If you are considering setting up an E-commerce website, there is just so much to know and think about before getting started! However, the one thing you should always keep in mind is that online sales are growing at a much faster rate than those in brick and mortar establishments, so you could sum it up nicely by saying that the future of commerce lies in the digital domain. Having said that, it’s important to look at a few statistics and understand just how E-commerce works. Once you get a handle on that, you’ll understand why you should sell online.
A Look at the Most Recent Statistics
According to Statista, the most reliable source of retail statistics in the United States, the most recent annual figures tallied were for the year 2016. Figures from the most recent year, 2017 are yet to be released, but you can assume projections will be almost on the mark because previous projections were just that close. As of 2016, E-commerce captured $322.17 billion USD and it is projected that by the year 2021 (a five-year projection) E-commerce will tally to over $486 billion USD which is a growth rate faster than that in brick and mortar retail establishments. In other words, E-commerce will be taking a huge chunk out of local retail sales. That’s one very big reason to sell online!
Customer Satisfaction Is High
In terms of statistics, 77 percent of those who use the Internet shop regularly online. Some report shopping at least once a month while many are reporting that they shop online 2 or more times a week. That 77 percent may not jump out at you right away, but when you understand the ratio of Internet users in terms of what portion of the market you can capture, that 77 percent equates to 67 percent of the entire population. Of those who shop online, customer satisfaction is high as is evidenced by repeat business and a continued practice of shopping online. Some stick with online market places like Amazon and eBay while others will search for new vendors – and here is where you need to focus your energies!
What Google Has to Say About Online Marketing – It’s Mobile Madness!
It is also extremely important to understand how people are searching for products, services and businesses. There are two things to keep in mind here, the first being how people are searching but the second factor is User Experience, referred to as UX. Google found that a high majority of people access the Internet from mobile devices and of those internet users, an extremely high percentage search for retailers from smartphones and tablets while on the move. In an all-out effort to improve the UX of the majority of Internet users, Google updated their algorithms a couple years back in what is now known as Mobilegeddon.
If websites aren’t responsive, users will bounce off and you will lose customers. This simply means that you must make every effort to make sure your main sales pages are going to be viewed well on a tiny mobile screen. You will almost assuredly lose that potential audience to a website which can be viewed well and is easy to navigate from literally any device. If you are going to enter the world of E-commerce you must focus on mobile searches!
Tips for Capturing That Market
Here, a word should be said about capturing that portion of the market that is searching for new products, new services and yes, new businesses to deal with. Many expert marketers suggest you use WordPress for your website because it is the most user-friendly Content Management System (CMS) which won’t require you to check daily with a marketing firm or web development company to keep up on statistics. There are WordPress plugins to track visitor behavior every time someone accesses your site.
These plugins track behavior in real time so that you can analyze your site’s performance. You want to know your bounce rate and you certainly want your shopping cart to be effective. The right plugins can help you understand where you need to adjust your pages so that you retain those visitors and convert them to customers. That is a vital step in E-commerce! You can find services online such as OptinMonster who can help you to reduce your cart abandonment rates through conversion optimization technology.
The #1 Reason People Shop Online – Convenience
Now we get to the nitty-gritty of why you should sell online. Looking at all the above information, although it just barely touches on statistics, you can see that there must be some driving force that is pushing E-commerce continually upwards. That would be convenience. If you were to poll regular Internet shoppers, the one thing 99% of all respondents would offer as a reason for shopping online would be convenience. Most consumers like the fact that they don’t need to wait in long lines, they don’t need to go out after a long day at work and they can simply walk to the door when their purchases arrive.
In fact, some online retailers deal in the digital realm, so consumers don’t even need to do that! Everything from books to music to movies can be downloaded and accessed from the very same device they just ordered on. Just look at Amazon’s offerings of movies, music and books to see how the largest online marketplace is literally making a killing in the digital realm. Choose a movie, pay with a card or PayPal, and sit back immediately to enjoy the entertainment you’ve just ordered. What could possibly be more convenient than that?
Extending Your Reach Is Second Only to Convenience
When enumerating the advantages of E-commerce, extending your reach is a huge consideration. Within nanoseconds your marketing can reach literally millions of potential customers. To understand the value of this instantaneous extended reach, you should think about the key to overcoming objections. One thing which every salesperson learns early on is that you don’t give the customer time to think about all the reasons they can’t or shouldn’t buy what you have to sell. If you give them time to think, even if it’s something they have wanted for a very long time, they will talk themselves out of the sale. Any marketing class will teach you that!
So then, reaching a potential market of millions quickly with effective marketing strategies that draw them to your website can offer you a huge increase in sales. Remember those plugins mentioned above where you can track the behavior of visitors to your site? This is an important way in which to use that plugin. Track visitor behavior to see if your bounce rate is inordinately high or if they get as far as the shopping cart and abandon it. Shopping cart abandonment is a whole other topic, but that one little WordPress plugin can tell you where you are losing those potential sales, and can help you begin to find the solution.
Summing It Up in Just a Few Words
There really is so much to consider that you could take an entire semester-long course to understand the advantages of E-commerce, but to put it in a few words, consider convenience and extended reach. Look at just how large the online market is and then you’ll understand why you should sell online. E-commerce offers unlimited potential if you are looking to succeed in a retail market. It’s really just that simple to understand. The hard part is in the execution, but those WordPress plugins make that simple as well. You really can’t lose!