposure and foot traffic. The demand’s already there – all you have to do is seize the opportunity and grab the attention of your target market!
Writer: Dejan Kvrgic