Times have been tough for brick-and-mortar retailers. How tough? Well, you can look at a few examples. In January 2016, Walmart announced the closure of 269 stores around the world.
In April of the same year, Montreal clothing retailer Le Château decided to close 40 stores across Canada. The reason for these closures? Drumroll, please. The Internet was eating into their profit margins.
You could say, then, that it makes sense for retailers to move into the online world. Indeed, there are a lot of benefits to doing eCommerce merchandising -- so many that it would be impossible to list them all here. However, in short, eCommerce merchandising, if done right, can help you increase sales. How?
1. You Remain Open All of the Time
When you have a physical store, chances are that you can’t remain open for 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. However, when you move online, you can sell your merchandise all of the time. Holidays or late night hours are no longer a barrier to being able to sell your wares to customers. That can increase your profits.
2. Your Customers Can Do Your Marketing for You
With eCommerce merchandising, you’re relying on word-of-mouth marketing to do a lot of the leg work. Customers are able to leave product reviews and ratings, which will help you gain new customers who discover that your products are worth buying.
3. You’re No Longer Limited by Geography
If you have a physical store in Ottawa, you’re only selling to those who can walk, bus or drive to your store -- limiting your sales to whoever can physically get to your place of business. With eCommerce merchandising, you’re actually selling to the world without any limitations.
You can increase your revenue by being organically found in search engines. Very often, potential new customers will follow a link in search engine results and come to an eCommerce site that they had previously never even heard of. That may be a very tantalizing proposition to those who have a niche product to sell.
4. You Can Learn Your Customers’ Buying Habits
The nicest thing about eCommerce is you can use analytical tools to know what your customers are buying. You can then tweak and tailor your product offerings to suit your customers’ needs. This will allow you to improve your customer relations and help to build longer-lasting relationships. With analytics, you can also easily evaluate such things as sales effectiveness, marketing campaigns, customer engagement and much, much more.
5. You Can Reduce Your Inventory Costs
If you do eCommerce, you might no longer need as big of a warehouse or storage space for your inventory. You can automate your inventory management using the Web as you sell items, thus saving you a ton of money on operational costs.
6. Your Setup and Operating Costs Will Be Much Lower Online
When you expand physical locations, you’ll have a ton of costs related to opening a new building. In comparison, setting up an online retail outlet is lower. For instance, you won’t need as many licenses and permits to start an eCommerce site than you would if you were opening a brick-and-mortar store. You also won’t need to pay for insurance.
You also save in another way: you won’t need as many employees to manage your online business than you would by opening a physical store. You won’t be spending as much money for things such as billing customers and managing inventory.
7. You Can Increase Sales By Providing More Product Information to Customers
When you have a physical store, you have physical limitations as to how much product information you can give customers to help them make their purchase. However, when you start eCommerce merchandising, space is of no concern to you. You can easily make this information available. Seeing that it usually comes from vendors, it probably won’t cost anything to create it or maintain it. Armed with this information, customers may be more inclined to buy.
Need Help Setting Up eCommerce Merchandising?
Are you thinking about opening an online store but aren’t sure how to do it? Cyan Solutions can help. We know how to analyze your data and boost conversion rates to help you guarantee that you’ll have high sales and success. Contact us today with your questions, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.