The internet permanently changed the way people shop. In 2015, internet sales worldwide were $1.672 trillion, yes, trillion, dollars. In the US, there were over $341 billion dollars. More and more people are going to Amazon and similar stores online to purchase their items.
To give you an idea of the growth in online shopping here in the US, let’s look at Amazon’s sales since 1995, their first full year. Sales were all of $511,000. In 12015, they were over $107,000,000,000. From thousands to billions, are over 200,000 times greater.
If you have a product or service you can sell online, without someone having to come by your physical location, it is absolutely something you should be pursuing. Where your brick and mortar location is only open for a given set of ours on given days during the year, your online store is always open.
What makes E-Commerce so powerful for many smaller businesses is there is no need to maintain a large physical inventory at your business. Maintaining a physical inventory requires a commitment of resources in hopes the product will sell in a timely fashion. And it limits the number of items which a business will have at a physical location, due to space and financial limitations.
This is not at all true with E-Commerce. A business can display all of their products, not a limited number. A few of the positive benefits from this is that visitors get to see all products or services a business has to offer and no funds are tied up in inventory. And they can buy at any time, as your online store is always open.
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
-Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com
There are many positive reasons to take your business online. Here are just a few:
- Scalability - You can increase your scope and reach at very little extra cost, compared to opening satellite business locations. Depending on what you sell, your market could literally be worldwide!
- Open 24x7 - Your online store, unlike your brick and mortar store, never closes. If someone want to buy at 2:00 AM, you’re open for business.
- Customer Recognition - When a visitor purchases from you, and becomes a customer, they can be added to your database and you have a record of all sales they make and the type of sales and interests they have. (Think of how Amazon and others know what you buy and make meaningful recommendations when you visit their site.)
- More Time - You actually have more time to devote to expanding and growing your business. Have a new product or service? It can be quickly and easily added to your store and you can notify previous buyers of new items now available on your store.
- Building Community - Linking to your business’s social media can build a community of clients who interact with one another and can help drive more business your way. Key to this is great customer service.
Online E-Commerce is used for so many products and services today, that almost anything that is sold in brick and mortar can be sold over the internet, with very few exceptions. There are any number of E-Commerce platforms selling a vast variety of products, some are even customized for a specific industry.
Whether it is selling software, music, books, clothing, furniture, boats, cars, airplanes – even islands – pretty much anything can be sold online. And the cost of setting up your online store is minimal, compared to just a decade ago. You can easily take credit card payments online, offer discounts and so much more. If you have a product or service, you should really explore adding E-Commerce to your website.
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