Toys R Us, the iconic retailer of our childhood, filed for bankruptcy this month, citing a lack of traffic to their brick-and-mortar stores as one of the reasons why the business has been on a slow downward spiral. Their lackluster online store and their inability to compete with online retail giants like Amazon proves that having a customer-facing storefront is no longer enough to bring consistent business through the door. If you own a brick-and-mortar business that sells goods, it’s time to seriously consider taking your shop online.
More people are doing their shopping online
A major buzzword that has been popping up frequently in the retail industry has been omnichannel marketing or the idea of traditional retailers introducing new channels through which their customers can make a purchase. This comes at an opportune time as the online shopping frenzy continues to sweep the nation, with 96% of Americans having made an online purchase in their lifetime and a whopping 80% having done so in the past month.
According to a survey conducted by BigCommerce and Square on omnichannel retail, a growing number of business owners are selling products through various online channels. Although 56% of the survey takers owned a physical storefront, 34% also reported selling through their own website, 40% through social media, and 22% through marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
Does this mean that physical storefronts have become obsolete? Not quite. In a 2016 study conducted by a Harvard Business Review about shopping behavior, they found that while only 7% of those surveyed were online-only shoppers, and 20% were store only shoppers, 73% said they used multiple channels throughout their purchase process. Thus comes the true reason why omnichannel marketing is becoming the norm for brick-and-mortar stores: taking advantage of several available channels for selling merchandise means further reach and more sales.
How to take your business online
If you’re a storefront-only shop that’s looking to open up new purchase channels for your customer, an eCommerce site is a perfect solution. The advantage of a designated online store over a shared marketplace like Amazon or Etsy is the lack of competition. If your handpainted pottery is being sold alongside the collections of 20 other pottery vendors, buyers will be more motivated to choose the cheaper option or may prefer someone else’s items to your own. In a store you own, however, your customer will focus more on the quality and array of products that you offer and be less distracted by potential competitors.
The easiest way to get your eCommerce store going is through Name.com’s Business Website Builder. With prebuilt templates and a coding-free interface, you can put together an online store without having to hire a developer. The Business plan also comes with a fully integrated payment processor, giving your customers several ways to make payments online.
Take advantage of an omnichannel marketing plan by setting up your online store today.