“It is clear that the online channel has won over the American consumer and will increasingly be relied upon to deliver on the dimensions of a lower price, convenience, and selection”.
Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman
Brick-and-mortar stores today feel the impact of the digital age and in order to survive need to be backed by an ecommerce store.
Here are the reasons why every reseller should sell online
You’re losing out on potential customers
Businesses that have an ecommerce store are not limited by location. You can target potential customers from anywhere as long as you have a shipping plan in place.
It’s a win for customers as well, as they can shop from anywhere. Online shopping also increases the choice they have. Online shopping is a great option during peak holiday shopping seasons. Customers don’t have to navigate traffic, no parking woes, nor long checkout queues.
An online store is open 24 hours, unlike physical stores.
Customers usually search for products online before buying. If you have a good SEO strategy, you will rank well on Google.
These customers come looking for your products themselves, you won’t have to work very hard to convert them.
If you sell a niche product or serve a niche market, you’ll open your business to a much wider audience by selling online.
The rise of the millennials
“Millennials are first-generation digital natives who feel at home on the Internet.”
Millennials are the first group of humans to be born at the age where practically everything is controlled by the internet. They prefer doing every chore online, be it paying bills, buying groceries, dating and more importantly shopping.
Why exactly should you pander to this generation? Because there are approximately 75 million millennials in America alone. They are the largest generation in America, looming over the baby boomers.
Millennials are not just your B2C buyers, they are also the largest segment in the workplace. 50 % of the US workforce are millennials with the figures predicted to rise to 75% by 2030.
Which means that your B2B buyers are most likely millennials too.
This is a generation that prefers buying online. Sending them Excel sheets and long, boring quotations will not do your business any good. This article outlines how a B2B reseller can overcome challenges and start selling online too.
A store in every pocket
Forrester estimated in August 2012 that in just the next few years half of the American mobile internet users would also be mobile shoppers, making online purchases directly from their phones or tablets.
An ecommerce store lets customers buy at their own convenience, irrespective of time, day or your business hours. Your buyers have to just pull out their cell phones from their pockets or bags and can shop from wherever they are.
Build an ecommerce store now and lay a strong foundation as mobile commerce is going to be the next big thing.
Popularity of marketplaces
“Amazon is the leading e-retailer in the United States with close to 232 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 net sales”.
Amazon, Google shopping, eBay etc. is where the world shops. Studies say that a huge chunk of customers first searches for a product on online marketplaces before purchasing it.
Your competitors selling on these marketplaces can take away your customers if you don’t create your presence there.
Selling on marketplaces expands your reach and brings your products to customers who may not have heard of your brand.
You lose out on valuable data
An ecommerce software integrated with analytics provides real-time data about your products and customers. You can see information like the traffic to your website, shopping cart abandonment, demographics, popular pages and products and a lot more.
This data helps you understand your customer’s preference, to facilitate marketing and address problems.
Brand awareness is important
Customers are spoilt for choice today. There are thousands of businesses offering similar or the same products.
Why then should a consumer buy from you? The way you brand yourself online comes into play here.
Your ecommerce store and social media channels need to have consistent branding and should be engaging as well. Consumers like to interact with brands on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.
Your website should answer all the basic queries of customers. Provide additional information about your business or articles on how to use your products on your website. For example, food companies provide recipes and tips on their website. IT companies can have product comparison articles or unboxing videos on theirs.
Create a story for your brand to increase customer engagement. This type of information sets you apart from other sellers in a competitive market.
You cannot engage with your customers if you do not have an online presence, as most of your buyers first turn online to get information on a new brand.
You’re not where the shoppers are
Let’s take the help of statistics to understand why you don’t need to create a demand online, just fulfill it.
78.1 per cent of the total U.S. population or approximately 245.2 million Americans are active Internet users.
Google data indicated that 44 per cent of the shoppers surveyed intended to make an online purchase and 51 per cent look online before making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store.
According to comScore, shoppers now make 51% of their purchases online, compared to 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014.
It is easier to serve customers already in search of a product than it is to convince potential customers that they need something in the first place.
That’s a wakeup call for retailers. Get online today or risk your business dying a slow death.