COVID-19 has brought in a new era for which most weren’t prepared, doing business online has just become a new reality most of us have to accept. This article contains six obvious benefits of selling online to help you with this decision.
The Internet is a powerful platform providing a broad awareness of e-commerce websites. There are over millions of people searching the internet every day, looking for products, services and entertainment. Online shopping is increasing year on year with a drastic rise during the COVID-19 times and is being seen as a convenient method to purchase products, where you can also buy at any time of the day with minimum human interaction involved.
Additionally, E-commerce websites allow you to employ a range of marketing and sales techniques to give people that extra reason to stay on your website and buy your products. Below is a brief outline of some of the benefits of selling your products and services online:
- You get payment upfront
Selling products online has been seen to have greater margins and better cash flow for the business because of upfront payments. The shopping cart and payment options on e-commerce websites also mean you are gaining a 100% payment from the customer straight away. This will improve your cash flow and you say goodbye to chasing after clients’ payments.
- More people are doing stuff on the internet
An abrupt increase in internet usage is not surprising with so many people ordered to stay at home by their governments. Millions of people are going online for entertainment, to stay in touch with loved ones, search for products and to purchase products. Total internet hits have surged by between 50% and 70% ever since the Coronavirus outbreak, according to preliminary statistics. Streaming has also jumped by at least 12%, estimates show, Netflix grew by 15.8 million subscribers compared to an expected 7.2 million ever since the COVID-19 outbreak lock. According to Maria Rua Aguete of Omdia, E-commerce will be the other sector that will see a revenue boost as a result of the pandemic, adding $175 billion in revenue in 2020, which represents a 5% increase.
- You can sell across towns, provinces and even boarders
The use of online stores has turned the world into a global market with companies selling products all over the world and have them couriered to customers’ doorsteps. Selling direct online increases your reach. With an online store, your profits are no longer limited by the number of customers that can physically visit your store. You can sell across towns, states, and even across borders, removing all geographical limitations. With online stores, companies can now grow beyond their city, national and continental borders without having to physically set up where customers are located. Businesses like Amazon and Takealot have grown into big businesses with very few physical stores but operating from a warehouse where they dispatch all their online orders worldwide.
- No restrictions on operating hours
Online stores allow you to take orders 24/7 without having to hire more staff allowing you to cater for shoppers who find it more convenient to browse and buy at times when retail locations are not traditionally open. The convenience this offers to your clients is the biggest perk. You would want your business to be that shop where customers can comfortably shop at midnight while in your pyjamas, no lines, no annoying shop.
- Online stores are pro-social distancing
COVID-19 has caused a lot of changes in our society, from the way we trade, to the way interact with others as governments world over encourage limited physical contact through social distancing. As such people are looking for alternatives to daily life that limit contact with other people. This was first seen in China where they experienced a drastic shift towards online grocery shopping when the Coronavirus outbreak started. Concerns over possible food contamination during delivery have also spurred innovation in contactless pickup and delivery services by companies like McDonald’s and Starbucks which are increasing delivery services that limit human-to-human contact.
Post COVID-19 lockdown strategies set by countries like South Africa will permit restaurants and many other high contact businesses to re-open provided they are able to take orders remotely and deliver orders their customers and online stores will be the best way to do this.
- You know the most popular products
You may be thinking how do I know that having my own online store will be successful, how will I measure the results? E-commerce websites are in fact extremely measurable and trackable through systems such as Google Analytics. You can view statistics including how many orders are processed through your site, average cart total, cart abandonment rate and percentage of total revenue your website has achieved at regular intervals. You are also able to track which products are selling the most, which ones are not selling as much and be in a position to make sustainable stocking strategies.
Selling online has multiple benefits to the seller and we can go on and on, but we should not forget the benefits that it brings to the buyer as well. Buyers have been seen to enjoy great convenience from buying online which includes; no need to travel, ease of sending gifts, ease of comparing prices and the comfort of shopping without leaving your couch.
Conclusively, companies that are highly responsive have already started setting aside budgets to replace their physical offers into virtual offers, develop their old digital services into seamless services and create new online products and services. If you hadn’t started considering setting up shop online, now is the time and we can help you. Drop us a message here and let’s start that journey together today!