When you read the following list of e-commerce benefits for businesses and customers, you will get the impression that e-commerce is the retail holy grail.
E-Commerce Advantages Over Traditional Retail in Trinidad
1. Overcome Geographical Barriers
Couple shopping on laptop at the same time.
If you have a physical store, you are restricted to the geographical area that you can serve. The entire world is your playground when you have an e-commerce website. Furthermore, the introduction of m-commerce, or e-commerce on mobile devices, has removed any remaining geographical constraints.
2. Increase your search engine visibility to gain new customers.
Branding and relationships drive physical retail. In addition to these two drivers, search engine traffic drives online retail. It is not uncommon for customers to click on a link in search engine results and end up on an e-commerce website they have never heard of before. This additional source of traffic has the potential to be a game changer for some e-commerce businesses.
3. Reduced Costs
One of the most obvious advantages of e-commerce is the lower cost. A portion of these cost savings could be passed on to customers in the form of lower prices. Here are some of the ways that e-commerce can help you save money:
- Organic search engine traffic, pay-per-click traffic, and social media traffic are all examples of cost-effective advertising channels.
- Personnel: By automating checkout, billing, payments, inventory management, and other operational processes, the number of employees needed to run an e-commerce setup is reduced.
- Real estate is an obvious choice. A prominent physical location is not required for an e-commerce merchant.
4. Locate the Product More Easily
It is no longer necessary to push a shopping cart to the appropriate aisle or scout for the desired product. Customers on an e-commerce website can quickly narrow down their product search by using intuitive navigation or a search box. Some websites save customer preferences and shopping lists to make repeat purchases easier.
5. Reduce Travel Time and Cost
Customers frequently travel long distances to reach their preferred physical store. E-commerce allows them to virtually visit the same store with just a few mouse clicks.
6. Make Comparison Shopping Available
Comparison shopping is made easier with e-commerce. There are several online services that allow customers to compare prices from various e-commerce merchants.
7. Make Deals, Bargains, Coupons, and Group Buying available.
Though there are physical counterparts to deals, bargains, coupons, and group buying, online shopping is far more convenient. For example, if a customer has a deep discount coupon for turkey at one physical store and a toilet paper coupon at another, she may find it impossible to use both discounts. However, the customer could do so with a few mouse clicks online.
8. Provide a Lot of Information
The amount of information that can be displayed in a physical store is limited. It is difficult to train employees to respond to customers who need information from multiple product lines. Customers can easily access additional information on e-commerce websites. The majority of this information is provided by vendors and is free to create and maintain.
9. Establish Targeted Communication
An e-commerce merchant can access a lot of information about its customers by using the information that a customer provides in the registration form and by placing cookies on the customer’s computer. It can then be used to convey important messages. As an example, if you search for a specific product on Amazon.com, you will be shown listings of other similar products. Amazon.com may also send you emails about related products.
10. Keep your doors open at all times.
The store is now open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. E-commerce websites can be up and running at all times. This, in turn, increases the number of orders received by the merchant. A store that is “always open” is more convenient for customers.
11. Develop Niche Product Markets
Buyers and sellers of niche products may struggle to find each other in the physical world. It is simply a matter of the customer entering the product’s name into a search engine. Purchase of obsolete parts is one example. Instead of discarding older equipment due to a lack of spares, we can now easily locate parts online.
Are you convinced that the wonders of e-commerce could benefit your company?