The global pandemic has forced the world to rethink how they do things. From the way they communicate and work to the way they shop and conduct business.
With quarantine restrictions being imposed on and off a year after the global pandemic was declared, it’s become increasingly important for businesses to pivot their commercial operations online.
But while eCommerce has become a crucial part of businesses’ sales pipeline, that doesn’t mean setting up and launching an eCommerce brand will be easy. But this is how it always begins in business.
Even small companies that may already have some brick-and-mortar retail experience often find that the digital world is a different game. There’s more to consider when it comes to opening your online storefront, and you can’t merely jump in unprepared. You may already have a website up, secured your business accounts for multiple social media platforms, and your products are ready to be sold.
But that’s a discussion for a different article. In this one, we discuss the importance of eCommerce and point out five reasons why this is as good a time as any to launch an eCommerce brand.
World Wide Shopping: The Significance of eCommerce
As the economic climate continues its digital pivot, planning an online brand is inevitable. The shift to the digital world has become essential for so many businesses.
Apart from the continually increasing number of people preferring to shop online, many brands are finding that building a strong eCommerce presence boosts their businesses in a multitude of ways (such as increased reach and the ability to pursue more targeted and qualified leads).
In a way, shifting to an eCommerce brand is the only logical (and responsible) choice for some smaller businesses to keep going. For other startups, an eCommerce brand is an excellent means to get started in the industry. It’s easier to market a brand online, given the number of platforms available to do it in. And there’s no better field to do it in:
- In 2018, retail eCommerce purchases amounted to $2.84 billion. As of 2023, that number has exploded to $6.5 trillion.
- There are two billion digital buyers around the world. And according to the Global Consumer Survey Report for 2019, one-third of the consumers interviewed say that they purchase products online at least once a week or more.
- 51% of online shoppers use their mobile phones, so they can shop from just about anywhere. Furthermore, by 2021, mobile commerce is expected to take up to 72.9% of the market.
- Customers aren’t reliant on cash either—credit cards are the online customers’ preferred payment method.
5 Reasons Why It’s A Good Time to Launch an eCommerce Brand
Having an eCommerce brand has become more convenient both to operate and maintain. Unlike physical stores, they can be available 24 hours a day, with customers shopping from the website whenever they choose. And because the internet is so accessible, it’s easier to reach customers who might have never seen their store otherwise.
The reach of an online store is far more extensive than that of a physical store and with social media platforms continually finding ways to target potential customers for brands, it’s become so much easier to reach qualified leads that have already expressed interest in the kinds of products and services you carry.
Easier to scale
Another significant advantage is its scalability. Physical shops need substantial capital for upgrades and expansions as the brand grows. Conversely, with an eCommerce website development, there are fewer logistical issues involved, and you can easily add more product lines, payment options, or even shipping destinations as you scale your online brand.
Businesses can even adjust how many employees they need. Since there are no salespeople involved and most of the services are done online, there won’t be a need for a full staff. Furthermore, remote workers can also do customer service calls and chats via various online tools.
This leads to the fact that an eCommerce brand is far more cost-effective than its physical counterpart. Both advertising and hosting a storefront are cheaper. Digital marketing is also incredibly budget-friendly. This makes it easier and cheaper to bring in customers than commercials, posters, billboards, or other traditional marketing forms.
And having less staff on board means fewer costs in human resources. Less logistical concerns mean more capital goes into products, packaging, and shipping and not onto store rent, maintenance, or other store-related bills.
Overall, the overhead costs of maintaining a physical store just don’t hold a candle to eCommerce. And with money being a scarce resource in these unforeseen times, you’d be wise to cut costs wherever you can.
Plain and simple, people have just gotten comfortable with the idea of getting almost everything they need online. Even your grandparents are well-versed with the ways of eCommerce. If you’re living with them, you can see they’re probably just as excited when the delivery person rings the bell.
There’s no reason to believe this will change even when the world finally opens up again. So it’s best to strike while the proverbial iron is hot.
The rise of technology increases the overall accessibility to features that were previously only available for larger companies. Whether it’s sophisticated email marketing techniques or augmented reality, there are now apps and services that can provide these same advantages to smaller eCommerce brands.
This gives these small businesses a bigger fighting chance in a saturated market. It provides them with every opportunity to grow faster and gain a loyal customer base.
And as alluded to earlier, various platforms like social media and search engines make it much easier to target consumers who are most likely to be interested in your products and services. Add to that the fact that exponentially more people have become accustomed to doing their shopping online, and you’ve got almost everything working in your favour.
While the competition may have also increased in the online commercial space, there are just too many things in favour of shifting operations online. But it’s also important to note that it’s not enough to hop on the bandwagon and hope for the best.
To fully enjoy sustainable success, you need to have a product or service that you truly believe in. Once you have that in place, there will be plenty of tools at your disposal to achieve eCommerce success.