Whether you have a brick and mortar establishment or are simply considering operating an online marketplace, now is the time to jump on the band wagon. For the past five years running, e-commerce has been trending upwards by double digits and all forecasts predict it will keep this pace in the foreseeable future. If you are wondering why online merchants are growing at a more rapid pace than local retailers, here are five reasons why online merchants own the market.
1) Great Customer Reviews Are Better than Word of Mouth
Word of mouth advertising, in the traditional sense, does provide one of the best forms of adverts for local retailers. Customer online reviews are the same concept, but imagine reaching a global audience with just one simple customer review. Now with dozens of great customer reviews and ranking systems your customers can use, think of the potential for developing a solid reputation.
2) Digital Payments Are Fast and Easy
Based on feedback from this online and business design blog, web developers are working diligently to help online merchants provide easy ways for customers to order and pay for products. A few years ago the emphasis was on improving shopping cart features, but new generations of marketplace script give even greater functionality to payment options. Not only is it easier for customers to order and pay for merchandise, but now these handy apps and plug-ins handle much of the bookkeeping end for the merchant as well.
3) Literally Every Piece of Merchandise Is in One Place
Today’s consumer is used to living life at the speed of light. After working a long day and commuting to and from their place of employment, no one likes to spend hours in the store searching for what they need or want. Then, to make matters worse, they often need to shop at a variety of retailers to find exactly what they are looking for. Online marketplaces make it convenient for the shopper as everything is right there on one website. A digital marketplace is easy to navigate from the comfort of home.
4) Never a Need to Search for a Sales Associate
Another frustrating element of shopping in a brick and mortar establishment is that there never seems to be enough floor help to answer questions shoppers may have. A good, well-planned website will have content available so that shoppers can read product descriptions and specifications. This is something even the best sales associates can’t do for literally thousands of products.
5) Reduced Overheads Filter Down to the Customer
Perhaps the very best aspect of the digital marketplace is that the merchant’s reduced overhead can filter down to the customer. Prices can be so much lower than at a local retailer because there are fewer expenses to running a website. In the end, a customer wants to save as much money as possible and an online merchant can help them do just that.
There is every reason to believe that this upwards trend in e-commerce is going to continue throughout the coming years. As technology improves and digital shopping gets easier and more secure, it is quite possible that the greater portion of commerce will be transacted online.