Online shopping has evolved and became a valuable and interchangeable part of our daily lives. It transformed the way we buy our products and many shops rushed to take advantage the web’s global reach to maximize profits and attract a wider audience of potential clients.
The vast majority of internet users have bought something online. Buying online is fast, easy and you can find almost anything; from the latest electronic gadget to a private jet. It is estimated that B2C online shopping (Business to consumer) reached $142.5 billion sales in the US alone and estimated to climb up to $279 billion by 2015. Apart from reaching a wider audience and maximizing sales, business have a lot more to gain from being on the web.
• Accessibility: Having an online shop means that a shop’s products or services are available to potential buyers 24-7, 365 days a year.
• Fast payments & Invoicing: Promoting and encouraging customers to use online payment portals such as PayPal, Moneybookers and Google Checkout allows shops receive payments instantly. Moreover the in-build tools of these portals make invoicing, return policies and refunds extremely easy to do, reliable and efficient.
• Reduction of cost and management: Having your shop online is much cheaper and easier to handle than physical shops. There is no need for an actual shop or staff. Creating an online shop with full functionality is so fast and does not require any programming knowledge since it can be fully outsourced.
• Social media: Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites have revolutionized the way people connect and share information online. Using social media techniques in marketing campaigns can be extremely effective and much cheaper than traditional advertising campaigns.
• Promoting offers: In order to buy products online, consumers provide their personal and contact details to shop owners. That information can be used in order to assist in promoting upcoming offers, sales or services.
There have been many year since Overture, eBay and Amazon pioneered and capitalized on online shopping, but the importance and vast growth of the web’s users (Estimated to reach 6 billion by 2020) does not stop to attract businesses into shifting and promoting their operations online. In the economic crisis that we live in, shops should that want to survive and increase their chances of getting more sales should take advantage of the internet revolution. A small investment into creating an online shop can be a lifeline between survival and bankruptcy.