As George Bernard Shaw rightly puts it, "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." Technology and the Internet has a big role to play in the changes we see today. The digitalisation of the world has made life easier by bringing everything at people's fingertips. Online shopping is the latest trend, rapidly replacing supermalls.
E-commerce is the new retail storefront. Shoppers are fleeing physical stores and turning to online shopping for their purchasing needs. Why? They enjoy the convenience of one-stop shopping. From mobile phones to groceries, clothes to accessories, everything is at their fingertips at the mere click of a button. It's only a matter of time before online shopping doesn't just dominate the market but enjoys a monopoly among customers.
Online shopping benefits both customers and retailers alike. People from all age groups resort to digital purchasing as it offers convenience, better options and bigger discounts.
Read on to learn why selling online is simpler than owning a brick and mortar store:
Setting up an online store is comparatively easier than opening a brick-and-mortar store. Starting an e-commerce business involves costs such as investment in a well-designed website, purchasing a desired domain, hiring appropriate technical support to manage payment portals and undertaking shipping of products.
Ecommerce or online stores have the benefit of skipping dealerships in the process of selling any product. Smartphone companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo, OnePlus and Micromax YU and automobile companies like Tesla have demonstrated how online sales can be a successful approach. These companies sell their smartphones directly to consumers without involving dealers or offline stores, which draw more expense.
As mentioned earlier, bypassing dealerships in the process of selling products, manufacturers are able to keep the cost of the product minimal. Low cost for premium products is a great combination to attract shoppers. This gives manufacturers enough room to experiment with new products and get immediate results.
Quick Audience Feedback
By the means of online sales, manufacturers get instant results on the success or failure of a product. Unlike in retail stores, a lot of time and investment is required to promote a new product before getting any results. Instant feedback from audience helps manufacturers build suitable products that will meet consumer requirements. In case a product does not click, companies can withdraw halfway.
Owning a brick-and-mortar store involves a lot of maintenance. Everything from staff to the wellbeing of the store contributes towards the mounting expenses in an offline store. On the contrary, online stores are very easy to maintain. Tying up with established online stores such as Amazon, Flipkart and Alibaba will further drop the expense of maintaining an independent website.
Online stores benefit manufacturers by saving them on setup and the maintenance front. As a result of direct sales to consumers, steep discounts and attractive offers on products make a strong appeal to consumers. Considering real world scenarios, several products from different categories such as electronics, clothing, automobile and others fetch attractive discounts on the MSRP of the product. Shoppers will find difference in price from online and offline purchases, granting yet another bonus for online stores.
One of the major advantages of having an online store over brick-and-mortar outlet is the freedom to be available 24/7. This is one area where offline presence is limited. Shoppers can go online in quest for a product from any category, be it electronics, clothing, or even furniture. Manufacturers can benefit from uninterrupted presence to attract consumers at any time of the day or night.
Setting up a faithful customer base is key to successful business in online and offline chain of presence. Once again, online stores have an edge over brick-and-mortar stores with extensive reach to shoppers anywhere in the world. As for offline stores, the potential customer base is limited to the surrounding area.
Extensive Range of Collection
Retail stores have limited space and stocking a wide range of collection gets crowded. However, maintaining a wide range of product portfolio can be seamless in an online store considering only photos and description of the products are displayed. By providing suffice information, manufacturers can convey the true essence of the product. Displaying variety of the same product shouldn't be a problem online.
Wider Smartphone Presence
Studies have proved that online sales are booming compared to offline. Last year, the global online sales topped $1 trillion for the first time. The wider adoption of smartphones is a great contribution factor to the online sales model. Web-based sites are switching to mobile apps to get connected to customers in a more seamless fashion.
Network experts Ericsson revealed in a research that there were 2.6 billion smartphone users in 2014 and the number is likely to reach 6.1 billion by 2020, which will represent 70 percent of the global population. This puts the manufacturers in the forefront of billions of customers who can directly connect with them through online channels.
Convenience is the best way to connect with people and online stores offer just that. While brick-and-mortar stores have their own perks, the pros of running online stores outweigh them.