With the ever-evolving customer landscape and changing customer demands, convenience has become the center point of great user experience. Businesses today cannot rely solely on one sales channel to cater to all customer needs and even ensure convenience. They need to be omnipresent. They need to have their own website or online store and tell the modern shoppers, “Hey! We’re here for you! Just visit us on abcxyz.com, browse through our comprehensive products/services, and enjoy a great, seamless shopping experience.”
Through this blog, we aim to highlight impactful ways in which eCommerce is constantly changing consumer shopping habits, why having your own store makes sense, and how FarziEngineers can help you successfully scale up your business and enjoy high revenue gains.
The changing face of eCommerce
In the last three decades, the eCommerce industry has entirely revolutionized retail activities. From mostly being a non-existent business model that companies deferred almost a decade back, today, it has become a major threat to the traditional retail stores. Amazon recorded its first online book sales in 1995, and ever since, consumers have never looked back. The eCommerce giant has practically left everyone spoilt for choices and addicted to its personalized online services. Recent stats also show that the eCommerce alone is expected to do $3.9 trillion(USD) in sales against $1.1 trillion(USD) by the retail sector.
Moreover, unlike its early days when eCommerce’s services were fairly limited with hardly any customizations or minimalist looking websites with nearly a handful of products or services to choose from, it has transformed completely. Not only does eCommerce serve as a platform of convenience to the general public but a great avenue for retailers to capture a bigger and wider market.
Take Nike, for example. Despite being one of the biggest athletic footwear and apparel brands with nearly 1,096 retail stores worldwide, and marking a total revenue of about $6 billion,  it too decided to enter the eCommerce market. The execs at the company revealed that consumers today prefer online shopping than visiting brick-and-mortar stores. Online, they get a wider selection of products to choose from and take advantage of Nike’s customize-your-own-shoe feature. Consumers can choose their own footwear design, add features as per their needs and preferences, and even choose their hues. What else can consumers possibly want?
Since marking its online presence, Nike has seen a staggering growth in its overall sales. The athletic footwear and apparel brand soared a 36% increase in digital sales in 2020, and these numbers are expected to only grow in the coming years.
Similarly, Walmart, too, recently entered the eCommerce league after realizing that despite being the largest big-box retailer in the world, it was losing a lot of business to its rivals, especially Amazon. By marking an online presence, Walmart is not only conveying that it’s physically present to cater to all the needs and demands of its customers but also virtual.
Why should you have your own eCommerce store?
Drawing learnings from the above-quoted examples, it’s pretty much clear that for any business to survive in today’s time and keep themselves profitable, they need to mark an online presence. Even today’s customers prefer to engage with brands with the online marketplace than ones still stalling through brick-and-mortar stores.
Here are some of the top reasons why having your own eCommerce store makes sense for both first-time and established merchants.
1. Low Set-up Cost and Faster Go-to-Market Time
Unlike a traditional retail shop, setting up an eCommerce store is a faster and more economical option. You basically save up to 3X the amount of money with eCommerce. You can use the saved money to invest in promoting your brand online through social media promotions, online advertising, search engine optimization, and much more.
Companies like us, FarziEngineer, can get your eCommerce website up and running in a matter of days. And yes, we’re pretty pocket friendly. We help you substantially grow your business online by custom designing your eCommerce website keeping in mind your needs and preferences and even work towards magnifying your brand image on the internet.
2. Better Exposure & Wider Customer Base
Being present on the internet means exposing your brand to a wide customer base. With an online store, your sales and profits are no longer restricted to the number of people walking into your physical store and buying your products. You give prospects and customers the advantage of making purchases at the comfort of their homes. An online store further allows you to explore new geographical boundaries. Make your mark beyond the local markets and cater to a much wider, global customer base.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snap significantly help to drive product discovery. Through these sites you can attract a much broader customer base than you can practically imagine or find the right niche market.
3. Shoppers Start Online
People today are hooked to the internet. For every information they need, for every product they want to buy, they search the internet. As per recent stats, 87% of shoppers today begin their product searches on digital channels  and end up buying from brands with a great online presence.
It clearly means if you’re not present online and heavily relying on retail stores for sales, you’re surely losing out on a lot of potential business. In fact, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, being present online is the only way to retain at least 2/3rd of your business revenue. If you still don’t have an eCommerce store, you’re practically handing over a significant chunk of this revenue to your competitors. So, get online today!
4. Customer Data Insights
Even today, most businesses fail to understand how easy online stores make for them to collect and measure customer data and act accordingly. An eCommerce lets you collect first-hand customer data by tracking their interaction with your website, understanding where they’re facing issues, the products they’re liking and disliking, and how smooth their overall journey is. You can use all of this data to improve your product offerings and services, enhance the purchase cycle, and provide personalized experiences similar to one offered in a physical store. In fact, 78% of customers are more likely to convert into repeat buyers when greeted with personalized offers. Such data serves as a constant feedback loop of actionable insights to help you continue to innovate customer experience and pave the way for higher conversions and revenue.
Remember, use only ethical ways to collect data. Follow privacy laws like GDPR, etc. And, if you’re collecting sensitive data, ensure to protect it all the time.
5. Content Marketing Strategy
Another reason why having an online store makes sense today is because it allows you to display more information about your products and/or services to your target audience. It gives you enough space to pen down even the minutest of details that your target audience is likely to enquire about your products to make a purchase.
You can also use content (in the form of blogs, videos, infographics, etc.) to provide more information about your brand, how it came into existence, its story or journey, how your products are made, and much more.
For example, food companies like Whole Foods provide tips and ideas to consumers around better eating habits besides offering an expansive range of day-to-day food items. Such content helps create a brand story while promising an overall better customer experience and sureshot conversions.
6. Serve Niche Markets
We understand that it can be very difficult for a stamp collector to find a stamp seller. However, due to the internet’s ease and breadth today, searching for a seller is much easier than ever. Meaning, eCommerce makes serving a niche market even very easy.
For instance, yours is a business that deals in antiques, which is a very specific and confined market. Your products are not meant for the general public to buy only the wealthy elites. eCommerce and the internet can help you find this niche, target them, and increase business conversions.
To conclude, today’s eCommerce serves as one of the most powerful tools to scale your business to lengths and breadth unimaginable. You’re not only saving high on setup and maintenance cost but exploring avenues and reaching an audience base beyond your thoughts.
As a company that heavily advocates eCommerce and its benefits, FarziEngineer has pioneered the art of developing best-in-class, business-centric eCommerce platforms. If you’re planning to go online and looking for an agency to convert your physical store into an eCommerce shop or revamp an existing one to increase conversions, we’re here to help!