With the advanced technology and software options available to us, it is possible to set up a highly efficient, professional e-commerce store in a matter of minutes. And, with e-commerce sales expected to account for 17.5% of all global sales by 2021, it seems like a lucrative idea.
It is so easy that everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. But, does that mean you and your company should as well? The “E” in e-commerce does not stand for easy. You could set up your store with a few clicks of the mouse, but that doesn’t mean that it is a good idea for your brand.
Running a successful online store is something that can be challenging. Just look through the statistics that redbrain.com; compiled and you will see that even for big brands online sales are a drop in the ocean.
Answer the following questions honestly before you get started.
Would It Add Real Value For The Business?
It should bring in more sales, but there will be more work to go with it. You will need a targeting marketing strategy to convince people to buy. Once they do, how will you get the items to them? What happens if they want to return items?
Logistically, these issues might be problematic and there may not be a sufficient increase in sales to truly add value for your business.
Would It Add Value For Your Clients?
Don’t just assume that it would. People might find it more convenient to stop at your brick and mortar store and get what they want straight away. Would it be feasible for them to wait around for the package to get to them?
Maybe they’d get more value from a click and collect option than the one where you actually deliver items. Does going online solve problems that bother your clients or potential clients?
Is Your Target Market Going To Use It?
This should be one of the primary factors that you consider. Let’s use a really outrageous example to illustrate this point. Say that you are selling coffins. Is that the kind of thing that people are likely to want to buy online? Or will they want to see what they are getting?
Also, consider the technical abilities of your target market. How much time do they spend online? What do they do when they are online? Are they likely to want to buy online at all?
Are You Making Assumptions?
When answering the questions above, make sure that you base your answers on research. Do a dry run of how much time it takes you to pack up a parcel, go to the post office or courier, and mail it. How much extra time does it take to deliver it?
Have you spoken to your clients and asked them about their opinion? They are going to be the ones to use the service, so do take some time out and find out what their thoughts are.
Assuming that you know what the answers are will increase the chances of you making a costly mistake. Don’t rush into creating an online store before weighing your options carefully.