Online retailing not only has immense potential to produce more or less instant wealth for those who are prepared to work hard the good news is that this potential has recently put on a huge growth spurt. Recent retail statistics prove that more and more people are now choosing to shop online rather than climb in a car and brave crowded roads and shopping centres. Ecommerce has not only come of age it has stepped into the economic driving seat.
For both new and old retail ventures the key to financial success is always now and always going to be, about mastering the art of rising above the virtual world competition. Retailers from all walks of life will have to constantly devise innovative ways that enhance the consumers’ shopping experience, and be seen to give added value for them in various ways.
Given that you have a good web designer and access to sound ecommerce software such as Zen Cart, setting up an online store is the easy part, the trick to astounding success is in startling innovation. This needs to be done in such a way that it would leave your competitors way behind and guarantee you hefty profits from your ecommerce system. The mantra of today’s online retailing is quite simply innovate like mad to retain your existing customers and gather more.
If the current figures are to be believed and there is no reason to think otherwise, the importance of the internet and it revenue spinning power is primarily driven by a robust growth of the online retailing industry. In spite of the economic downturn 2010 has already show a huge increase in the number of buyers buying various products online, especially on cyber Monday alone when online revenue crossed the 1 billion threshold.
There is no doubt that the key to success in online retailing for now and well into the foreseeable future is in adopting innovative approaches to capture consumer attention and then retain it. This in a nutshell is all about expanding the products you offer while bringing in more and more obvious benefits for your customers. The level of innovation employed will no doubt vary from retailer to retailer but there are a few strategies that can be applied universally, irrespective of the kind of product on offer.
For example a DIY website selling wallpaper, fabrics and paint could provided an online design section where the consumers can mix and match various fabric and wallpaper designs with paint colours to check if the end-result will suit the look they are trying to achieve.
One of the most effective ways to ensure successful online retailing is by incorporating high quality videos in their websites showing the use and detail of popular products. This adds to the perceived value of a product as it means the customer can get one step nearer to the look and feel of an item without actually seeing it in the flesh. This works extremely well with certain retail sectors such as garden machinery, where a positive demonstration of a machine’s capabilities is both reassuring and inspiring.
If approached properly and not in a half-hearted fashion social media front is another medium that most savvy store owners are exploiting these days. If you look at any social media page of a top online retailer, whether it be Facebook or Twitter you can learn from it by observing just how creatively they have used their fan-base or followers’ database to strengthen their presence on the web.
One word of warning here though – if, for instance, you can’t keep up regular, relative and inspiring tweets on Twitter and set out to find followers don’t even start. There is nothing more amateur looking that a half started then abandoned account.
While you don’t want to preach customer education is a good route to follow. A lot of forward thinking ecommerce stores now offer their customers useful information about the product in general and other related details. Many of these are sophisticated in-depth technical details or specifications that no brick-and-mortar retailer can or feels inclined to give.
Tactful educational angle is a respected way of bolstering faith in your site and there by getting more customers. In addition people are constantly surfing the web for answers to problems. If you can provide solutions you are in a win, win situation. Not only do you look like the nice guy, the chances are that the visitor in search of information will then hang around to do some shopping.
So you see, continuous innovation is the best option to improve and expand your ecommerce business and, even more important, it is the key to retaining your existing customers. Unlike taking a trip to the corner shop where over the course of time a natural rapport builds up between shop keeper and shoppers visitors to are total strangers to you as you are to them therefore the onus is on you to win them over by wooing them through innovative ideas so that they remain loyal forever.