1. Low set-up and running costs
Rent, electricity, licensing, and storage are all overhead costs involved in setting up an offline business. Matched with staff costs, council tax and heating, the cost of setting up a bricks-and-mortar shop are often excessive. However, the cost of setting up an eCommerce website is significantly lower. There are no heating bills or rent to pay when you have a website online. A major eCommerce advantage is the low barrier to entry – almost anyone can set up a website and start selling instantly! You can reinvest the money you would’ve otherwise spent on shop overheads to develop your eCommerce website and improve your product offering.
2. Buy anything, from anywhere
A major benefit of an eCommerce website to consumers is that they can buy from you, regardless of where they live. Instead of being limited by geographical restrictions, your reach is exponentially larger – if your consumer has an internet connection, they can shop from you! Especially in light of working from home restrictions and during lockdowns, COVID-19 encouraged consumers to shop online where possible. Dependent on your shipping availabilities, your reach could be global.
3. Run your business from overseas
Fancy a quick holiday, or have to pop overseas to see family or for business? No problem! With an online business, a benefit of an eCommerce website is that you could be anywhere in the world and still run your business successfully. With a strong internet connection and access to a computer and a phone, you can oversee and manage your business from your laptop.
4. Quick buying process
An eCommerce advantage is that the decision-to-buying process can be quicker online than offline. This is due to the vast range of products consumers have instant access to, allowing them to make informed decisions quicker. When consumers browse in stores, they might not find what they’re looking for, resulting in them roaming around various shops to find the correct item. When shopping online, you can easily browse multiple websites at once to find the perfect item. Additionally, if your website is online, you’re instantly entered into the decision-making process for that consumer, whereas if your presence was entirely offline, you might not have been considered.
5. Provide more detail about items
When consumers view items in a shop, they are likely only to receive limited information about the product. Limited space on product tags or staff shortages may result in the consumer not receiving full information about a product, resulting in the consumer not purchasing the product. When you list an item online, you can market it extensively, providing ample information and high-quality images to persuade consumers to purchase it. Furthermore, you can display reviews and testimonials about the product or service, allowing the customer to access more information. You can use specialist branding and language to market the item in a more sophisticated and considered way than if it was merely displayed in a shop. Due to the more appealing nature of online listings, consumers may be more inclined to purchase your products compared to in person.
6. Different payment methods
In a world of credit, Klarna and ClearPay, consumers love to have choice. Whether it be splitting a purchase over three months or buying now and paying later, consumers like having plenty of options, especially around major holidays such as Christmas. The benefit of eCommerce websites for consumers is that they can accommodate all of these options. When shopping in person, a customer may not be aware of niche offers or discount codes, there’s no cart recovery, and they certainly can’t use PayPal at the till. By offering more variety of choices online, you’re more likely to make more sales.
7. Easier to measure success
An important analytical benefit of an eCommerce website is the ability to track your performance. Using Google Analytics, you can view statistics such as your audience demographic, their journey through your website, how they respond to certain blog posts, cart abandonment rate and more. By viewing and analysing these statistics in great detail, you can make targeted improvements to your business that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
8. Advertising costs are lower
When comparing the cost of a billboard to the cost of a Facebook advertisement, not only is there a stark difference in price, but also in success. There is limited personalisation and the risk of your advertisement not reaching the right audience by advertising offline. A benefit of an eCommerce website is that you can advertise online and reach the right customers for much less money – perfect for smaller businesses.
9. Open 24/7
Much like there are no geographical restrictions with an online website, there are also no time restrictions. When you shut up shop at your bricks-and-mortar store, that’s it; you’re done trading for the day. With a website, you’re always on. Whether people are shopping at 3pm or 3am, your products are always available to look at and purchase. This helps increase your potential sales tremendously, as you are no longer restricted by the 9-5.
10. Respond to trends
An eCommerce advantage of having a website is that you can quickly predict and identify trends, giving you time to respond to them effectively. By viewing your sales history, you can anticipate rising trends and respond accordingly. Promotions, discounts and offers are easily managed through your website provider. We recommend using OpenCart due to its ease and usability. Our dedicated team of professionals has over ten years of experience creating SEO-friendly websites that provide excellent user experience across various industries.