Whether you intend to operate your online store as a standalone or to complement an existing brick and mortar, there is a lot to be gained. Below are some of the benefits of selling online
1. Cheaper running cost
Generally speaking across all businesses, the balance to keep overheads at a minimum and still deliver on quality customer service can be a challenge. Operating a brick and mortar store means paying rent, staffing, equipment, advertising, inventory, and tax. All of which can reduce your profit margins to a bare minimum.
Operating an online store has proven to lower overheads significantly. Setting up an online store is very affordable, and the cost of running it is very low. In some online business models such as drop shipping, you do not need to maintain an inventory or incur the cost of storage and shipping.
2. Lower marketing cost
Marketing cost for an online set up is relatively low. Compared to a brick and mortar where sending a newsletter to a thousand customers by post would be more expensive and time-consuming, an online store can send the same via email at a lesser cost monetarily and effort wise. Target marketing for an online store is way more effective and cheaper.
3. Expansive market reach
An online store’s ability to reach your community is remarkable. Depending on what products you are selling, this reach could extend to being nationwide and even internationally. For cross-border sales, however, a business owner has to contend with tax, export and import implications.
4. Your store is open 24\7
Cyberspace is not restricted to time zones or physical limitations such as borders. As such, not only can you sell cross borders, but your online store is also open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Given that everything is automated including payment gateways shoppers can purchase any time of day that is most convenient for them. The store owner also enjoys excellent flexibility as they can add products and any necessary update at any time of day.
5. Increased awareness of your business
Online businesses can leverage on consumer search through search engines like Google. When customers within a given geography search for a product or service that you provide, they are likely to see you displayed as one of the businesses offering the service or product they are searching for. Google will rank you higher if your site meets their requirements such as being mobile friendly and being search engine optimized. Your store is likely to have a lot of traffic coming from search engines which work to your benefit regarding consumer awareness culminating into improved sales.
There are many benefits to online selling provided you keep investing in the marketing aspect and refining your selling processes.
Top 3 Platforms to Sell Online
With the innovations coming in technology, there are various opportunities and platforms available in the market for small and large businesses as well as entrepreneurs. Therefore, if you’re planning to start-up a business, the process is now comparatively easy as well as quick. All you need to do is research well, find out the platform that suits your business needs as well as budget, and an idea to start-off.
This article will list down the top 3 platforms that one could use if planning to start-up their own online business.
Shopify is one of the leading ecommerce platform that serves more than 600,000 customers worldwide. The set-up is quite simple and the platform is user-friendly and efficient. You can set your online store in 3 simple steps. Furthermore, it provides additional features such as customized themes, customer support, a 14 day free trial, plug-ins and more. Therefore, Shopify is a good option for you to start-off, also in terms of price.
Magento is another amazing ecommerce platform that you can choose. It is an open-source software and is self-hosted. Furthermore, it provides features like full control over options to customize the website, customer support, plug-ins and more. However, you can use Magento if you have a team of experts who are aware of the various programming languages. Magento is complex to use, as compared to Shopify.
BigCommerce is also an ecommerce solution provider which is extremely scalable. It has served as an ecommerce solution provider for some of the known brands like Toyota. With BigCommerce, you can optimize your ROI, increase sales and performance with the features it offers and make your experience a great one. It price plan starts from $29.95 per month which is similar to Shopify’s Basic Plan. Furthermore, it has amazing SEO tools and you can also sell across various channels like Instagram, Facebook and more. BigCommerce is not as complex as Magento, but not as simple as Shopify. It supports various payment options like: PayPal, Amazon Pay, Adyen, Stripe and Square.
Therefore, if you’re planning to start your online business any time soon, these platforms are a good option to choose from. You can do your research and note down the kind of platform you require and the needs it will cater to. Choose your ecommerce platform wisely, as it could impact your business.