As the internet becomes an increasingly trafficked and popular facility, we see a concurrent increase in commercial integration taking place within the world-wide web. New business are daily are beginning to conduct in website usage for promotion and advertising and, furthermore, utilize said websites as a conduit through which they can sell goods and services to anyone in need of products available by the brand at hand. While many businesses are following this route, there are still many that have not yet made these step towards participating and competing in e-commerce, even if having an established website through which one could sell.
Integrating a shopping cart function into a website will take it from a mere informational hub for your brand to an informational hub for your brand equipped to transact with customers. Also having a functionality such as this on a website not only is beneficial for the business owner reaping off of the sales, but for the shopper alike, sporting a 69% adult usage in online shopping, over two-thirds of the consumer population (Mintel). So what is it about this form of buying and selling that is so appealing to user? Allow us to break the utility of shopping online using the online shopping cart for all parties of all transactions.
For buyer and seller alike, conducting business online has the potential to be mutually advantageous with regards to the costs involved with trade. Consider, first, the costs that correspond with operating a business, especially in the brick-and-mortar makeup. To have a store means overhead costs, space leases, utilities, integrating labor, and much more. Utilizing this setup also means additional time spent in coordinating the fulfillment of any and all of these services, such as scheduling employees and having a system for bill payment for services, and based on the saying time is money, the more time you spend on coordinating these items, the less time you are gearing towards money-making pursuits. All of this is not to say that a brick-and-mortar store is a poor allocation of time, energy, and money, as this arrangement is very efficient in many industries, it is to say more so that having a means for shopping online to take place could add another method of making money through sales with lower spending.
Due to these factors concerning the business in discussion as well as many others, shoppers can see a reflection of similar low costs when they are buying. Along with lowered overhead costs, online stores also are also saving shoppers money by cutting out middle men. Instead of having goods shipped from a distribution center to a store to a buyer, it goes straight to the buyer and dodges the need for resale adjustments on prices, giving shoppers great pricing. Which leads to our next point regarding the advantages of participation in e-commerce.
There is an overlap between cost and one of the most noteworthy attractions to online buying and selling: convenience. Online, not only are you able to find great prices on items of interest, but you are also able to conveniently peruse the prices of multiple vendors quickly and easily. To apply this comparative practice in a brick-and-mortar setting would require running back and forth to multiple stores, which ultimately is not ideal. Beyond the mere price of items, you can also quickly see what other people have to say on the items through corresponding reviews instead of only speaking with an in-store salesperson that is bound to tell you that you are buying the best of the bunch at the best price even if you are not. What was once a massive undertaking in finding the best products for the best price has been given a renewed ease through online measures.
At this point, one may ask themselves if convenience is lacking in one particular regard. People can absolutely trust those aforementioned reviews on products online, but many also like to try things out, like a guitar from a music shop that you want to feel out before you buy. Well the answer is simple, shipping returns and exchange terms are available to you for added convenience. When shopping online, you cannot really help but make the paper trail of your orders visible and easy to track. Smaller businesses or brick-and-mortar stores can sometimes have an order history storing system that is less than ideal, and to be able to get exactly what you want by means of exchanging or return when desired can be dicey. Online, your orders are easy to retrieve and revising orders at any point to suit your wants is super easy and convenient for you.
Shipping Perks and Expectations
Speaking of shipping, an often concerning topic when shopping online is how much shipping will account for your order. If you are to buy something for a lower price but feel that your value will decrease due to a potential unexpected high shipping cost, this could make people walk away before they even see the actual shipping details. The fact is, shipping doesn’t have to even cost you anything. One way that all parties can be satisfied, buyer not having to pay for shipping and seller getting extra sales, is that many web stores can offer free shipping over a particular price. One example of this is REI, with free shipping on any orders over $50. The value lies in the fact that with loyalty to certain brands, you will end up spending this much on any regular purchase or couple of purchases anyhow, so this criteria for free shipping with a regular customer could be easy to reach.
Furthermore, there are also means to pay for a membership that will qualify you for unlimited free shipping. Now, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that paying for shipping anyways? You would be correct that you are in fact paying, however, with these services, there are often great perks that accompany them. Amazon Prime is a great instance of this. You pay a yearly membership fee for unlimited free shipping, but even more so, your shipping is guaranteed to be expedited to 2-day express and you have access to Amazon Prime’s catalog of other great media such as shows and informational content, which all makes for a great value in the end with your online shopping platform.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, shopping online is secure and gives your buying and selling as much peace of mind as possible. As for shopping, all purchases are done through a secure network with many different reassuring indicators of security. You can see this through the coding of a link, the notifications and policies that are outlined during checkout and much more. So shop, and shop stress-free knowing that your banking and personal information will be safe in your purchases.
In terms of selling, when you do so online, you alleviate the presence of paper bills in the mix. This can be very good for businesses that are churning a lot of cash flow. Selling online acts as a form of loss prevention where you can be sure that you will not run any risk of in store theft or loss of cash for any reason. Ultimately, to transact online is secure for all parties involved and makes your purchases safe and easy.
To buy and sell online certainly has its benefits. From ease of shopping, to quick comparisons in pricing, to convenience or shipping, to security, and the list goes on! As aforementioned, brick-and-mortar stores are absolutely a great means of conducting business, however, Rave Retailer simply stresses the usefulness of an online presence in an ever-growing digital world! Contact Rave Retailer to learn more!