When the whole economy was drowning in the woes of the pandemic, the major e-commerce player, Flipkart grew its revenue by 12% in 2020. The Indian e-commerce industry is seeing upward growth for the past few years and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. Now, when people have already adapted to the new normal, online business will continue to keep up its momentum.
Ankur Pahwa, partner at Ernst & Young says “I think consolidation will continue, both because of offline players looking to get online and also digital players looking to increase their serviceability and bulk up in size.” The pandemic has made people realize the importance of having an online presence. 2021 brings with it a lot of changes in consumer behavior, especially their shopping patterns. Now is the time to leverage the opportunities available and earn online.
In this article, we will discuss 8 fantastic benefits of opening an online store and how you can tap these wide arrays of possibilities to start your online store.
1. 24*7*365 Open
Through an online store, potential customers can reach you anytime, from anywhere across the globe. An online store does not have fix operational hours and is open 24*7 all days of the year. Whether it is 2 a.m. or it is Christmas, you are open to your customers. This eases the shopping experience of customers and gives you an edge over physical stores.
2. Data Insights
When a customer buys online, he gives his basic information like contact number, email address, home address, birthday, etc to the merchant. Data collection is essential to have deep insights into your business. Mostly while physical shopping people skip giving information as they see it as an invasion of their privacy. But it comes naturally with an online shopping experience. To run a successful online business you must be data-driven. Be it for running a successful CRM program or to increase the conversion rate, data is paramount.
3. Reduced Costs
An online store does not require you to invest hefty capital. The startup costs are quite less compared to the brick-and-mortar stores. You need not rent a big space for the store. The operational costs are also quite less. You don’t need to pay huge sums for signage, inventory management, equipment, outlet maintenance, etc. Thus, starting an online business is way cheaper than a physical one. For instance, you can start an online store right now with zero investment through Bikry.
4. Bigger Customer base
With no restrictions of a physical identity, you can target and reach as many customers as you want. Unlike a physical store, an online business does not depend upon the people passing on the street. You have the freedom to widen your customer pool through several marketing tools available online. You can promote your online store through Social media marketing, Content marketing, SEO optimization, etc.
5. More flexibility
Running a digital store gives more flexibility to both business owners and customers. People buying online find it more convenient to browse at their own pace. Besides, features like free shipping, easy returns, secure payment options, etc attract people. Similarly for business owners, being online adds up to the point that an online store can be operated from as small as a mobile phone.
6. Tap International markets
An online presence allows you to sell customers all across the world. You can very soon enter an international market and sell worldwide. Either by exporting your offerings or by dropshipping, you can build your brand at a faster speed.
7. Affordable employees
Another benefit of having an online store is that to start you do not need to hire employees. But if you do, you won’t need a bigger team. This reduces the recruitment cost for employees. With remote work culture on the rise, you can hire from anywhere. The virtual training and engagement activities also cost less in the digitized world of working. Also, requirements of hiring office spaces, providing meals, buying office paraphernalia, etc come down to zero.
8. Scalable business
With brick-and-mortar stores, scaling your business takes a lot of time because you are confined. It takes a lot of investment and paperwork to acquire the infrastructure, technology, or systems. But online stores allow you to grow your business at a faster pace. Be it adding a new business line or reaching out to more customers, everything is just a few clicks away.
Opening an online store benefits an individual in many ways. It isn’t just a short-term solution for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, experts predict that e-commerce in India will grow at 24% in the 2019-2024 period. The growth possibilities of the industry and the benefits mentioned in the article make it one of the best opportunities to invest in an online store today.