Slow Economy? Online Sales Still Increasing! Are Yours?
Interesting trends in online sales. For many businesses this has been a challenging year. Yet stats compiled by the US Dept of Commerce, IDC and Channel Advisor show that online sales are still steadily increasing. 24% in 2010, 19% in 2011, 17% in 2012. Are yours?
For most businesses, there should be a way for your customers to order online - whether buying products, events, subscriptions. retail or wholesale. If you don't enable customers to purchase from your site any time, your competitors will!
Can your customers order outside of your normal business hours from your website?
How many sales are you loosing because customers need to remember to call you back during your working hours?
This is especially challenging for potential customers in different time zones who may have to remember to call you back in the middle of the night! Having a store that works 24/7 is extremely powerful.
As you can see from the chart, global online sales growth rates are continuing to outperform local economic growth rates.
The world is increasingly becoming within reach. If you were to try physically expanding sales to multiple cities and countries, there would be a significant cost to set up each location, with rent, inventory, staff, and other overhead costs at each location. At $20,000+ to set up a new store, and $10,000+ per month for each location, this extra overhead can quickly add up.
Do you sell products or services that customers in different parts of the world may not otherwise have the ability to purchase locally? This same question applies whether Chile, Romania, or small town Canada/US.
Enabling customers to purchase on line dramatically increases your sales reach, without the significant additional cost.
How much would this enable you to increase sales?
Other factors and thoughts worth considering:
Does your online ordering link to the rest of your systems? Or are you having to do double entry?
Are you having to update products and prices in both your in-house and online system?
Then are you having to re-enter online orders into your accounting system?
Saves a lot of time, saves a lot of cost, and prevents a lot of missed changes if both online and in-house sales are connected.
It's crazy how many web developers are hooking e-commerce into businesses, where the 2 systems can't be connected.
One interesting ecommerce update and enhancement project currently starting is for SoftSearch. SoftSearch has over 60,000 products, with a complex mix of physical, special order, referral commission, download, and pay per month web/cloud based products. Because SoftSearch sells online, customers are buying from around the world.
SoftSearch also tap into affiliate marketing, drop shopping, and advanced search engine optimization to increase sales. These are strategies that may be helpful for your business as well. Give us a call to chat to learn more about how the best strategies for your business. We'd love to hear your goals.