The dominance of E-Commerce continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down. The revenue in Malaysia ecommerce market amounts to US$1, 121m (RM4, 814m) in 2017, and was expected to show an annual growth rate (2017 – 2021) of 23.2% resulting in a market volume of US$2, 585m (RM11, 102m) in 2021.
With promising numbers like these, many retailers are considering an ecommerce business. It doesn’t matter if you’re expanding your current brick and mortar business or just starting off. As an ecommerce business owner, you’ll be joining a growing industry with many benefits. In this article, you’ll learn the e-Commerce advantages so that you can decide for yourself whether this is the right business model for you.
- Lower Cost and Faster Set Up
When you compare starting a retail store with starting an ecommerce store, ecommerce has a lower financial start up cost. Retail stores have to pay up to thousands to rent one of their store locations. Also, they have several upfront costs such as store down payment, designing the store, buying inventory, sales equipment, and more. Physical retail stores also have to pay staff to work and run each location. They may also need to hire security staff depending on the product value in the store.
However, unlike traditional retail, ecommerce store can be up and running in just a few clicks (if you’re looking for a basic store). Ecommerce platforms like Shopify let you use pre-made templates to create your store. Marketplaces like Lazada, 11street, Shopee, Amazon or eBay only require you to set up an account before you start selling. A much faster and cheaper way to start selling your products compare to physical retail stores.
For owners looking for a quick start, eCommerce will be your best bet. As long as you have a connection to the internet and a computer, you can start your business from anywhere, even from your couch!
- Overcome Geographical Limitations and Expand Customer Reach
Ecommerce provides new channels for you to reach more customers, worldwide. Whether you’re just starting out or an existing seller, there are always new customers to serve.
Existing retail sellers can be limited by their location. Customers must travel to visit your store, but with ecommerce, you can sell to customers anywhere, anytime. This allows you to serve customers across Malaysia, or internationally.
- 24/7 Potential Income
Traditional retail stores are open between 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but an online stores are always open for business. Customers can visit your online stores at 11 p.m. or 4 a.m., business can still be conducted.
Unlike retail stores, a 24/7 physical stores will take up a lot of extra manpower and security to conduct business and ensure safety. Whereas an online store will run by its own without manpower or security costs and still being able to serve consumers anytime.
- Provide Abundant Information
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to information that can be displayed through your online stores to your customers. Ecommerce websites can make additional information easily available to customers. And best of it, most of this information does not cost anything to create or maintain.
Unlike retail stores, there are only that much that you can display in your stores and educate your customers about your products. Being said so, it is also limited on how your salesperson presents your products to walk in customers. And it is difficult to equip employees to respond to customers who require information across product lines.
- Obtain New Customers With Search Engine Visibility
In the era of social media and search engines, it is not unusual for customers to follow a link they saw and end up in an ecommerce website that they have not heard of. This additional source of traffic provide a great opportunity for sellers to reach out to new customers and convert them into sales revenue.
With wide marketing tools out there to help sellers achieve more traffics, it is easier than ever for seller to organise campaign and events through online to reach out for more audience and generate sales.
- Enable Deals, Bargains, Coupons and Group Buying
Although deals, bargains, coupons and group buying can be done physically, convenience is the key word when we talk about ecommerce. With a few mouse click, customers can enjoy any of the special deals or coupons given to them through online and in the comfort of their home couch.
This enable businesses to organise flash deals for quick response through the net. And in return, increase their amount of sales revenue.
- Customers Database and Targeted Communication
With the information that a customer provides in the registration form, and by placing cookies on the customer’s computer, an online seller can access a lot of information about its customers. Sellers are able to locate where and who are attracted to their products. This, in return, can be used for future planning of their business. For example, creating relevant campaign and products to accommodate the targeted and most potential customers.
Besides that, it can be use in communicate relevant messages. For example, if a returning customer is surfing for a product in your website, relevant pop ups can be catered to customer with specify buying pattern to convince they customer in buying more from your website.
- Allocate Niche Market
Niche products are often hard to locate in the physical world. Whereas online, it is only a matter of the customer searching for the product in a search engine. This allow sellers with niche products or up and coming products that are demanded but are not sold in local retail stores to have an upper-hand in being the pioneer seller .
This sums up a few advantages that might get you interested to advance into the ecommerce industry. While there are many more advantages in selling online, there’s also some risk. So be sure to educate yourself and don’t fall victim to anything.