The benefits (and downfalls) of e-commerce

Staff Writer Staff Writer
July 22, 2020

More than 60% of people across the world use online shopping as one of their primary methods to purchase their goods and services.  And we have the growth of e-commerce to thank for revolutionizing our entire shopping experience. 

But it’s not only consumers that reap the benefits of online shopping. For businesses and brands, easy-to-build online platforms have become their saving grace. With e-commerce, retailers have been able to expand their business and maximize all the benefits of offering their products online. Here are just a few of the advantages of taking your store from brick & mortar to digital. 

Fast & convenient

While building a site used to require a vast amount of knowledge of web development and coding (or a large budget), platforms like Shopify and Squarespace provide templates that allow you to streamline the creation of your online store.

Building an online platform is favorable for business owners in the same way that online shopping is more accomodating for potential buyers. The convenience of shopping online is one of the biggest reasons why e-commerce has taken over the retail space.

Targeted communication

With SEO and content marketing, you can focus on keywords and topics that you know your specific audience cares about. On online advertising platforms, you can choose who will see your ads based on factors like keywords, demographic data, geographic location, and even interests and hobbies. 

Your budget will be focused on reaching specific people who are likely to care about what you’re selling and buy your products. All of this enables you to get more for what you spend, and improve your results over time as you learn.

Reach new markets

If you operate from a physical store, you can be limited by the geographical area that you service. With an e-commerce website, you can market and sell to anyone in the world. The best part is that you can also use a mix of online touchpoints to engage multiple audiences at once, including niche markets.

Open 24/7

Hours of operation for regular brick & mortar stores have always been an easy way to lose out on customers, especially if you’re a small business that closes early or doesn’t open on a Sunday. With your products and services available on an online platform, you’re not restricting any potential customers and are able to maximize your sales and increase your profits.

Lower costs overall

Significantly lowering the operational processes also lowers the number of employees it costs to run an e-commerce website. E-commerce and marketplaces are either free to sign-up for or have prices as low as $20 per month. And most online platforms take care of hosting, platform maintenance, and PCI compliances, and you won’t need a prominent physical location (think: rent costs), so you’ll be saving tons in the long-run. 

When you’re saving that much on operational and rental costs, you’ll have a higher budget for advertising. Social media, organic search, and google ads are all extremely cost-effective ways to market your brand — especially when compared to print ads or media buys. 

While there are a lot of benefits to having your services & products available to purchase online, there are some downsides: limited interactions, technological breakdowns, shipping errors — and the fact that your consumers can’t test your products or try them on. All these factors should also be considered before offering your products and services online. 

However, they shouldn’t scare you away. With the rise of e-commerce in the past few years alone, and the projection that it will continue to grow, it’s clear that shifting your brand to an e-commerce platform is advantageous in a multitude of ways. 

Do you own a business or e-commerce store that needs help reaching new audiences? We are a creative agency that specializes in influencer and event marketing, and we’d love to help you out. Contact us today. 

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