9 Features and Benefits of an Expertly Designed eCommerce Website
'According to marketer 80% of internet users in the country will purchase via any digital channel this year'
Are you a glutton for online shopping? Do you spend the late hours of the night browsing the latest products of your favourite retailers? The days when it was compulsory that goods and services be bought in person are gone. Thanks to e-commerce, traditional trading has been revolutionised. Online stores not only makes the task of shopping easier, but also more fun and being digital means there are no business hours giving customers the freedom to shop outside business hours.
The convenience of e-commerce has conversely made consumers lazier. Why make the long journey to a retail outlet when you can access it from a mobile? As a budding retailer, having a website optimised for e-commerce is an ABSOLUTE must, but beyond being a requirement it comes with a variety of valuable perks.
Running an online store is highly cost effective as you avoid costs that would affect your real world counterparts. Some of these avoided expenses include
A website doesn't require the hands-on attention required by an entire team of employees. Processes such as inventory management, billing and operational costs can be fully automated.
- Store Bills
Save money not having to pay expenses such as rent, electricity and gas.
Technically an e-commerce website is not exempt from this avenue, the pricing is just more affordable and the process easier. As a website, you automatically avoid the geographical constraints of rivals meaning your advertising will have greater reach and a higher chance for conversion.
- Travel costs
Customers no longer have to spend money travelling to your store. This is a factor that will benefit your business as the advantage of saving will conversely increase the likelihood of attaining sales.
2. No geographical boundaries
Using an e-commerce website people can buy products and services from wherever they want and they possess greater purchasing power. It not only removes geographical boundaries but also offers convenience and the benefits of being able to be purchase practically anything at any time, 24/7.
3. Better equipped to build customer personas
E-commerce retailers are very good at keeping track of the buying habits of customers. As a result, you can monitor their purchasing behaviours and adopt new strategies to engage and constantly deliver exactly what they want. You will be able to access data that helps you to determine the products they're most likely to buy,
4. Easier to engage
There is a limit to how much info you can convey in a physical store and number of customers you can serve at a time. A strategically designed e-commerce website delivers a customised message to customers that will encourage them to take action, which makes easier for e-commerce retailers to engage their target market.
5. Gain new customers through search engines
'According to Leverage Marketing only 5% of users go as far as the second page'
There are 3 billion searches conducted globally on Google every day, however, handful of businesses are using eCommerce platforms to sell their products and services. An e-commerce website thrives on the traffic generated by search engines. A physical store simply cannot meet this huge market of people as they are constrained by their physical locations. Using search engine optimisation strategically, e-commerce retailers can get significantly more customers than other digital and traditional marketing channels.
6. Get customers to sell your own products
Social proof has become a trend in marketing, customer reviewing is a trend that is on the rise, according to Marketing Land 90% of customers are influenced to make purchases based on online reviews. An e-commerce store will empower your customers and encourage them to leave a review. If you can convey world class service then your visitors will become your greatest conversion machines.
An online store should be treated much the same as a real one. It needs to be inviting and comfortable enough that the customer will be happy to stay around and fondly remember the experience. Every extra second a visitor spends on your website increases the odds for conversion and improves revenue. Ensuring your website is strategically designed and delivering the right info to your target is one of the first steps to engage your audience.
8. E-commerce is eco-friendly
E-commerce aids the environment in a number of key ways
- Reduced paper usage
By consuming less paper you are saving trees and preserving the habitats of valued species.
- Less vehicular traffic
Because you are saving customers the hassle of travelling you are subsequently aiding the environment by minimising traffic and air pollution.
- Optimum utilisation of resources
Because of the lack of a physical store location you will ultimately be helping save valuable energy resources such as electricity, water and land. You may rent an office space but the energy demands of such a location will not likely match those of a physical shop location.
9. Easier to find certain products
In the physical world, finding a shop is much more difficult than an e-commerce retailer. There is no way of immediately knowing when you enter a shop whether they have the product you're looking for (Unless they have a website). With a website however, not only is this information visible to customers at a glance but stats like availability and customisable options are also available.
Having a physical store has its own pros and cons but if your target market is on the internet it is a must to have an eCommerce website, however, if your ideal customer is not digitally engaged than a physical store will better serve your purpose. Possessing an eCommerce website is not enough to ensure sales; it needs to be strategically implemented in a way that communicates the brand essence and unique selling proposition so that you might generate higher rates of conversion and ultimately success.
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