Ecommerce is an invaluable tool for any business. Not only does it reduce, or completely eliminate, overheads associated with a physical storefront, it also creates an entirely new customer base through national and international shipping. With an online store at your fingertips, customers from all over the world can purchase your products at the click of a button. The possibilities are endless, and open to every type of business imaginable.
All you need is a website, a product, and the right mindset to present it to the world. It’s time to embrace thinking outside the box and start putting round pegs into square holes. Think differently is what we’re are saying!
BUT MY PRODUCTS ARE TOO BULKY TO SHIP!
If you sell bulky products such as fridges, furniture or exercise equipment you may be tempted to forgo ecommerce due to the various challenges associated with shipping them. Due to their size, such items cannot be posted by regular means and must generally either be hand delivered by your business, or sent via courier. Both options are entirely feasible and utilised by countless online businesses to great effect.
Websites such as Appliances Online offer free delivery of fridges and other large appliances to their customers by dispatching their own trucks from their warehouse. Obviously this isn’t an option for everyone so websites like Gym and Fitness ship fitness equipment to customers and charge for delivery based on the postcode of the buyer.
If you’re worried about charging for delivery, don’t be. Customers who purchase products online are generally prepared to pay for reasonable shipping – it’s all part of the experience, and the trade-off for being able to shop from the comfort of your couch.
Of course, there are always more creative methods such as factoring the cost of shipping into the total cost of the product itself.
MY PRODUCTS ARE TOO UNIQUE / CUSTOMISABLE TO SELL ONLINE
The uniqueness or customisability of your product should never be a barrier to utilising the advantages of ecommerce. While it can present a problem for instant purchasing, there are many ways this can be positively presented through an online business. For example, take a look at RedBubble, a website that prides itself on selling unique, customisable products. From T-shirts to posters and home décor the options are endless, and most allow the customer to customise the item to their preferred taste. Posters, for example, have multiple prints, sizes and materials to choose from. Other examples include Spread Shirt, which allows the customer to create custom clothing and Pimp My Fridge for customisable fridges.
Alternatively, if your product has too many options to realistically list, you can provide a price range and then offer the customer direct communication through an email form or phone number, to enquire further. Using an ecommerce store front as a lead generation tool is a clever way to upsell your products too.
WHAT IF I DON’T SELL A PHYSICAL PRODUCT?
This is no obstacle. When it comes to online shopping, services are products – it’s just a matter of how you package them. Services can be displayed and purchased like any physical product; the only difference is what the customer receives. In fact, services have multiple advantages over physical products. They have no manufacturing costs, they don’t need to be stockpiled or ordered and they don’t require shipping. You have complete control. You can offer as much, or as little, in each package as you like.
Whether you sell bulky objects, unique and customisable products, or intangible services, ecommerce can help you do it. The options are infinite and the only limitations are the ones you impose on yourself.