The most significant business change in the past year has accelerated to a more online presence. A couple of factors at play may be due to the massive disruption experienced over the past year, only wanting to find a broader potential pool of customers.
Whatever the reason, the shift to more e-commerce business operations is only accelerating.
Statista has examined the trend of online sales growth and shows that the exponential growth in e-commerce since 2014 is already over 5 billion (USD) per year in growth. That’s not the total sum of sales but in online sales growth per year!
Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce business, is the kingpin of the online retail space, and there are lessons to learn for every industry in the strength of that business model.
The benefits of operating an e-commerce model can be reduced operating costs, more flexible offerings, a broader potential sales pool, and more.
The benefits of an e-commerce approach for your business are:
- Lower Operating Costs: By offering an online store, you can eliminate traditional brick-and-mortar locations’ operating costs. You may eradicate costly large showrooms, cut down on labour costs, and much more.
- Broader Product Reach: It’s not called the “worldwide web” for hyperbole. With an e-commerce model, you have international reach for everything you may wish to offer, from typical retail to niche artisan projects. The pool of potential clients is limited only by those who may access the internet.
- Flexible Store “Hours”: An e-commerce business can be open 24 hours a day, allowing unlimited offerings and growth potential while avoiding additional expenses such as expensive rent and labor costs.
- Faster Sales Process: Customers can spend less time shopping and more time making purchase decisions. A quick browse through your product offerings can help people at a distance find and buy your wares. The key term is “ease and convenience.”
- Safer Transactions: With e-commerce operations in place, you, your staff, and customers can all conduct business more safely. Without face-to-face interaction, there’s less concern about disease spread, and a cashless purchase makes the transaction safer for all involved.
- Unlimited Upsell Opportunities: Visitors to your website should allow you to capture their information, either through a sign-up page or in the shopping cart, and retarget them for additional sales opportunities.
Get Online Or Get Left Behind
The reality is that even non-traditional business models need to consider their online presence. From restaurants to car dealers and Real Estate sales, the name of the game is to get your business virtual.
It doesn’t matter the industry either. The trend that started in the late 1990s and early 2000s toward a more online sales environment has been accelerating. As a result of the evolving business climate, businesses are learning to create flexible operations.
For example, restaurants are pivoting away from an onsite dining experience to offer pick-up and delivery as their physical operations while enhancing and engaging their customers through social media and other ways online.
Creative Alternatives To Traditional Business Models
Getting creative in today’s climate with your online presence is key to business growth. Some restaurants create engaging contests that provide an award for top social media posts (highlighting the restaurant, of course). Others are focusing on retail and gift cards as a means to encourage sales.
Even the financial sector has jumped onboard with the acceleration to an online sales model. If an individual needs a quick loan to get them through a bumpy patch, whether, for personal medical emergencies, car trouble, or other assistance, it only takes a quick search online to find the right fit for their needs.
For example, a search for online loans Wisconsin or online loans in California will bring up similar results and allow the borrower an easy, streamlined application process.
These small installment loans are an excellent bridge for every person and business going through a hard time. The ease which one may apply is one way the industry has pivoted from the arduous, in-person application process.
The amount of time society has spent in a virtual world for the past year has only helped accelerate the business climate that has been slow to evolve since the advent of the internet.
As more and more industries see the benefits of operating online, that trend will continue to accelerate, and those that are flexible and adaptive to the new reality will be in a position to expand and grow as a result.