Living and working in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, many small brick and mortar retailers still heavily rely on foot traffic for the majority of their sales. But can ECommerce work for you?
Yes! And it's easier and cheaper than you think. ECommerce hosts like Shopify offer affordable small business pricing, making it easy to place some or all of your inventory online.
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Five reasons to move your business online:
1. USE ECOMMERCE TO REACH A GLOBAL AUDIENCE
The most obvious and instantaneous benefit to offering eCommerce in conjunction with your brick and mortar retailer is improved reach. Simply adding and advertising an eCommerce website can broaden your customer base far beyond your local retail reach.
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2. DRAW IN LOCALS WHO DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS OFFERINGS
On the flip side, eCommerce can be a great way for a business to reach locals who may not know what you sell. For example, if you mainly do business with tourists, locals may mistakenly think you're out of their price range or don't offer products that interest them, but eCommerce can help them to see what you offer.
Many residents in the Northwest region express an interest in supporting local businesses and shopping local, but are also concerned about affordability. Offering free in-store pickup, a locals eCommerce discount, or flash sales for locals can draw your local customer base into becoming regular customers, and let them know about what kinds of products you carry, while still providing them with the convenience of online shopping.
3. BE SELECTIVE WITH WHAT YOU SELL ONLINE
Start small: you don't need to put your entire inventory online. Instead, think about what makes your shop unique. From local or handmade items that only your shop carries, to your most popular products that may not be widely available elsewhere, you can carve the same niche in the eCommerce world that you do with your brick and mortar shop.
4. USE ECOMMERCE TO COLLECT CUSTOMER DATA & ENCOURAGE REPEAT BUSINESS
Collecting customer email addresses on your eCommerce website is much simpler than in store, requiring only a simple opt-in at checkout, or a form to fill out for those who do not purchase. This is contact information can be used to let customers know about both online and in-store promotions in the future, and is a key aspect in building repeat business relationships.
5. USE ECOMMERCE FOR SALES AND PROMOTIONS
On top of highlighting your unique inventory, appeal to online shoppers by offering great sales and promotions online. Online shoppers are always looking for the latest deal, and you can appeal to their buying impulses with sale, closeout and clearance items, effectively clearing out excess stock and out-of-season items.