E-commerce has been around since the internet first gained popularity. The early versions of e-commerce were pretty crude. In time, sophisticated and reliable software platforms were developed to help expand online shopping and purchasing. Facilitating online mail order deliveries helped retailers tap into a large base of consumers and do so without having to pay significant sums for print advertising.
What about those businesses that do not actually ship things? Brick and mortar stores that deal with walk-in customers are not completely out of the e-commerce loop. In fact, those businesses that deal with in-person pickups really should explore e-commerce options.
The Restaurant Example
Scores of takeout restaurants have devised online purchasing options for customers. Rather than waste time on hold on the phone or, worse, standing in a long line prior to placing an order, a customer can simply select and pay for breakfast, lunch, or dinner online. The order is paid for, submitted, and processed. All the customer has to do is arrive at the restaurant and pick up the order.
Honestly, any and all restaurant that provides takeout services should have this type of online e-commerce system in place. Incredibly, there are still local “mom and pop” restaurants that do not even have websites much less an e-commerce platform.
Business owners do get stuck in an old and traditional way of doing things. There is nothing wrong with that approach at all. If something is working fine, there is no reason to replace it. The point to make here is no one is suggesting replacing a means in which business is conducted. Instead, the idea at work should be to expand the ways to attract customers.
And all sorts of businesses should think of this approach.
Making Walk-In Sales Easier the Atypical Way
Used furniture shops cater to people who are looking for a deal. They likely want quality furniture. Not everyone has the time to visit a million-and-one discount stores in a local area. Putting up a video display of furniture items online and providing a means to pay for the merchandise probably would move more furniture.
A system for consignment sales might even be set up. Videos or pictures of furniture in people’s homes could be posted online. The furniture shop could act as the “middleman” in the sale via an e-commerce platform.
Really, there is no limit to the amount of creativity that can be employed with e-commerce. No matter what business a proprietor operates, an e-commerce solution likely exists.
The Online Commerce Landscape
The venerable website of Inc Magazine posted a very eye-opening statistic. 51% of all consumers prefer to purchase things online – all things. Who can blame them? Buying online is extremely convenient and often cheaper.
The proverbial moral of the story here is there are customers out there who should be targeted with an e-commerce plan. Doing so just makes smart business sense and does so no matter what type of business is being operated.