The Internet has forever changed the way consumers acquire products or services. According to the latest data from the European B2C Ecommerce Report, over 3.1 million, or 35% of the Portuguese, already purchase online, this number is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, and that corresponds to a volume of business above € 3 billion. Internationally, this figure is rising to 1.61 billion, about 43% of all Internet users. Given that online shops have no borders, this means that almost 2 billion people worldwide are potential buyers.
Aren’t you convinced by these numbers? We give you some of the main reasons why having an online store is mandatory these days.
E-commerce will continue to grow
E-commerce is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, not only reaching 2 billion buyers worldwide in 2020, but also reaching 4 billion dollars in sales.
In Portugal alone, e-commerce has grown significantly every year, with a growth rate between 13.3% and 15.9%. This trend will continue in the coming years, maintaining double-digit growth rates, which means that now is the ideal time to enter the e-commerce world and take advantage of the growth wave of this trade transformation.
Consumers decision today is based on the Internet
Physical stores with no online presence are no longer enough. The consumer buying process has changed, and today the first step is always to do an online research. As such, the companies that have the best online presence- and especially those that offer the opportunity to buy directly over the Internet- are those that catch consumers at the time when they are most interested and receptive. These are the ones whose websites are search engine optimized, that know how to bet on digital marketing and that realize that, the better the user experience, the more tempted users are to buy their products instead of their competitors.
Greater reach via the Internet and mobile
Physical stores are always limited by one factor: their geographical presence. If your potential customers only find your business by going to your store, your range will always be limited. With an online store, the same does not happen- any user can go to your shop on the Internet and make a purchase, regardless of where he is, which means that the range is extremely wide when compared to the physical presence.
In addition, there is the mobile impact- that is, the constant presence of mobile devices, especially smartphones. With virtually unlimited access anywhere or any situation, users have more and more purchasing opportunities, and mobile is exceptionally oriented to motivate users to find out what they need exactly when they need it. With an e-commerce website adapted to mobile devices, this means that any second of the day a new user can find your business and proceed with a purchase. Why wait for new customers to discover your business on the street when it can always be present at the exact moment your products are needed?
Continuing from the previous point, the scope of e-commerce is not limited to its country of origin. In fact, an online store is a real revolution for internationalization! With a multilingual online store there are no barriers to sales- you can reach anywhere in the world, at any time. This way, e-commerce expands your business and your range, overcoming any geographical limitation to attract people interested in your products from anywhere in the world.
The store is always open
Another advantage when compared to physical stores, and another that makes e-commerce increasingly indispensable, is the fact that there are no “working hours”- the online store is always open, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This means you can have a customer at any time and you’re not limited by the customer’s availability at the time your shop is open. When you consider the fact that many users search for what they need at any time, including during the night (when, of course, they will not find any physical store open), this is not only a convenient advantage- it’s a differentiating point to your business.
New sales tools
An online store is not like a traditional store- it’s better. Having at your disposal numerous digital tools, since A/B testing and heatmaps to assess the consumers reactions in your website, marketing e-mail and campaigns and Pay-Per-Click to boost your sales, marketing automation to a process of automated customer acquisition and many more, there is a wide range of options to explore that can make your online store an automated sales machine. This is the real sales future and is only available digitally, so you need to adapt and enter this world if you don’t want to be left behind.
If you’re not online, your competitors will be
This is a key point- the longer you delay your inevitable transition to a digital-adapted world, the faster your competitors can move ahead and settle in first place for your area. While there are other relevant factors that mean that e-commerce is not a simple “arms race”, the sooner you win your customers, the sooner you can get your loyalty and establish a stronger position. And, of course, if you don’t adapt, you won’t be able to survive the competitors that expand online.
We hope we have succeeded in raising your awareness of the importance of e-commerce in the future of your business, and we would like to help you further by creating your online shop on the Internet.Contact us and find out how our e-commerce experts can transform your business!