eCommerce Development 101: When to Start Selling Products Online

E-commerce is booming. On Black Friday 2016, online sales hit a record-breaking $3 billion, with over $1 billion purchases coming from mobile alone. These statistics prove more consumers are foregoing the mall and shopping at home instead. E-commerce development provides consumers with benefits like 24-hour trading, more product choice, and home delivery. But when should you start selling products online? Here are some signs that it's time to go digital.

You Want to Provide Better Customer Service

New technologies have improved customer service processes. Retailers with an e-commerce store can provide customer support more effectively and take advantage of multiple communication methods. Once you have set up your e-commerce site, customers can contact you via email — 44 percent of consumers prefer to interact with a retailer via this method, according to research — or live chat.
Online retailers have fewer limitations than brick-and-mortar retailers, too. They can outsource their customer support to a third party company and provide assistance to customers outside of regular working hours.

You Want to Save Costs

Operating an e-commerce business is often cheaper than running a traditional brick-and-mortar store. There are fewer overheads — utility bills and staff costs are typically lower — and no storefronts or point-of-purchase displays to maintain. This provides you with a steady stream of income. You can sell products 24 hours a day, seven days a week, too.
E-commerce minimizes operational costs. Most of the process is completely automated: clever software will generate invoices and accept payments, drastically reducing labor costs and workload. In fact, all you need to do is fulfill customer orders.

You Want to Offer More Choice

Brick-and-mortar stores have space limitations. E-commerce stores, on the other hand, let you sell unlimited products across various distribution channels. You can create individual product pages for each item, with specifications and photos that increase sales.
E-commerce also lets you sell niche products that consumers can't find in physical retail locations. This helps you diversify your product range and increase the amount of revenue you generate.

You Want to Overcome Geographic Restrictions

With e-commerce, there are no geographic restrictions. You can sell your products locally or to consumers on the other side of the world. For many online retailers, the bulk of their sales come from international customers. This provides them with more selling opportunities and helps them to break into new markets. China currently experiences the biggest e-commerce sales, followed by the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

You Want to Target Younger Consumers

Young adults are more likely to shop online than in a traditional store. Research shows that 67 percent of millennials prefer to make online purchases than shop in-store. This might benefit you if you specialize in a product that skews to a young demographic.
You can also target this age group with your marketing. Send out marketing messages via email to increase the visibility of your products. Alternatively, update your social media pages with promotions and the latest product news.
80 percent of internet users have ordered products online, and 50 percent have made more than one purchase. If you still haven't set up an e-commerce store, you're losing out on sales. Making the switch to digital will save you cash, help you target a younger demographic, reduce geographic restrictions, offer more product choice, and allow you to provide better customer service.