Why Should You Sell Online—10 Benefits of eCommerce Websites
There is no doubting it — eCommerce is already considered a way of the future. Selling online has provided an opportunity to grow successfully. Many industries have accelerated in their progress since the COVID-19 virus has driven the world to uncertainty, social distancing, and caution. But the question “why do you need an eCommerce website?” still remains. An eCommerce website has many positive aspects that can assist a business to excel. More people are forced to shop through online platforms, shining light on the benefits of eCommerce Websites — for companies and consumers alike.
In other words, eCommerce websites have become a vital aspect of the retail business framework with the digitization of the business landscape. Consider this: more than 60% of people worldwide prefer to search online to purchase goods or services. Provided with easy internet access, people consider buying things off online marketplaces from the ease of their homes.
So, if you are one of those businesses struggling to get more sales through your brick-and-mortar store, it is high time to consider the benefits of eCommerce websites and make “the shift” to progress forward!
Types of eCommerce Websites
It is estimated that there are 12 – 24 million eCommerce websites worldwide, and the numbers are only increasing. The reason for this spike is the low investment it requires than the physical store. Since the numbers are only soaring, let’s understand the two main types of eCommerce websites to build your eCommerce store.
Vendor-Specific eCommerce websites
Vendor-specific eCommerce websites, by name, define that they are built and run by an individual business owner and that business is the only seller on the website. It may be an online storefront of a physical store — think: Nike, and it is one of the most common eCommerce websites.
These online stores benefit from having their own brand space to sell their unique products. However, they require much more effort as you need to build and manage the website.
The multi-vendor marketplace is a complete marketplace featuring different businesses and a wide range of products from different sellers. Amazon is perhaps the most prominent multi-vendor marketplace, making it the perfect example for multi-vendor marketplaces.
The website owner creates and manages the website, while third-party vendors — including individuals and large corporations — offer their products through the site. Sites like these are best suitable for sellers just starting out since you don’t need to set up an online store. These websites are also used by vendor-specific websites since it helps them reach a broader audience.
10 benefits of eCommerce Websites
The online marketplace allows you to expand your business through leaps and bounds. According to Statista, a tremendous spike in sales through eCommerce websites is observed every year. With a total of 4.9 trillion USD in 2021, the figures for eCommerce retail sales are expected to reach 7.4 trillion USD by 2025.
Giving customers a choice to make purchases in just a few clicks, the creation of an eCommerce website empowers you to augment your business. With that said, let’s dive into the 10 benefits of eCommerce websites.
#1: Lower start-up and running cost
One of the significant benefits of eCommerce websites is that you don’t need to break the bank to get the website up and running. From the initial launch of the store to the general maintenance can be done remaining in the budget. Launching an eCommerce store usually involves the cost of web hosting, domain name, web design, website logo, and signup fees on eCommerce platforms.
In other words, the entirety of your business will be online. This means you can save on staff wages and additional business costs, including electricity, office rent, and utilities. The money you save can be used to develop your eCommerce website and increase your product range. In addition, if you own a dropshipping business, you can even avoid the upfront investment of stocking products.
#2: Faster buying process
Customers don’t have to spend hours or travel far and wide to find a required product. An eCommerce store allows customers to browse through the listed items and purchase by clicking on the buying option.
For example, if you are looking for a skincare product that is unavailable at the store you usually buy it from. So, instead of traveling to another place where there is a probability of finding the product, you simply log in to a popular eCommerce marketplace and place an order to be delivered. The best part is there could also be a sale on the product, and you don’t need to travel again to purchase it.
This is where an online store comes to the rescue for shoppers. They simply search for their favorite item online and get a fast response to make a purchase — all in a matter of minutes.
In simple words, the benefits of eCommerce websites include the customers finding the product they require, a choice to make from a wide range of options, and getting the order delivered to their doorstep. Ultimately, the customer is happy with the shopping experience without having to travel far for it.
#3: Global Outreach
A brick-and-mortar store has a specific geographical area and caters to a particular — not to mention a limited — audience. The physical location of your store dictates that your customer base is based on the area that you serve, and there may be a problem going global — it certainly means moving your office-based business online.
Here comes the advantage of having an eCommerce business. An online platform serving as a storefront for your business allows you to operate globally. This means a broader customer base and many opportunities to grow. Not just that, having an online platform, you can function from anywhere in the world, grow your brand, and profit from it all year long before our local competitors do.
#4: No restrictions
An essential advantage of eCommerce websites for businesses is the flexibility of time for the customers. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, an eCommerce store can function 24/7 to provide services.
Think about it: customers are always online and are likely to return to a marketplace where they find the convenience of shopping. These conveniences include the ease of shopping at the time they want, free shipping or a delivery fee to the minimum value, valuable deals, discounts, and subscription advantages.
The customers’ convenience of shopping means better reviews on products they purchase. This results in two benefits for your eCommerce store: first, the buyers deem your website trustworthy based on positive reviews of the buyers. Second, they can help you identify the best-selling items for your store. Sellers benefit from the no restriction feature of the online marketplace to build revenue.
#5: Easy Scaling and Inventory Management
eCommerce stores are great at keeping track of the items that sell well. This way, you can ensure that the inventory levels of those items are always in stock. It allows you to expand your business in sales, customer base, and profit margins, among other aspects.
A website is all you need to get started with an eCommerce store. Once you have enough sales, you can diversify your product range and scale up your business at minimal operating costs.
In simple words, eCommerce websites allow business owners to simplify inventory management and adjust offers based on how well the business is doing.
#6: Massive Organic Traffic Potential
There is a lot that a brick-and-mortar store needs to do to get more visits to their store. Perhaps locating their store on a busy street can get them more walk-in traffic. However, for an eCommerce store, it is easier to gain recognition from the beginning. Sure, you need to put in some marketing effort, but then what store works without marketing, right!
Among all the benefits of eCommerce websites is their potential to gain massive search engine traffic. Keeping up with good SEO practices ensures that your store appears among the top results of the search engine result pages.
When optimizing your store, focus on transactional keywords to drive revenue to your store. In addition to that, make sure that your content, including the product descriptions and product images, is optimized, clear, unique, and up-to-date.
#7: Product and price comparison
With a vast range of tools available, it is easier to compare the products and prices online. This gives you insight into the product alternatives, set standard pricing for the product, and if the customer needs are fulfilled with the product.
Unlike a physical store — having only the knowledge of its own inventory — comparing prices and products online is faster and covers numerous products in the inventory. It saves time and provides details that are difficult to get from a physical store.
This just doesn’t benefit the sellers but the customers as well. When they have a product they want to purchase, they can feel confident about spending the right amount of money on the product with better price comparison online.
#8: Faster response to buyers and market demands
Every interaction with the customer is just fast, and that is expected of eCommerce websites. eCommerce businesses offer a streamlined logistics and delivery system. It means that the buyer’s order is delivered efficiently. Not just that, the product return management is also a plus point that must be catered to efficiently. You can either return the order and payments or simply offer a replacement.
Fast response is not just limited to quick order delivery or return management. It is also applied to responding to the customer’s demands for the product. Amazon’s “notify me” option for products out of stock is an amazing example of the “fast response” that should be a part of any eCommerce store. Doing this can notify the customers of the product availability while keeping them hooked on your store.
#9: Increased control over brand messaging and advertising
Building an online presence has become an expectation of the customers, and not having it can negatively impact your business. With an eCommerce store, you can easily relay your brand story to your audience and build your reputation in the business landscape.
The fact is, that nine out of ten people turn to Google to read reviews and research products before they purchase them. Consider this to be the equivalent of Word-of-mouth marketing. Not just that, using social media marketing, posting blogs for content marketing, and more, all these marketing strategies work best and in a cost-effective way to create awareness for your brand in the market.
These marketing strategies provide upselling opportunities and product building and inform customers about seasonal sales and other special events that cost a fortune for traditional marketing efforts.
In other words, eCommerce marketplaces are visual channels. The better you can showcase your product to the customers, the better it will impact sales.
#10: Provides insightful metrics and analytics
Insightful data and analytics are always beneficial for improving business performance and results. It assists business owners in making better business decisions and foreseeing the trends and pitfalls of the business.
You can track your eCommerce website, and view your order value and cart abandonment rate and the best-selling products, customer buying habits, and revenue through a single tool. All these factors showcase every detail of how well or average your store is performing.
You can take the information collected through the tools, turn them into insight and make valuable decisions based on your market performance.
In a nutshell, establishing an eCommerce store is more accessible and easier on the pockets than setting up a physical store. A simple — yet attractive site — and access to the internet can provide you with passive income and a high return on investment in the long run. If you have a plan and the knowledge of the products to meet your customers’ needs, grab your chance to create a robust eCommerce store today!