I would like to be your customer.
Online, not in person.
Now please, don’t take it personally. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve, you know, physically shopped for anything more than groceries.
My behavior is not atypical to any degree. Like it or not, online shopping is here to stay.
The big guys and gals of the retail world not only accept this, but they have also embraced it. As a result, they boast online shopping systems that run better than the buildings they sit in. Target.com, Zappos, Amazon, Kohl’s, even Walmart, and Kmart – all have turned their sizable resources to the realm of the online shopper.
However, what about you, the little guy, and/or gal? Maybe you only sell a handful of items, carry a small inventory, or aren’t used to offering your products and services online. Is it worth the hassle?
Oh yes, yes it is.
As your prospective customer, let me tell you why it matters:
1. When your website offers e-commerce (a.k.a. an online shopping cart), it makes your business appear more established, trustworthy, and credible. As a result, I will feel better about doing business with you, whether in person or online. That’s right, even if I actually show up in person to do business with you; I can guarantee I’ve looked you up online first. And that shopping cart you’ve got not only showed me what you have to sell; it showed me that you’re a business that understands how I work.
2. If you don’t show me what you sell, how on earth can I compare what you have to offer with your competitors who do have online shopping?
3. There are zero geographic, meteorological, or time limitations: location, weather, crowds, time of day, none of it matters online. I don’t have to worry about when you’re open, where to park or where you’re located. Thanks to your online shopping cart, the second I am ready to buy, I do.
4. Part of the success of any business is location, location, location, correct? So what’s better real estate than being located on my laptop or on my smartphone? One or both of those are always within 3 feet of me.
5. E-commerce expands your market. Even if you’re a small, home-based company, you can establish a global reach with your website. Anyone, anywhere with an Internet connection can read about your product, and even better, buy it! You don’t have to set up physical locations in different cities. You just need to invest in a good website design and the right online advertising to catch the attention of potential online clients.
Yes, there are reasons, seasons, and occasions to actually turn off the laptop, turn on the car and venture out into the world of commerce IRT (in real-time). I don’t wish to see e-commerce replace traditional brick and mortar establishments (Borders, you will be dearly missed), I want to see it in addition to what you’ve already got.
So, dear retailer, instead of focusing on just your in-store sales, I encourage you to add e-commerce to your website so you can focus on BOTH.
Your Future Customer