Does Every Brand Need E-commerce?
E-commerce is currently 10% of retail and only projected to grow in the coming years. The importance of an online presence cannot be understated. Just looking at e-retailer giant Amazon’s growth over the years would be enough to justify the necessity of e-commerce. However, due to the majority of sales remaining in physical stores, there are plenty of brands that don’t consider online shopping to be as necessary as it is. Every brand needs an e-commerce presence. Even luxury brands which were hesitant to join the digital shift have now changed their tactics. Walmart, which was initially unwilling to make the change to omnichannel strategy, is now touted as one of the most viable competitors against Amazon. Similarly, big box retailers such as Target and Best Buy are working on their e-commerce strategies so as not to be left behind like Toys R Us and Sears, among others. Brands need to prioritize digital marketing strategies if they want to success for the future.
Taking your business online can benefit your brand in multiple ways. If you’re already doing well as a physical retailer, then creating an extension of your business online can significantly increase your reach to customers. Not only that, but it can make things far more convenient for them as well. Selling products online can save someone a trip to your store, or make it easier for them to pick up. It can extend the reach of your brand globally, and make it accessible to people who otherwise wouldn’t even know of your brand.
- Inventory Management
Having an e-commerce business can help with managing inventory. Inventory management technology can help streamline the supply chain. Accounting, shipping and ecommerce stores will all be connected. With all that information in one place, businesses can easily manage their brands from anywhere. It’s much better than dealing with multiple spreadsheets. You can easily see what is selling and what’s not through analytics and always be aware of your inventory. Should a customer see an “out-of-stock” message on a product, your brand may lose a sale to a competitor. Taking advantage of e-commerce technologies keeps you on top of sales and stock.
Of course managing inventory also means managing a shipping strategy. There are several different options you can choose from and making the right choices for your brand will help increase revenue. The best thing about having a shipping strategy for your brand is that you can control every aspect. You can make certain the shipping rates work well for your business while also catering to your customers. You can offer promotions for the total of all items being purchased, and base rates on how far the products need to be shipped. Sometimes, depending on the area you operate, local shipping operations can have better deals than larger names. In this age of faster shipping, having an efficient system will go a long way in making your brand successful.
A unique and accessible e-commerce website can draw consumers to your brand. Having a successful website will bring in revenue. In order to gain visibility it requires your brand to be proactive in marketing. Utilizing SEO strategies in all content marketing, being consistent with your brand’s presence, interacting with followers on social media, all these things increase visibility. Being always there for your customers when they most need you isn’t something you can do with only a physical location.
Perhaps it may seem strange to list brick-and-mortar in e-commerce benefits, but as said previously, e-commerce is only 10% of all retail. Having a physical presence is important in growing the brand. Amazon, for instance, opened up its own brick-and-mortar stores, and also acquired Whole Foods. Having a physical store allows you to connect to brand with customers in real space and to create an omni-channel experience. Consumers could browse in store while shopping online, and anything purchased could be shipped right to their homes.
Will Ecommerce Instantly Increase Sales?
While there can definitely be an increase in sales over a short period of time, it’s not going to occur at the snap of your fingers. It will take a little work and dedication. Even those offering tips on increasing sales instantly the tips also require effort to bring in more customers. But with a little work and patience, businesses will gain more customers as well as more revenue.
Future of Retail and Adaptability
E-commerce is all about adaptability. The omni-channel experience is now becoming the expectation of all brands. While many prophesied the retail apocalypse, the truth is exactly the opposite. Physical stores are still very much the cornerstone of business, but the way in which consumers interact has been changing. Only recently have brands been catching up so they won’t become relics of the old age. Brands need to merge the digital and physical worlds to better meet the needs of the consumer. Many are doing exactly that, and offering something beyond their product. Whether it be information, the ability to interact through apps or in-store test-runs of products, brands are changing with the advancement of technology.
Brands need e-commerce. If your business doesn’t adapt and move forward it’s going to fall behind. Examples are already around us, such as Toys R’ Us which tried too late to bring forth a competent digital presence and relied to heavily upon its failing stores. Sears and K-Mart are also slowly disappearing, and though not entirely gone yet, there isn’t much hope for their future. These brands which were once the cornerstone of American retail have fallen behind due to relying on the past instead of looking to the future. Creating an omni-channel experience for your customers is not just the way of the future, it is a necessity to be successful. There is no other alternative as can be seen with even these once popular chains. Consumers can access prices and information right at their finger tips with mobile devices. Brands must entice them to purchase from their products by showing that their the best, and have the most to offer. Or else they won’t make it in this very competitive industry.