Why You Need More Than a Brick & Mortar Storefront
You need an online store
Even before the spread of COVID-19 and social distancing, having an online business presence was a must for many growing businesses.
ESZ eCommerce SolutionZ’s discovered early on that business owners in the outdoors industries were being underserved. All too often, we noticed dealers and shop owners frustrated with slow, outdated websites that failed to represent their brand. Even worse, other web development agencies ignored or overcharged them.
That’s why we brought together a team of developers dedicated to offering not only custom solutions but also friendlier customer service. We want to help develop the online stores our customers have always wanted.
It’s still too early to see how the pandemic of 2020 will affect shopping trends in the future, but now is the time to optimize your online strategy or redesign your online store. Especially now when having one is vital.
Below are a few reasons how you can benefit from having an online store instead of just a physical storefront.
A website is your home base of operations for your online brand.
What exactly does that mean? If you are currently building an online brand, but only using social media platforms such as Facebook, you’re gambling with one of your most valuable resources: your audience.
Building a following for a business on social media platforms means that you rely completely on that social media platform to reach them, and, in some cases to make sales.
If anything should ever happen to that social media platform whether it goes out of style (does anyone remember Myspace?) or if it should just up and close overnight, then you could lose contact with your entire customer base.
While that’s an unlikely scenario, it is entirely possible. Having an online store or website coupled with a strong mailing list allows you to keep a virtual base of operations to redirect your audience if necessary.
A website also allows customers to reach should social media fail.
Let’s face it. Unless you’re operating your physical storefront 24/7, you’re not always accessible when some customers want to shop. Having an online store allows customers to shop when they want to which might not be when your brick & mortar store is open.
Even in one of our niche markets, the outdoors industry, some customers such as shift workers, emergency medical personnel (who are very little time to shop as of this writing), and many others work odd hours and even weekends making it difficult to shop. Online shopping becomes a valuable resource for these customers.
According to an article last year in Forbes Magazine; “Consumers are more inclined to browse online than they are to get in their cars, drive to a store and walk around.” That article goes on to point out that store owners still need to engage their audience in order to make sales; however, shoppers are indeed looking for online alternatives.
Where are your customers?
It’s important to understand where your customers are spending their time. According to research conducted by Epsilon, “About 75% of Gen Z and millennials use smartphones to shop online—more than any other generation.” You can see some of that data here as reported by the site business2community.
This data shows how millennials favor online shopping. Not only that, but they want to view websites that are optimized towards mobile devices.
Having a beautifully crafted, online store gives you visibility to this future audience and keeps them on your page longer.
An online store allows growth and further reach.
Going along with the point above, customers today expect for you to have an online presence. It’s no longer a question of whether you have an online store or website but instead, where can they find it.
Many customers begin looking for a product with an online search. Some will search for a physical location near them with the product in stock while others will look for the site offering the best price. In both scenarios, a business without an online store misses out on the opportunity entirely.
Having an online store allows you to overcome physical boundaries. You are no longer dependent on how many potential customers pass by your storefront. Even your advertising budget becomes more versatile. When a customer might not wish to travel to your location, they can instead visit your online store. A longtime customer who relocates will still have access to their favorite shop.
Take that same longtime customer – now relocate to another region – will help expand your reach by passing your online store on to a new friend, co-worker, or acquittances.
ESZ eCommerce can help you build a beautiful site they’ll be happy to pass on.
High overhead costs are another factor to consider when comparing online sand brick & mortar stores. One of the main advantages of having an online store is the minimal cost. Brick & mortar locations often require expensive retail space, personnel, utilities, and other various operating costs.
An online store offers you an expanded reach to an international audience for a fraction of the cost. Not only that, but ESZ’s Integrations give you access to vast inventory from distributors without needing the physical space for stock. You can offer customers the ease of exploring your site, reading product reviews, and placing orders at their convenience.
Let ESZ eCommerce SolutionZ help your business grow. We care about your success.
Don’t think of an online store as simply a competitor with a brick and mortar locations. Utilize your online store to help your business grow and build a stronger customer base.
As the Forbes article states, “winning retailers help consumers move seamlessly between their online and in-store experiences on the way to the goal line: the purchase.”
If you don’t already have an online store or corporate website, or maybe you’re not satisfied with your already existing site, then let ESZ eCommerce help build the site you need and want.
Check out our products, try our extended 30-day demo trial and see for yourself.