Should You Have An Online Store?
With more and more online stores appearing throughout the web, you may have wondered whether you need one yourself. Actually, an online store is not right for every business and even if you plan and do everything related to it in a proper way, it may still not be successful.
How can you find out whether you need an online store or not? Start by answering some of these questions.
Is yours a good product to sell online?
First of all, you need to ask yourself whether you have the right kind of product to sell online – there are things that are quite difficult to sell on the web particularly if yours is a small business. For example, products that are hard or expensive to ship may not sell well, nor might really expensive products that are usually tested before purchased – TV sets, vehicles, etc. Clothing presents its own set of challenges with variations in size and fit between brands. There are also those products that most people would not bother to purchase online, pay for delivery and wait until they come if they can buy them on the way to work or from the local store.
Do your clients shop online?
Even if you have a product that is sellable online, there is another aspect to online stores – your customers may just not be the right type of people to buy from the Internet. It turns out that 65% of those aged 25-34 and 52% from the age group 45-54 shop online. On the other hand, only 14% of the people above 65 are used to purchasing from online shops. Location is also a factor – people who live in urban areas shop online more often than those who live in rural areas.
Does it fit with your branding?
If you believe that your product is sellable online and your customers will be willing to use your online store, there is still another question to answer – will selling online affect your branding and product image?
There are occasions when high end exclusive products look cheaper on the web, especially in categories like electronics and toys, where having the product in front of you may show its potential far better than a photo online. If you sell high end fashion, making it available online may give the impression that it is available to the masses. If your clientele is looking for exclusivity, seeing the products online could drive them away.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will know whether or not you should have an online store. Having a successful online store means having the right product, the right customers and the right product image – otherwise it may be more harm than good.