Technology has completely reshaped the way we lead our lives and online shopping is one of the many new habits we’ve willingly adopted.
It’s brought convenience into the lives of many people who may not have had the resources around them physically in the past. For example, a person who lives out in the country can now have access to nearly any store in the world, not just what’s located in town or the surrounding areas.
This goes the other way, as well — the internet has opened up the world to vendors and merchants. Anyone with an internet connection can now be a customer and that comes with some serious benefits over operating a traditional brick-and-mortar store.
So, without further ado, here are four advantages of going online-only with your business:
Simple to get started
Starting from the ground up at a brick-and-mortar retail store is going to take a serious investment. The United States Small Business Administration estimated that the average start-up cost was approximately $30,000. That is a lot of money at play in what is inherently a risky situation. You have to factor in rent, acquiring product, paying staff, insuring your products – the list goes on and on.
Taking your store online gives you the freedom to be your own boss and structure your business however you want. If you want to buy a domain and maintain the website yourself, you absolutely can. If you want to take an easier, more manageable approach, Shopify is one of the best free ecommerce website builders available. Most of these websites require little technical expertise to get off the ground with pre-packaged solutions that are customizable to your needs.
Less risk of theft
It’s an icky feature of traditional retail stores that is just flat-out unavoidable. Theft is always going to be a problem when you open up a store, depending on the quality of any security measures you may have in place. However, camera recording systems require expensive installations and someone to watch them. You could place a man in front of your store for protection against theft, but that’s just another expense.
However, even though it is impossible for anyone to get sticky fingers inside of your virtual store – cyberattacks are still a very real threat. Customers will not want anything to do with your brand if there are security concerns, and rightly so — who wants to risk their identity just to make a few choice purchases online?
With a pre-packaged ecommerce store, you have the comfort of the security provided by a large corporation.
Once you have a setup with an ecommerce platform of some kind, you will need less resources to operate your business than you would at a physical store. You don’t need anybody to keep an eye on the cash register, or watching the security tapes, or managing employees. These are all features of a brick-and-mortar store and you don’t need that anymore! Not only does less staff mean less hassle, it means saving more money to invest in other areas of your business.
Traditional retail stores can only be open as long as there are people in the store to manage it. Keeping an all-night operation going can be expensive unless you are doing serious business during the hours that most people are asleep. While this works for bars and nightclubs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a small grocery or shoe store that is open at 2 a.m. With an online marketplace, you are able to make sales and conversions on your products all day and night. You don’t need to physically man the store, meaning that anyone who happens to access your site at any time of day will be able to buy from you.
More selling time means more sales and should allow you to increase the amount of stock you can ship.
Running an online store isn’t easy. You are still going to have to figure out your shipping methods, customer service and other facets of a business – however, it can be a much more contained and straightforward process compared to the brick-and-mortar world.