When you walk through the pedestrian precinct, it becomes very clear: online commerce has become a true business killer. Many shops are closed and for good reason. The store rents are greatly inflated, electricity, taxes, regulations and non-paying customers do the rest. And finally, the Internet convinces more and more customers to make their purchases online - cheaper prices and a wider choice are only two reasons, unfortunately.
Customers are increasingly buying online
The Internet will continue to take customers away from retailers and downtown businesses. Many traders are likely to close their businesses in the near future or expand into the Internet to recapture the lost customers.
A survey by the Institute for Trade Research has confirmed that one out of every three shoppers has limited trips to shops in the cities and prefers to shop on the Internet, although he can not hold the item until a few days later, and he does not try, feel and examine.
Therefore, the solution for you as an entrepreneur is: Link your stationary business to an online shop at an early stage.
Trade - online, offline or both?
Anyone who wants to open a shop or is already a shopkeeper, will eventually ask himself the question: In which area can I achieve more sales - online or would you prefer in a shop? Maybe you can combine both forms?
One of the main reasons for an online store is that it does not cost any additional store rent. In addition, you will need little or no additional staff for an online store, so you will not increase staff costs, but you will attract new customers.
An online store is also open 24 hours and 7 days a week, without requiring your presence. When an order is received, you will be notified by email.
The opening of a business on the Internet is much cheaper than the opening of a shop. Of course, an investment is necessary, especially if you can not do the programming of your online shop yourself.
However, an online shop is especially interesting if you already have a shop and thus products for sale and have to put them "only" on the Internet. Then the creation of an online shop is a one-time investment, but ensures that you are not only present online but also have an additional source of income. This will be interesting at the latest when you can no longer keep your shop in the pedestrian zone open.
If you are aware that an online store requires a lot of work for you and then needs your constant care (but this is reduced to a few hours a week), this is definitely a way to expand and future-proof your business. Because as more and more shops close in the pedestrian zone, pedestrian zones are becoming increasingly unattractive for customers. The result is that customers are no longer willing to take expensive parking fees and at worst long distances to get into their business.
Online trading - not even
Before you jump into online trading, you should be aware that there is a lot to learn. Because
For online trading, a different, more specialized knowledge is required than for the construction of a shop. An online retailer should have a sense of design, have heard of programming a website, and know that their products need to be portrayed differently on the Internet than in a store. Anyone who does not get involved in this topic in advance will need a lot of money for a successful start in online trading.
An obvious disadvantage of an online shop is the lack of feel. Your customers must be able to rely on your product images and the product description of your goods. The future customers can not take the products in the hand and do not inspect them with the eyes.
Returns that can result from this are a considerable disadvantage and also a cost for the online shop operator. Returns cost a lot of money. The returned goods, for example, can only be sold as used goods. It also costs time to prepare and process the return.
The most customer friendly and cheapest option is therefore to minimize returns. You can do that by creating a meaningful product photograph and a detailed description. You can make good pictures but also use videos of the products. Often the manufacturers offer free materials here.
To set up your business for the future, you should plan sooner or later an entry into online trading. Since it takes some time to get your business up and running on the search engines, it's a good idea to start expanding your business early.