We all know some curmudgeon who keeps reminiscing the good old days when people went to their local store to get their weekly shopping done the way God and reasonable folk intended to. There is nothing wrong with this sentiment because brick-and-mortar stores will not die out any time soon. However, tradition and maudlin feelings aside, taking advantage of what technology offers makes sense from both perspectives—that of consumers and business owners alike.
Business owners cannot disregard the fact that worldwide retail ecommerce sales reached $3.5 trillion in 2019.
But what is it about online shopping that attracts such a huge following all around the world? Why do 209.6 million people in the US alone go online and start perusing online shops and filling their carts?
Here are some reasons why ecommerce works so incredibly well for both parties.
A Win-Win Relationship
The most obvious reason is the absence of time constraints for both shoppers and retailers. Online shoppers can log in at any time, day or night, and do their shopping. By analogy, retailers can then make a profit any time, any day, which is why the numbers no longer surprise anyone.
And it goes far beyond the fact that this way of shopping is more convenient, now more than ever with the popularity of smartphones. It is also about the incredible choice online retailers provide. There are almost countless products available to customers. Not to mention the fact that shoppers can easily hop from one shop to another and from one country to another. There are no boundaries other than the available funds on one’s credit card and possible problems with shipping.
Efficient Cost-Cutting for All Parties Involved
It is no secret that brick-and-mortar stores have high maintenance and staff costs. With an online store, those issues disappear. Such efficient cost-cutting allows savvy online retailers to invest their funds where needed—in marketing, social media, customer support, and lower product prices.
Marketing costs money in the world of online retailers, especially because it may involve different strategies, such as pay-per-click ads, email marketing, retargeting, etc. But, it is also one of the expenses that seem worthwhile.
The fact that 89% of people around the world have access to the internet and most people own a mobile phone tells us all we need to know about the boundless opportunities online retailers now have to reach their potential customers via clever marketing strategies. A feat of that magnitude is not something a physical store can accomplish. It is also more difficult for a traditional store to grow and include new products and brands as easy as an online retailer.
On the other hand, customers can forgo planning and making time to go to a physical store and spend hours shopping, driving back home, and unloading and storing the goods bought. Instead, they can do most of their shopping from home whenever they feel like it and have the products delivered to their door.
Shortcomings are Part of the Deal
Of course, there are shortcomings of online shopping, such as a possibility of fraud for both retailers and customers, damaged goods, and delayed delivery. Yet, people do not seem to be deterred by these as fraud can be avoided by getting informed and following some relatively simple guidelines to protect yourself.
While damaged goods and delivery delays inevitably happen and are a nuisance more than anything else, most retailers try to meet their customers halfway and fix the problem in one way or another.
Any way we choose to look at it, ecommerce seems to fit 21st-century society. Brick-and-mortar stores will always exist, but resisting the beauty of online shopping is almost impossible in the world that moves fast.