Despite the massive potential of online retail, many new retailers are not building their own ecommerce sites, instead opting to exclusively use third-party platforms for digital sales. Third-party ecommerce platforms or marketplaces have come to dominate a huge chunk of online retail and are popular for good reasons. These businesses offer unmatched convenience for both merchants and potential customers. However, there are plenty of reasons businesses should consider having their own site with a digital payments solution that isn’t dependent on a third-party ecommerce platform and is backed by a globally recognized financial services provider. Below are some of the reasons your retail business should maintain a unique ecommerce website.
1.) Permits 24/7 Shopping
This is an advantage that applies to all online retail but is still worth mentioning. After all, facilitating 24/7 shopping in a traditional brick-and-mortar context can be surprisingly complex and expensive. Not only do you need to pay for the cost of one or two additional shifts, but you need to consider additional utility and asset depreciation expenses as well.
Investing in an ecommerce website allows you to address all of these issues and opportunities. You can even offer items that may not be allowed on mainstream platforms. When set up properly, your business can continue to reach customers and generate revenue even while you sleep.
2.) Creates Trust
Customers are less likely to trust businesses that do not have a credible online presence. and when it comes to this factor, even a presence on a major third-party platform may not be enough. Unless a merchant’s store has a high volume of activity and trustworthy reviews on a third-party platform, it is likely to cause skepticism among shoppers, turning them off before you’ve had a chance to earn their business.
While there’s certainly more to building trust than having a functioning ecommerce site, it does build the foundation necessary to create it. By adhering to best practices for digital marketing and site design, you can maximize the odds of your retail business gaining traction online.
3.) Helps Streamline Inventory Management
Ecommerce websites can link to your inventory, enterprise resource planning, and digital payments solutions. Linking your site to these systems permits much better transparency in inventory management, allowing the business to make better decisions. These linkages also allow the business to eliminate human input in several parts of the process, reducing human error and all their associated costs. Stock losses due to employee theft and misplacement can also be virtually eliminated.
4.) Improve Customer Value
Ecommerce websites empower businesses to engage in finely tuned customer retargeting. This may potentially increase the rate of repeat business, maximizing average customer value. This can be done by configuring the site to include customer relationship management (CRM) functionality.
5.) Reduce the Cost of Each Sale
Having a properly configured CRM system connected to your site can also provide your sales and marketing teams with highly expanded capabilities. Apart from improving average customer value, the business can also use their ecommerce site’s CRM systems to discover things about customer behavior, allowing marketing and sales processes to be more refined. This can reduce the amount of time and money needed to develop brands, reach customers, and close each sale.
6.) Quickly Adjust to Market Changes
Using an ecommerce site to gather customer insights is easier and more accurate compared to traditional customer surveys. Additionally, the data gathered through your site can be collated and presented immediately, allowing you to see trends as they happen.
While the behavior of online shoppers may not be the same as that of those who prefer brick-and-mortar experiences, it tends to be a good indicator of general market trends and preferences. Having an ecommerce component can therefore help your business see potential opportunities and pitfalls sooner, enabling it to become more resilient.
7.) Scale Growth at Lower Costs
With brick-and-mortar locations, the cost of expansion tends to add up very quickly. This is especially true when businesses expand overseas, as there are additional costs to doing so in most cases.
On the other hand, expansion through ecommerce sites is typically much more affordable, even in cases where the business has to develop multiple versions of the same site and content. The much lower cost of expansion can potentially allow businesses to scale up while limiting their overall risks.
8.) Meet Current Expectations
Online shopping is not the future. It has been the preferred mode of shopping in much of the world for around two decades. According to data collated by data research firm Statista, about 80% of all US-based shoppers purchase goods and services online. Similarly high rates can be found in virtually all of the world’s developed economies and even in some in the developing world. Having an ecommerce site effectively puts your business in step with how the majority of the world operates in the present day.
Take Charge of Your Retail Business’s Digital Future
As time marches on, even more shoppers will rely on online shopping and digital payment solutions to purchase an ever-expanding array of products. While being on popular third-party ecommerce platforms has numerous advantages, it may be a mistake to be on these platforms and forgo building your own ecommerce site altogether.
Having your own site reduces sales and marketing costs, provides you with a better picture of customer needs, helps you create better value propositions, and increases opportunities to reach other markets. By developing your ecommerce site, you are making a conscious decision to take charge of your retail business’s digital future.