Whether you have a brick and mortar establishment (restaurant, retail store or, otherwise) or are attempting to become an online retailer, having a quality e-commerce solution and shopping cart system is an absolute necessity in the era of the Internet.
According to Google, 2012 has brought a dramatic increase in consumers’ use of the Internet to research products before making a purchase. The more people who research your product, the more users you’ll have the opportunity to convert into loyal customers.
Advantages of an E-commerce Solution: The Shopping Cart
Online e-commerce solutions like a quality shopping cart system for your website will allow you to tap into markets you never could have if you were running a brick and mortar establishment. It can also provide a steady stream of income if you’re looking to get into the online retail space. The burgeoning mobile shopping industry alone is said to bring in about $20 billion in 2012 and, with an easy-to-use, reliable e-commerce website, you’ll be able to get your piece of the online pie. Brick and mortar retail establishments can increase revenues with little overhead – a proper e-commerce website can run as little as $1,500, depending upon the quality and amount of customer support.
Expand Your Target Market
By setting up a website to do business online, you’ll be able to reach thousands more customers than you would by simply having a brick and mortar store. Think about it – how many times have you been walking in a public place and seen people using their Smartphone or tablet? More than half of those people are using their devices to either shop online or research their purchases. Without an online presence and shopping cart, you’re losing out on the possibility to market and sell your product to the more than half of American Smartphone owners alone -that’s about 170 million people. Potential customers who aren’t aware of your establishment have a, much higher chance of finding your online store than a brick and mortar establishment. You will also have the opportunity to advertise online to targeted geographic locations, an approach that is generally cheaper, more influential and more cost-effective than the increasingly outdated traditional advertising methods.
“Sell” Your Product
Aside from expanding your customer base, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to “sell” the product to the customer. Yes, you’ll obviously be able to sell your product in a goods for money exchange, but you’ll also be able to sell your products in the form of content marketing. Provide your customers with detailed descriptions of your products, allowing them to shop with confidence. Create videos that emphasize and illustrate your expertise on the products or start your own blog (hopefully you’ll go viral – touched on in the next section) to keep your customers informed. With detailed, helpful descriptions of your products, your customers will feel more confident buying the product – no bumbling or pushy associates driving customers away. Many e-commerce sites provide customers with comparison shopping – showing other products you offer that are similar to the ones they’re browsing. The more information and options you can offer the customer, the more empowered they will feel. And, the more empowered they feel, the more confident they will be when making a purchase through your online store. With increased consumer confidence, you’ll experience more sales and less “buyer’s remorse.” There’s nothing worse than making a sale, only for it to be returned, so provide an easy, honest and quality online experience to your customers, and they’ll repay you with their continued patronage.
With an online presence, you’re setting yourself up for bigger and better things – a greatly expanded target market, increased calls to action and an increase in projected revenues. Every day new products and businesses get the boost they need when their products, services or promotional materials go viral – the process of an Internet site or accompanying material being shared by thousands or millions of Internet users. When your site goes viral, you get organic exposure to the exact markets you’re targeting – users aren’t known for sharing things online that they don’t use or support themselves! To grow your business you need more name recognition and exposure; if you’ve got a quality product and an e-commerce solution to selling it, the sky is truly the limit for your business.
GL Strockbine provides online content and copy writing services for a variety of different industries, utilizing his undergraduate education in Liberal Studies from Rutgers University in New Jersey.