9 Reasons Your Bricks and Mortar Shop Must Master Online Selling or Die

Posted by Paul on January 28, 2014

1. You're missing a MASSIVE sales channel.

If you're not selling online, you're selling to a very limited geographical area indeed. You're selling to only 2 groups: people who know you exist and live relatively close, and people who happy to walk in off the high-street. When you sell online, you are literally seconds away customers searching for your exact product on eBay, Amazon and Google. With the right product and the right search engine optimization techniques, you have a good chance of capturing your share of this traffic and ultimately sales.

2. Your competition will already be selling online.

Some of your competitors will already be selling your products online, with lower overheads, at a reduced cost but a comparible profit. Unless you compete on this new playing field, they will slowly but surely take market share from under you until it's too late. 

3. It's far easier than you think.

Mastering eBay, Amazon selling and marketing your own website isn't straight forward but it's not rocket science either. Building a successful retail operation is impossible without a firm grasp of marketing and the same principles apply in the online space. Only the medium is different.

4. It's less expensive than you think.

For less than the wage bill of one shop for a couple of months, you can have an ecommerce site up and running. Monthly costs are relatively low and are quickly easily covered by sales.

5. It doesn't require massive changes to your business or extra staff.

As the online orders start to come in, you will need someone who can pack, and prepare the orders to be picked up by a courier. Even in a pretty busy online shop, one trained member of your existing staff can do this in a couple of hours in the morning. You may need a computer and suitable printer in the office and an agreement with a courier company, but generally there isn't much more to do to stay on top of things other than making sure those orders are always sent on time and recorded in your accounting system.

6. It can be a lot of fun.

Every successful online seller remembers their first order through the website and the excitement of seeing the sale has all happened automatically and the money is now in the account. It can become quite addictive as you check your online orders and start to see those totals increasing, especially after sending out a targetted email campaign or pulling off another piece of marketing.

7. Be open for business 24/7.

Now that you're selling to the world, you can be open for business in other timezones (or for the insomniacs in your own timezone). You'll often find orders being placed while you sleep, ready to be packed in the morning and given to the courier at midday.

8. Make your retail shop more profitable.

And you don't have to close your shop! The massively increased presence online will attract more customers through your doors and you may find that you can make better use of the space you have. Instead of having everything out on display, you can focus on featuring the more profitable items or those that are better seen in real life such as clothes.

9. Be a part of the ecommerce revolution.

A very exciting and drastic change is well underway! The high-street is changing, but not dying. The march of technology is inevitable. More and more of the customer relationship, brand reputation and buying process will go online. The efficiency, automation, reduced costs and will bring massive benefits for the customer as well as the retailer (or should that be e-tailer?) If you haven't acted yet to take your business online, the time is now!

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