Classic retailers who still sell their goods in stationary stores and appreciate direct contact with customers are usually sceptical about online retailing.
Newfangled frills, inferior quality goods, lack of service – there are many reasons that speak against online retailing in the eyes of the “long-established dealer squad”.
However, it is also a fact that once you take a closer look at the topic, you will quickly notice that e-commerce also has a few advantages. In the following article, we will tell you what these advantages are.
Expansion of the customer base
This first reason why you as a retailer should open an online shop is more or less obvious. By sending your goods to buyers throughout Germany and perhaps even beyond, you are automatically expanding your customer base – and that in turn means an increase in sales.
Or to put it another way: With an online shop, the number of people you reach with your goods (theoretically) increases enormously. What helps you here are aspects such as:
a long breath
assertiveness vis-à-vis the competition
search engine optimization
Manageable investment costs
A classic shop costs a lot of money. Money for rent, money for furniture, money for ancillary costs and so on. At this point, of course, we can’t fool you into thinking that setting up and maintaining an online shop is completely free, but it can be said that the investment costs are manageable.
Especially if you already have storage space for your stationary shop and don’t have to rent one for the online shop, the decision factor money is pushed far into the background. Then it’s difficult for you to put your budget in the wrong place when it comes to deciding for or against an online shop.
Selling niche products is made easier
Sealing wax, ribbons for the old typewriter, sustainably produced straws made of break-resistant glass – these are just three examples of many that make it clear: The more special a product is, the more likely the consumer is to buy it online.
There are certainly still stationary shops in many (large) cities where these products are sold analogously, but most people find it too time-consuming and costly to locate them.
Especially if you specialize in niche products that differ from mass consumption and appeal to a rather manageable target group, it makes sense to open an online shop in addition to the classic shop. Your sales tables will thank you for it.
The needs of our customers are becoming more and more specific.
Let’s stay with niche products for a moment. Not only old classics like the ribbon for the typewriter are bought online. More and more consumers are searching the WWW for extraordinary products that meet their special needs.
Whether individualised children’s toys or a hand soap made from goat’s milk with lavender extract – the more special the customer’s requirements are for a product, the more likely they are to search for it on the Internet. Because: “You won’t find anything like this in a normal shop anyway.”
By the way: not only the products have to meet more and more special wishes. The shopping experience itself has also been put to the test for some time now. If you don’t want to crowd through the city’s shops on a Saturday morning like thousands of other people (just to avoid finding what you’re looking for), you’d much rather shop online. Relaxation, time savings, flexibility – these are just three of the reasons why more and more people are shopping on the Internet.
Technical implementation is becoming simpler and simpler
Modern shop systems, individual interfaces and smartphone applications make it ever easier to technically implement a shop. In addition, there are now many software developers specializing in e-commerce who can help you with this task. So you don’t have to be afraid of the technical challenges.
Digitalization is advancing
Anyone who nowadays still closes their eyes to “this Internet” is almost presumptuous. Of course, analog retail will not disappear overnight. But it is also unlikely that online retailing will become massively less important in the coming years.
It is much more likely that the opposite will be the case. As digitisation continues in more and more areas (most recently, for example, political efforts to promote digitisation in schools have hit the headlines), it is extremely difficult to imagine retailers suddenly pulling back and completely disappearing from the World Wide Web.