Now is the Time to Start Selling Online
Why start selling online now?
We are currently at the cusp of a major transition in buying patterns of retail customers. Till last year (2017), the number of Americans who prefer purchasing from regular retail stores have had a slight lead (51%) over the ones who prefer purchasing online (49%). This situation will change this year with online purchases becoming the most preferred choice for American customers.
Phenomenal eCommerce growth
The world-wide eCommerce sales is expected to grow from $2.29 trillion dollars in 2017 to $4.9 trillion dollars by 2021, which is about a 113% increase. Hence it is clear that there's a huge potential that can be tapped to increase your revenues by starting to sell online.
Online purchases are expected to keep growing steadily at least for the next 3-4 years, but it is to be noted that mobile commerce will grow faster than regular eCommerce.
Over the past 4 years, mobile commerce has grown by over 300% and it shows no signs of slowing down.
It is also to be remembered that eight out of ten customers use their smartphones while shopping as in-store shopping assistants to help them understand more about the products, make product comparisons, check prices etc.
Easier access to global markets
If you plan to sell online globally, you will be also able to take advantage of the rapidly growing mobile commerce markets in developing countries like India, China, and Malaysia. So the need of the hour is a mobile friendly eCommerce website that can help you sell online both locally and globally at ease.
Compelling customer needs
There are many compelling reasons why customers prefer to shop online, some of them are -
- Ability to shop 24/7
- Save time
- Sales & Promotions
- Free shipping
- Ability to find obscure products
- Purchase products not available locally
If your new online store is able to offer most of these benefits to the customer, you are sure to make your new eCommerce venture a success.
Having an online store can also boost your offline sales since at least 74% of the customers will do some amount of online research about the product that they intend to purchase at the store.
How to sell online?
Two of the most common channels that consumers use when they research about products are the company's website and the search engine (According to a 2017 study by the Local Search Association).
You can start selling online in many ways, including but not limited to -
- Sell on larger online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay etc.
- Sell on social media like Facebook-Store
- Build your own eCommerce website on a SaaS based platform like BigCommerce.
- Build your own eCommerce website using an on-premise / self-hosted platforms
Although an on-premise / self-hosted platform gives you 100% control of your eCommerce website, it also burdens you with the responsibility to build and maintain it as well as the hardware platform.
Why choose SaaS based eCommerce platforms?
For Brick & Mortar stores wanting to start selling online, SaaS based eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce offer the best value proposition since they do not require heavy investments neither for the platform nor for the implementation services. With platforms like BigCommerce, at a nominal monthly cost, you get the following benefits:
- Rapid website implementation (sometimes even less than a month!)
- Easy integration with payment gateways
- Out of the box integration with marketplaces like Amazon & eBay and social media stores like Facebook Store
- Localization capabilities
Apart from these benefits you also get easy integration with 3rd-party applications via APIs, mobile readiness, multiple theme options, enviable uptime, etc. These benefits far out-weigh the monthly subscription costs of SaaS based eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce. If you still want to take it easy and go slow with eCommerce, the least you could do now is - start influencing your store-customers online using social media.
About Lister Digital
Lister Digital (http://www.listerdigital.com) is a CX Consulting and Solutions provider with Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, and CRM practice areas. The company is uniquely positioned to help organizations cut through the clutter of marketing noise and tools and connect the dots between Strategy, Technology and Execution in an intelligent, practical and hands on manner.
Lister Digital is headquartered in the SF Bay Area with additional offices in Seattle and Chennai.