Are you flirting with the idea of starting an eCommerce store? Check out our list of pros and cons to embarking on this path.
As web designers, we have developed and designed several different iterations of an online store for a variety of different industries. We have seen firsthand the benefits of having a digital shop as well as some of the negatives associated with it.
Let’s start with the benefits first, ya?
- An eCommerce website is MUCH less risky than starting a traditional brick-and-mortar retail business. Online retailers have the potential to save thousands in monthly rental fees, utilities, and furnishings. This means you have much less to lose if your online store doesn’t pan out.
- The store that never sleeps, eCommerce stores are open 24/7! Online stores have the potential to capture sales around the clock because shoppers can shop anytime and anywhere. Potential clients who visit your store have the option to view your products and then pull the trigger on a purchase several hours later. Easy peasy!
- Targeting specific products or promotions is a breeze. Through your web store, you can easily guide customers through your best-sellers or easily promote seasonal offerings to boost sales where you want them. This is especially beneficial for eCommerce websites that are rotating special products frequently.
- Scale your business in any direction at your own pace. An eCommerce website is easy to add more products to and expand your target demographic. You can also easily scale back during slow seasons or product turnover phases. This means you’re only promoting and ultimately paying for the space and services you need at any given time.
With all those pros why wouldn’t you want to open an online store?? We will tell you!
- Accurately portraying your products can be tough to do. Because customers can’t physically hold, smell, feel, etc.. your products, you need to do a really good job of capturing a true-to-reality representation of your product. If you sell a product online that is hard to conceptualize in 2D you might want to consider a different retail route.
- There is a lot of big fish in a little pond. Competition in the eCommerce world is really fierce. Thanks to DIY website builders such as Squarespace and Wix basically anyone can slap together an online storefront and begin muddying up the SEO waters. For you, this means that reaching your audience is going to be tough and will require extra attention spent on building a fully SEO-optimized website. Along with a strong SEO strategy, it’ll be up to you to use alternative marketing efforts to drive traffic to your website.
- Water is wet, websites crash, shit happens. On occasion, the internet does the impossible and it fails. When a potential customer comes to your site and experience issues it can be really hard to win them back, especially where there isn't a lovely retail associate to talk them down. Broken websites can leave customers feeling uneasy about your business and it might impact how much they trust your products.
- As much as we love to online shop, retail stores are here to stay. We might hear a lot of news about mega malls and department stores closing their archaic doors in droves across America but brick and mortar retail stores are still doing shockingly well. Many major brands that started as online only have now branched into physical retail locations and are seeing huge successes.
If after reading this you’re still struggling to decide whether an online store is right for your products or not, don’t fret, we can help you! Maybe the lovely folks here at Slanted can help you navigate the eCommerce world. Drop us a line and we’d be happy to talk with you about the possibilities of a beautifully designed eCommerce website.