Back in the 90’s, a company that had decided to go “online only” was basically considered to be as good as gone. A brick and mortar store is basically seen as a way to show that you are successful enough to bring customers to your door “the old fashioned way.” As popular as it is to visit a local strip mall or hit up a nearby shopping center may be right now, experts are saying that seeing major retail stores will become an increasingly uncommon sight to see.
E-commerce has become a major game changer in retail. Nowadays, you can’t judge a company’s size by the number of brick and mortar stores they have. No better proof of this exists other than online retail giant Amazon, which only recently announced their first store in the United States. Online stores offer companies a level of flexibility that they never have had before. Here’s just some of the ways online stores are working for small businesses:
- Direct delivery is making restaurants more popular than ever. Convenience is the name of the game, and that’s why many restaurants that offer ordering have been able to boost profits by 20% or more.
- In some cases, businesses (even restaurants) are forgoing storefronts altogether in favor of ecommerce. Due to rising rent costs, many stores and restaurants are avoiding “brick and mortar” commerce altogether in order to keep prices low and keep things convenient. This wouldn’t be very easy to do without ecommerce.
- Not having a retail store also means that customer service, sales staff, and checkouts are all done in a more streamlined manner. You also no longer have to worry about customers damaging goods before they’re sold, customers making a scene, or customers wrongfully complaining about poor service in droves. This means you probably will have to hire fewer employees, which in turn reduces overhead costs.
- Ecommerce also allows you to reach a broader client base than just having a retail store. Ecommerce not only works as a buyer platform; it also acts as free advertisement on a global level. After all, when people search for products your online store offers, your link will come up. Since internet is a global affair, it’s also easy to see why it can make your company’s reach more impressive than ever before.
- It doesn’t take too much money to look like a Fortune 500 online. And that, too, levels the playing field enormously.
The bottom line is that there are a huge number of reasons to focus on ecommerce over retail. If you are a small business feeling threatened by big businesses, now is the time to harness the power of the internet. You can do amazing things with the right online store.