In our last blog, we discussed the fact that the traditional shopping mall experience is going through a decline. More and more, consumers are flocking to the internet in order to browse items, compare prices and inevitably make their purchases. As a result, many malls are losing stores. Business owners who are suffering from steadily declining sales are being forced to close their doors. There are, however, other doors that can be opened.
“Online shopping has become one of the most preferred ways to make purchases,” says SEO analyst, Shane Emerson on LinkedIn.com, “From large gym equipment to day-to-day grocery items, nowadays everyone likes to order online.” Therefore, it’s important for retailers to offer their customers opportunities to make purchases directly from their company websites.
The reasons to offer your customers online shopping experiences are many. Here are just three:
1. It allows customers to make purchases from you 24/7.
Opening an online store is as good as creating an open-around-the-clock business – because that’s exactly what the internet is! Naturally, consumers have the ability to jump online whenever they choose. It doesn’t matter if it’s three in the morning and you’re fast asleep. Your online store gives you the opportunity to process sales and earn profits at any and all points in the day.
Emerson considers this to be one of the biggest advantages of online shopping. “It gives consumers the flexibility to choose the time they want to shop,” he writes, “They can shop online in the middle of the night or early in the morning sitting right in their bedroom. To put it simply, for an ecommerce store there are no physical boundaries or time constraints in shopping times. This can give a major boost to sales and overall business revenue.”
2. Shoppers tend to trust customer reviews.
It’s often said that there’s no better type of promotion than word-of-mouth promotion. We’d argue that the best type of promotion is the type that is typed – literally! Online customer reviews help for retailers to significantly increase sales. Unlike standard advertisements, reviews are considered 100% genuine. Shoppers place a great deal of value on the experiences had by other shoppers. Selling your products online makes for great ways to generate this type of word-of-mouth promotion.
“It’s difficult to overstate the importance of social proof online,” says Russ Henneberry on CrazyEgg.com, “Online shoppers report that reading reviews is among the most important reasons they shop online. In other words, if you want people to buy — you have to show that others have bought…Offer a reviews and ratings system for your products and display it prominently on the product detail pages.”
3. It saves customers from the hassles of crowded malls.
It’s important to remember that not everyone loves shopping. In fact, many would much prefer to avoid the large crowds that tend to accumulate in malls – especially during the busiest shopping seasons of the year. With online shopping comes the ability to sidestep the hassle of looking for a parking space, traversing through hordes of people and standing in long line ups.
“Unlike large stores and shopping malls that have too much rush all the time, online shopping is free from crowds and queue,” says Emerson, “Consumers can browse and select product(s) of their choice at their own pace that will best fit (their) needs.”