Ecommerce: Uncharted Territory

When examining the billions of dollars spent on ecommerce transactions, it is safe to say that there are lessons for brick-and-mortar stores that have resisted the move to cyberspace.

For instance, numerous bookstores are closing due to the intense competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com. Numerous bookstores erroneously believed they had a loyal customer base and would likely survive the Internet craze; however, a lack of brand loyalty has left them perplexed.

Some retailers reinvented themselves and introduced a significantly enhanced brick-and-mortar store with seating areas, a coffee shop, and an ONLINE STORE.

As malls and strip malls have replaced historic downtown stores, these merchants are left floundering in a sea of “what was” and “what will never be.”

Across the United States, a retail revolution is occurring. The majority of online sales for big-box retailers are now made through their websites. Early adopters of an online presence are experiencing a significant increase in online sales as their brick-and-mortar sales decline.

Internet users frequently cite the aggravation of physically going to a store, searching for an item, and then waiting in line to check out as a primary reason for shopping online. An Internet transaction can be conducted quickly, discreetly, and in the comfort of one’s own home.

Brick-and-mortar stores may be successful for a subset of the population that does not own a computer, finds them difficult to use, or does not believe they are necessary. However, as time passes, there are fewer and fewer holdouts.

As ecommerce continues to expand, entrepreneurs’ use of online marketing terms such as SEO, affiliate relations, and PPC becomes more sophisticated. These terms help spread the word about your website and make it easier for customers to find it.

Traditional business owners may find the idea of starting a new online business daunting, but for those who have taken the plunge, it has become a welcome source of revenue and a connection to a growing community of potential customers.

An ecommerce website will not be a success overnight, but it can help you transition from relying on customers with face-to-face contact to one that is less informal, but significantly improves your long-term business prospects.

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