More people than ever before are doing their shopping on the internet, and there are plenty of benefits to online shopping that suggest that this trend is set to continue its upward climb. If you are looking to enter the world of online retail, you can make a significant profit if you do things right. Below are some of the things that tip the scales toward online retail for customers deciding between doing their shopping online or in-person. As you leverage these features, you can mobilize your target audience and increase your sales.
Customers these days are pressed for time. When faced with the choice between wandering through the mall to find the one item that they need or purchasing an item from the convenience of their smartphone or laptop, they’ll often choose the latter. One thing that online stores can offer, that their brick-and-mortar counterparts simply can’t, is search filtering. A well-organized website allows customers to filter their search results by relevancy, prices low to high or high to low, rating, size, color, etc. These filters help customers get exactly what they want in a matter of minutes and that is a pretty attractive proposition.
People can go to a department store and find a couple of different brands of, say, denim jackets. Or they can go online and find dozens of different brand options. This is a major selling point. Though you may not love the competition you face in the online marketplace as a seller, there’s no doubt that customers are drawn in by the large number of choices at their disposal. People are swayed by big marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart because of all of the different brands they offer. As you list your wares in these marketplaces and distinguish your products from the pack through stellar customer service, great ratings, and low prices, your business will thrive.
Customers love being able to switch stores almost instantly without physically traveling between different facilities. They don’t have to track down the item they want or wait in a line to purchase it. Another convenient aspect of online shopping is that it allows consumers to complete their purchases wherever they are, at any time of day. They can save on gas and shop where they are—whether it be at the dentist’s office or their own back porch.
Some customers may be concerned about making returns but you can address this worry by offering free returns and 24/7 customer service. If people know that returning is nearly as convenient as purchasing, they’ll be more likely to patronize your online store.
Online shopping offers more discretion than shopping in a physical store does. If your customers are buying products that are considered sensitive or intimate, they may feel more comfortable ordering from your online store. Make sure to offer discreet packaging to make customers feel even more at ease.
Online shopping also allows customers to see their past purchases (for simple reordering) and track shipments and payment. This data is harder to get from physical stores. As you offer these features through your online store—or sell through marketplaces, such as Amazon, that make these features available—you will be even more appealing to customers
A few decades ago, we could have only dreamed of online shopping. Now it’s a reality with limitless possibilities. Still, not everyone is sold on the idea of online shopping, but you can win over even the naysayers as you tweak your business model to capitalize on the many perks of online selling.