Time to Set Up Shop Online?
Despite the many news reports declaring the death of the high street and the unstoppable rise of online marketing in its place, there are still important considerations to take into account when embarking on a new business venture in the retail sector. While online trading works for some retailers, sometimes in conjunction with a continued high street presence, it is not for everybody.
The latest numbers from market researchers Econsultancy seem to back the argument that setting up online is the better way to go. Market share for online retailers increases year on year worldwide, with online shopping in Europe projected to increase by 18.7% in 2014-16. Though the UK’s online sector is poised to perform below this average, growing 15.3% in the same period, this will top £60 billion for the industry. In those terms, claiming a slice of this growing market for your business is essential.
However, all may not yet be lost for high street businesses, with the BBC quoting the Office for National Statistics’ figure of 0.7% growth in the retail sector – an above-expectations rise. Though this increase in activity may be good news for established high street chains and supermarkets, the effects may not filter down to independent retailers and new businesses. Of course, no two businesses are exactly alike, and so when starting a new retail operation the pros and cons of both online and traditional selling should be properly considered.
Purchase and Delivery
Delivery remains an issue for many customers, and for certain shoppers searching for certain items there is no substitute for buying a product and taking it away that day. However, online retailers have become slick operators, with the time between logging into a user account and confirming a purchase reduced to mere seconds in many cases. The interfaces of even niche online retailers have improved a great deal, with many now successfully modelled on Amazon or eBay store design. Online branding experts such as http://www.frooition.com can offer you the chance to build professional features of established online retail interfaces into your online store.
Know Your Competition
A store front on the high street puts you in direct competition with businesses in your local area, which can be researched and accounted for before opting to open a store. Online retailers deal with instant national and even international competition. The saturated nature of online markets make it essential to stand out from the crowd through the use of individualised marketing and also to adhere to standards set by eBay store design and those of other established online retailers.
Type of Goods
Generally speaking, rarer and more expensive items are better sold in person, with opportunities for customers to interact with the item and service personnel. Online retail comes into its own when selling familiar consumer goods from an extensive product list. The savings in both time and money from not needing items to be on display in premises are huge, and monetary savings can be passed along to the consumer.