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Gone are the days when people had to drive to brick-and-mortar businesses to do their shopping. Today, Americans can compare stores and products and make their purchases, right from the convenience of their smartphones, tablets, and computers. In addition, the convenience of virtual shopping and online ordering has helped e-commerce sales increase over the last decade. As a result, small businesses in just about every industry are integrating e-commerce capabilities into their websites so they can sell online.
Statistica reported that consumers will spend $905 billion online in the United States¹. This is excellent news if your business’s website has e-commerce capabilities. However, you are missing out on some tremendous sales opportunities if it does not. This Balboa Capital blog post explains why your business should sell online.
Your small business is open 24/7/365.
Before e-commerce, small businesses would generate the bulk of their sales during regular business hours when customers visited their establishments in person. However, the introduction of e-commerce platforms occurred in the mid-1990s. It quickly opened the door to new sales opportunities for businesses that added shopping portals and order forms to their websites and spread the word with online marketing efforts.
When you sell online, your business is always open. Customers from all over the United States can shop on your site regardless of the day or time. That means you can sell your products and services during odd hours and on weekends. It is like having a business that never sleeps!
New audiences can be reached.
Every small business owner is constantly looking to attract new customers and generate more sales. Commonly used strategies include market research, analyzing the competition, and advertising to a target market. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar business, your target market is limited to people who live in surrounding areas.
That is not the case when your website sells online. Doing so can introduce your business to new target markets nationwide, which can help you reach new customers looking for the products or services you sell.
You can adapt to unexpected events.
In a perfect business world, you and your employees would show up to work each day and have an influx of customers ready to make your cash registers ring. However, some factors, such as inflation, extended bear markets, and recessions, can prevent this from happening. In addition, extraordinary factors like natural disasters, inclement weather, and pandemics can bring your sales to a grinding halt.
Selling your products and services online can help keep your small business afloat during uncertain times. If an unexpected event keeps people home, they may prefer to shop for goods online out of necessity and convenience.
Mobile shopping is on the rise.
Smartphones and tablets fuel the growth of online shopping. People use their mobile phones and tablets to review products, compare prices and make purchases.
Tideo reveals that 49% of Americans use their smartphones to compare pricing, and there will be over 187 million active mobile shoppers in the United States by 2024².
As you can see, having e-commerce capabilities on your website presents you with some tremendous benefits. However, if you are thinking about adding e-commerce functionality to your business’s site, hire an IT professional or web designer to ensure everything is done right and works properly. Nothing poses a more significant threat to the success of an online store than a bad user experience. Online shoppers expect things to work, and even the slightest disruption will result in lost sales.
Balboa Capital, a Division of Ameris Bank, is not affiliated with nor endorses Statistica or Tideo. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.