The Growth of E-Tailers

By SME Insurance

Posted 20/06/17

Between April 2016 and April 2017, our weekly online spending increased by 19% [1]. For the first time, more than half of our total purchases are made online [2]. But what’s fuelling this growth and how can bricks and mortar retailers adapt to take advantage of the trend?

Experts agree that the rise in online shopping is the result of two main factors. Smartphones have made it increasingly easy for us to browse and buy at the click of a button. During December 2016, sales via smartphones increased by a huge 47% according to IMRG and Capgemini (Uk’s industry association for online retail) [3]. With the help of smartphones, some shoppers now feel that the main issues against online shopping, such as not being able to touch or try on items, has been removed or their impact reduced. Consumers can visit a high street shop, find the item they want, and then see if they can buy it cheaper online [4].

Online shops have also come close to perfecting delivery and returns methods. Flexibility now means that goods can be delivered to convenience shops and, in many cases, returns are free for the consumer.

Enjoy the Flexibility of an Online Shop

There are several advantages of setting up your own online shop. Perhaps the most appealing is that you’re not restricting your potential customer base to the town or city where your shop is located. You can reach people all around the world, any time of day if you want to!

Online shops can also make it easier to manage your stock levels. As there’s often a few days between an order being placed and the customer receiving it, you may have time to review your stock and make adjustments or obtain more where necessary.

You’re also not limited by space restrictions. In your physical shop you may have to group merchandise together to save space, you may not be able to display as many sale items as you would like to, or you might just not have enough space for your vision. An online shop removes these same physical space problems; you can create as many or as few web pages as you want!

Setting Up Can Be Simple

It can be daunting to know where to begin when setting up an online shop. Fortunately, there are lots of avenues available to you from e-commerce template websites to fully bespoke online shops.

Marketplace websites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy make it easy for you to set up your own page and sell your products. This is particularly useful if you own a small shop looking to intermittently sell your products online and the cost of this method is lower than a full online ecommerce site. It’s also a sensible way to test the water if you’re taking your first steps into running an online shop.

Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento offer kits to help you create and personalise your own online shop. Both websites have fantastic support so if you find yourself stuck they’re on hand to help. What’s more, each have varying pricing structures so can work to your budget.

Finally if you want an all singing, all dancing completely bespoke website then there are many digital marketing specialists around the country that can help. The cost of a brand new website can be thousands of pounds but it can often be worthwhile in the long run.

Once you have a your, find out about out about online retail insurance.

Sources

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/bulletins/retailsales/apr2017#whats-the-story-in-online-sales

[2] https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2016/6/UPS-Study-Avid-Online-Shoppers-Making-More-Than-Half-of-Their-Purchases-With-Ecommerce

[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/01/17/smartphone-shoppers-boost-online-spending-133bn-tablets-lose/

[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/29/the-rise-of-online-only-shops-customers-lured-by-free-returns-an/

Posted 20/06/17

Author: SME Insurance

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