5 Things You Should Know If You Are Wondering Whether You Need an Online Store
As a designer and developer, I have come across a large number of people who are a bit afraid and a bit excited at the prospect of developing an eCommerce website. While there are several enterprising businessmen who build online stores without operating any brick and mortar retailing operating, most people who end up perching on the horns of a dilemma are retailers who are mulling eCommerce development for the first time.
If you are wondering whether you should develop an eCommerce website to expand your business, or even to just survive in a rapidly changing market, my answer is that you have to have an online store. Many businessmen worry about the cost of development, the resources they would need to maintain the store, and whether it would do any real good to their bottom line.
If you are standing at the crossroads, wondering what you should do, knowing the following five things will make it easy for you to reach a decision.
It won’t be a Piece of Cake
Small businesses offering only one kind of product do not have to work too hard to build and maintain an online store. But, for successful retailers, who plans to offer an online option to customers, developing the right kind of site takes a lot of analysis and effort. You will need to hire expert developers, explain how your business works to them, and discuss how you want to sell products online. So, be ready for some hard work there.
It will take a Lot of Time and Effort
While online selling has the power to boost your sales instantaneously, it doesn’t always work that way. After launching your website, you will have to popularize it and promote it online. This is a time-consuming process.
I have seen a few clients recoup all the money spent on e-commerce website development within a month or two – but these are rarities. Your online store will generate substantial profits with time and effort, but you don’t expect it to be an overnight success.
It will Impact Every Department of your Company
Your brick and mortar business model run on old principles that your employees are comfortable with. An online store will change their life – even if you hire professionals to manage the website, all the other departments will be involved in the sales and promotion process. You and your employees will need to get educated about how to run an online store as your age-old retail wisdom may not work online.
You cannot avoid it, you cannot ignore it
Does the whole process sound too daunting? Do you fear the widespread changes that maintaining and developing an e-commerce site will entail? Well, you cannot avoid taking this step: most of your customers now prefer to buy goods online. They are one step ahead of you in using technology, and if you do not offer an online option, you may lose them to your competitors.
You will have the Time of your Life
Putting time and effort in conceptualizing, designing and developing an online store will pay rich dividends. Running an online business can be addictive and entertaining. Many businessmen feel that managing an e-commerce store with its detailed figures about sales and profits is akin to playing an addicting video game. You compete with other smart entrepreneurs all over the world; at the same time, you get to target customers in any part of the world.
To sum it up…
It won’t be easy. You will have to think hard, collaborate with designers, consult business analyst and take a dozen difficult decisions to get your e-commerce website up and running. But you will enjoy the process. And more than that, you will enjoy the increased sales and profit that will certainly result from a robust online sales presence.