Online Stores

Selling Online is an incredibly important part of your business in this day and age

The importance of Online Stores

Give your customers the ability to purchase from you when they want, from where they want

Did you know that worldwide eCommerce sales are expected to grow to $4 trillion by 2020? The advantages of online stores aren’t always apparent when you run a successful small business and sell your products from a physical premise (or multiple physical locations). However, there are big advantages to having an online store, OR to adding an online store to your existing website.

With the growing popularity (and accessibility) of the Internet and technological advancements, it is quicker and easier to buy and sell online than ever! Internet users are no longer limited to sitting at desktop computers in order to do research or send emails. They are now using their laptops, tablets and mobile phones to research and look for information online, including making purchases from online stores at any time of day.

People can now enjoy shopping and even running their own business from any location and from any device, as long as they are connected to the internet! Why force them to come to your physical store if they can purchase it conveniently online?

What exactly are online stores and how do they work?

An online store is a website through which customers place orders and purchase goods. It may represent a small local store, a major retailer, an e-commerce-only store(no physical store) to name a few. Online stores can operate under a number of business models, including business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B) or consumer-to-consumer (such as personal classifieds).

To operate an online store, you need a few essential parts for it to work correctly. This includes:

  • A registered website domain and hosting (if you already have a website, an online store can simply be linked to it)
  • A working storefront (e-commerce platform such as WooCommerce, Magento or Shopify)
  • a product catalog (you must have a product or service you can sell),
  • a shopping cart (which allows your clients to add multiple items before checkout),
  • A payment gateway to secure payment for the orders (Preferred Solutions highly recommends NetCash as a payment gateway)
  • In most cases, an integrated delivery service to deliver the product to the customer.

The Benefits of Online Stores include:

1. Your Products are available 24/7 to be purchased

You don’t need to staff to work all hours of day to assist your customers. And your customers don’t have to drive over to your store to pick up their product and can have it delivered to their door!

2. Your Can Reach New Audiences with Search Engine Visibility

In addition to the branding and relationships, you create in your office, adding an online store will increase the traffic to your website through search engines. When potential customers search for a product that you carry, those results will show up in their searches.

3. You Can Lower the Cost of Retail

When you have an online store, it becomes easier to measure which items sell more regularly than others. You can adapt your stock levels according to measured demand; this means you can focus more accurately on stock order which you know will sell. You also will be able to expand your product selection with little overhead cost. You probably won’t need additional staff until you hit major growth additional personnel. Advertising and marketing are less expensive to get the word out about promotions or new products. Best of all, as your online sales increase, you don’t need a bigger physical shop and the products are shipped to the client directly.

4. You Can Create Targeted Communication Around Sales

As a business owner, you should have a clear idea what your clients are buying from you. This knowledge is particularly important! You can target consumer interests through communication and marketing online such as planning sales, offers, and discounts on products and services – which your clients can easily redeem online.

5. You Can Showcase Your Best Products

When you have proven products which you know will sell and be in demand, you can highlight these items front and centre in your online store.  You know that other customers have purchased the same product and were happy with them, so you are confident that these products will benefit other customers as well.

6. You Can Increase Your Brand Awareness & Loyalty

Every business owner and manager would want their business to be easily recognisable, known as a choice provider and loved by its customers. This is called brand awareness; brand awareness is the amount of familiarity consumers have with a particular brand. This includes the name, logo, or any defining characteristics that the public associates with a brand/business. Most customers research online first, whether they buy online or in-store. An online store ensures that potential customers find your product information and pricing. When consumers do a product search online, you want to be listed among the top results.

Preferred Solutions Can Assist with Your Online Store

Simply fill out the form below to contact us for your website or e-commerce enquiry. We will contact you within business hours to have a quick discussion regarding your specific requirements, and advise on the steps going ahead. We are ready to help and advise.