The whole world has been relying heavily on online shopping for more than a year now due to the current pandemic. While many people used it out of necessity at first, it didn’t take them long to realize all the advantages they could enjoy. Similarly, retailers are able to gain significant benefits, which makes it a win-win solution. So, let’s take a look at what makes e-commerce superior to traditional retail.
No geographical limitations
Let’s start with one of the most obvious advantages. If you have a physical store, you’re limited by the geographical area that you can service. Likewise, if you’re a customer and prefer brick-and-mortar shops, your choice is rather limited, too. On the other hand, with an e-commerce website, the whole world is your playground.
You can be discovered by clients from the most remote parts of the globe, which means your potential for growth is immeasurably greater. Similarly, customers who are no strangers to online shopping have a much wider range of options available, which means they can get products from all over the world or the same products, but at more affordable prices.
Another important advantage of e-commerce is the lowered cost, a benefit that could be passed on to customers in the form of discounted prices. The costs are reduced through advertising and marketing (organic search engine traffic, pay-per-click, and social media traffic are some of the advertising channels that can be cost-effective) personnel (the automation of checkout, billing, payments, inventory management, and other operational processes lower the number of employees required to run an e-commerce setup) and real estate (an e-commerce merchant does not need a prominent physical location.
Shopping at one place
Instead of going from one store to another, you can now enjoy the opportunity to do most of your shopping at one place. Advanced platforms, such as the one created by the increasingly popular Shoppster, allow you to get a wide range of products from the same platform. What’s more, there is a dedicated TV channel that promotes products and keeps the customers informed about all discounts, which means you can actually see a product you’re interested in in action before buying it. Plus, you might be offered a great deal if you react quickly.
More benefits for customers
We all know how much can be lost driving to different stores, looking for a parking spot and driving back home. When you add the time you need to actually locate the products you need to the equation, it’s easy to understand why internet shopping is so popular. Also, you can use a search box to narrow down your product search immediately and some websites remember customer preferences and shopping lists to facilitate repeat purchase. Finally, e-commerce facilitates comparison shopping. There are online services that allow customers to browse multiple e-commerce merchants and find the best prices.
Shopping round the clock
Store timings are now 24/7/365 and people don’t need to worry whether they’ll get to a store before it closes. E-commerce websites can run all the time. From the merchant’s point of view, this increases the number of orders they receive. From the customer’s point of view, an “always open” store is more convenient, since they can purchase products whenever they find it convenient.
Markets for niche products
It’s always difficult for buyers and sellers of niche products to locate each other in the physical world. On the other hand, they are just one search away from each other. Basically, whatever you’re after or whatever you’re offering is available thanks to e-commerce. Just imagine trying to find an obsolete part in physical stores and you’ll see another clear benefit of online shopping.
Needless to say, there are some products that you don’t want anyone to know you’ve bought and that is practically impossible in case of traditional shopping. The best example are the products you can find in a well-equipped adult shop. All reputable adult toy shops, for example, are looking for ways to ensure that high level of privacy and personal information protection for their buyers. So, instead of being exposed to the prying eyes of shop assistants or other customers, you can get the product you want delivered to your doorstep without anyone knowing what you’ve purchased.
In conclusion, we can rightfully say that regardless of whether you like shopping or not, you have to do it and since you have to do it, you should make it as efficient as possible. Chances are many of those people reticent to shop online before the pandemic will not return to the traditional way of shopping now that they’ve experienced everything online shopping can provide. After all, there are so many benefits of e-commerce to both retailers and customers that it would be unimaginable to return to the old ways.