21 Jan Why your business should have an E-Commerce website
Your business should be reaching new customers while simultaneously staying on the minds of existing customers. Business owners with a brick and mortar storefront know this is no simple task. An e-commerce website will allow a person in any location, at any time of day, to purchase goods from your business.
An e-commerce website can benefit a business by:
1. Collection of customer data for e-mail marketing.
It’s tough (if not nearly impossible) to collect e-mail addresses and other customer details during checkout in your store. The average shopper does not want to provide their e-mail address for the associate to plug in, regardless of the offer. Gathering information online is much more effective than trying to do so in person, as website visitors are already accustomed to providing this data over the web.
A sales associate will typically only communicate with a customer who is making a purchase, not a potential customer who is only browsing. Collecting leads online is a more effective method to capture the information of a prospective customer who is only window shopping today.
E-mail marketing gives you the ability to increase new and repeat business by strategically and continuously re-engaging prospective customers. This opportunity doesn’t exist for businesses strictly running a physical storefront. You’ll also need to develop ways to capture e-mail addresses with various offers your website can provide.
2. Reach new prospective customers through search engines.
Location plays a large factor in the success of a physical storefront. A shop with bad visibility has less potential for organic foot traffic. An e-commerce website levels the playing field between prime locations and less trafficked areas. Instead of your physical address determining your business’s location, your ability to rank in searches engines determines how visible you are. Potential customers who haven’t driven past your store or heard about it from someone else now have the ability to find your business online. Everyday someone is searching for something relevant to your products, an e-commerce site gives you the ability to be found and sell your products directly through the web.
3. Increase visibility of store promotions.
Every store has promotions and deals. Your e-commerce store is another avenue to market your special promotions. These promotions are also a great way to execute on the first point of this post, collecting e-mail addresses.
4. Allow prospective customers to shop where, how, and when they want.
If you only have one way people can shop for your products, you’re missing out on the group of shoppers who prefer to (and sometimes are only willing to) shop the alternate way.
Many people like to shop online to avoid travel time and traffic, opting to shop from the comfort of their own home. Shopping online also gives customers the ability to shop when they want; including times that your store is closed (an e-commerce store is always open). Every year, more shoppers are opting to sit out Black Friday and wait for Cyber Monday.
Some customers prefer to drive to the physical store so they can touch and examine the products only after they’ve used to internet to thoroughly research their options.
Having both a brick and mortar location along with an e-commerce site allows business owners to cover all of their bases. Let the customer have the option to decide how and when they want to purchase your product.