Once you look at the huge benefits that shopping online can bring, there is little wonder that the take up is so large, and this is only one of the reasons for the uptake there are many more.
Online shopping has also hit the large traditional retail chains hard as they attempt to merger their bricks and mortar business strategies online, which for many has just not worked, and in fact in cases, I am sure, has hurt their brand image and eroded their customer base.
On the surface, the premise is simple – put up your products onto a web site and sell them online, but just how easy is this? The large retailers have issues with the large amount of product lines and ranges that they supply, making this more than just an onerous task.
Corporate web developers charge huge dollars for creating data base driven sites that often confuse shoppers while many offers result in great prices but no stock available. In short the smaller retailers can effectively put up sites that capture the publics attention, leveraging off of their offline business’s to assist with their online marketing efforts.
Similarly, retailers who have only worked in the traditional space have found it difficult to put product delivery mechanisms in place, with the end result of falling down on customer expectations – to such an extent that a number of large retailers have reversed strategy and have removed them selves from this space, relying in their sites to purely inform of latest offers available in store, retracting back to their brick and mortar mentality.
This leaves a gap in an online environment where smaller more agile players, many of them newcomers have begun to fill – Whether it’s dog houses shipped to Alaska, a new Ipod in London, or a Power Inverter in Darwin – each is available quickly, and generally more cost effective to have ordered online, with the resulting benefits of a quality product delivered on time at a lower cost of traditional establishments.
The internet has now come to play a leading force in shifting market forces in the retail sector on an international basis, and this trend will continue as more and more benefits come to the consumer by using this medium. This is combined with the fact that Internet users are becoming aware that by using reliable and respectable online business’s, their credit information is safer than handing a credit card over a retail counter. Banks also back this policy up by refunding to clients any purchases proved to not have been made by customers in the online world.
The question now is, how can the average business take a hold of this strategy to gain a larger client base while reducing overheads thus increasing profit and cash flow back to the business in this time of apparent economic downturn.