5 Reasons to Move Your Business Online
Are you thinking of moving your business online?
You should be! E-commerce constitutes a growing percentage of retail sales all over the world. Recent studies projected that 8.7% of worldwide retail spending in 2016 came from e-commerce, translating to total sales figures of around $1.915 trillion. That number’s expected to reach 14.6% of total retail spending, or about $4.058 trillion, by 2020. Simply moving your business online puts you in a better position to benefit from these trends.
It’s not just e-commerce’s healthy long-term outlook, though. Migrating to the web can bring day-to-day advantages that will give your business an edge. Here are just some of the opportunities the web can place at your fingertips:
1. Bigger Markets
Anyone with a computer and a working connection can access the web — and find your business. When you move your business online, your pool of customers is no longer limited to people who can reach your physical store. You could offer your products and services to customers from as far as a continent or two away.
What’s more, the volume of traffic you receive will no longer depend on what your establishment’s walls can accommodate. As long as you market your site well and build it to handle increased traffic, you could see sales from thousands of customers from all over the globe.
2. Business Anywhere
Like your customers, you can access your business from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Depending on the product or service you offer, you could do away with the need to clock in at an office every day. And if you’ve ever dreaded relocating just for your job or business, moving to the ever-present web could be the perfect answer.
When most of your business is done online and accessible through a laptop or mobile phone, you also gain tons of freedom and flexibility. Do you want a change of scenery, or are you planning on moving out to the next big startup hub? You could do that without putting your business on hold or shutting it down entirely.
3. 24-Hour Availability
The internet never sleeps, and with your website available 24/7 to customers from any timezone, neither will your business. You can show off products or take orders in your sleep — literally. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, you’re not bound by operating hours, nor do you have to worry about the additional staffing costs needed to run a 24/7 outfit.
Oh, and there are no holidays or days off for the internet either, so your business immediately multiplies its available hours without the costs and expenses that would usually entail.
4. Efficient & Responsive Customer Service
Are there questions that you get a lot from your customers? Do you find yourself spending hours upon hours troubleshooting the same problem for different people? The internet can save you a lot of customer service hours without sacrificing your patrons’ convenience.
From an up-to-date FAQ (frequently asked questions) page to tutorial videos and guide e-books, you only need to produce a solution or resource once for it to be available to all of your customers, now and in the future. All you need to do is point them to the right material. Both you and your customers will save time, since anyone can go straight to the information they need from you.
On a related note, specially designed software and automation can help keep your customers posted with order confirmations, delivery status, and other purchase information, all without taxing your business’ time and resources. You and your staff can then be free to devote your attention to more important operations, boosting the overall quality of service that customers can expect, too.
5. Lower Operation Expenses
As mentioned in the last point, there are tons of applications and software that you can use to run a business based online. From order fulfillment services to inventory tracking applications and more, there’s a tool available to boost your business’ efficiency and reduce your day-to-day workload.
Add to that the fact that you don’t need to build or rent additional office or store space, buy additional sets of equipment, or even hire a full complement of staff, and you can see how little a web expansion needs to be successful.
The Bottom Line: Growth at Little Cost
Software and support for online businesses are more accessible than ever, and with the e-commerce scene mushrooming in the next few years, it’s a great time for entrepreneurs to go digital. The web offers plenty of benefits and the tantalizing promise of rapid growth, often for less than you’d spend to set up another brick-and-mortar business.
So what are you waiting for? Move your business online, and harness the power of the internet today!