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Why your business should get an online store

January 6 2016 | By Helen Baginska

There are numerous benefits for shopping online for both merchants and customers. Shopping online saves costs, attracts new clientele and helps you to create brand awareness and to better understand your customers.

Nowadays people expect businesses to be online. More than 80% of the online population has used the Internet to purchase something. Your customers expect you to be available, and this presence allows you to keep up with the competition. Basically, Ecommerce is no longer a luxury, but a necessity in today’s business world.

There are numerous benefits for consumers to shop online. They don’t need to leave their couch and interact with anyone, they save time, money and they get much wider product selection.

Now let’s look at the benefits for merchants:

• Attracting new clientele. As a business owner, you want to grow and attract a new audience. If you are online, your potential customers may land on your business page even if they’ve never heard of you before.
• Saving on operational costs. Running an online store can actually save you money. How? An Ecommerce store doesn’t come with the same overhead costs as a physical store plus the additional profit that is made from reaching more customers will offset any initial setup costs.
• Understanding your customers. With an ecommerce store, you have the ability to track your customers’ buying habits. What products are they most interested in? When are they likely to buy? What motivates them? All of this information can be used to sell more efficiently to your customers.
• Boosting brand awareness. Ecommerce will help your brand get more awareness in the online landscape. As you develop more web pages, the search engines can index them and boost your placement. It’s important to use good keywords in your content that are optimized for your audience, as this is what will drive traffic to your site. As your site gets more visibility, people will become familiar with your brand and reputation.
• Equipping customers with information. When you have an ecommerce site, you can provide as much information as you want, which customers appreciate. From the product description to customer reviews to shipping charges, you can arm shoppers with the information they need to make informed buying choices, and you don’t need to provide the staff to answer these questions. This leaves you with more time for other tasks around the workplace.

Why fight the crowds when you can shop in bed?

Now let’s go over some stats from this year’s Cyber Monday to show the importance of being online for businesses just like yours.

Since its official start in 2005, Cyber Monday sales have continued to increase every year and show no signs of slowing down in the near future. Not only are more businesses looking to establish online stores but also they are looking to develop their stores. According to Invesp, ecommerce sales are growing at 10% each year in the US alone and 19% worldwide.

This year Thanksgiving instead of suffering crowded malls and navigating busy parking lots, many shoppers chose to spend their money online. According to a newly released Environics Research survey commissioned by TD Bank, almost three quarters of shoppers polled said they do at least some of their Christmas season shopping online. The survey found that 37 per cent of those who do most of their holiday buying online say they spend more than they would in an actual store.

Cyber Monday 2015 was America's biggest e-commerce sales day ever. Data collected by Adobe found U.S. online orders totaled $3.07 billion. The previous record was set last week on Black Friday, when $2.74 billion worth of merchandise was sold. The sales total also marks a 16% increase from Cyber Monday last year. IBM (IBM, Tech30), which also tracks e-commerce sales, said spending was up 17.8% from Cyber Monday 2014, and more customers than ever opted to browse deals on their mobile devices.

Something to keep in mind when considering going online:

• Online stores made an average of 43% more during these holidays, compared to 2014
• Estimated 40% of holiday shopping occurred online
• An estimated, 92% of holiday shoppers went online to either research or purchase gifts this season
• According to a recent study, 41% of online shoppers purchased from a new retailer.
• People who shop both in person and online spend 66% more than those who only go to stores.
• 74% of shoppers search online to get ideas for their holiday gift lists.

Without Ecommerce, you’re limiting the potential for growth. Fortunately, we have great Ecomm solutions for you. Just give us a call! With the right software in place, running an Ecommerce store is simple and rewarding.

Sources Used:
time.com
huffingtonpost.ca
money.cnn.com
business2community.com
marketingadept.com
pfsweb.com

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