Although the company admits that the recession is slowly starting to affect web retailers as the growth in online spending slows, it predicts that by 2013 online sales in the UK will reach £31.2bn, forecasting spending of £20.9 by the end of this year alone.
No one can be sure how the recession will last or how it will develop exactly, so it is hard at this moment in time to forecast future online spending. But, the staff at Verdict Research reckon the convenience of the web, coupled with a wealth of bargain deals and offers compared to shopping on the high street, will continue to drive online spend up.
Bearing all this in mind, we gave some thought to what a company loses out on by not offering its products for sale online. Here at Visualsoft, we firmly believe that businesses are missing out on more than just money making opportunities by not offering online sales.
Below we have put together a few thoughts on what we believe retailing offline only can do to your business. As ever, please feel free to leave your own thoughts and comments at the bottom of the page.
Damage To Your Brand
Online retail will be expected by your customers, so failing to offer it will only disappoint. It makes a business look less capable and less successful, leaving your customer with an impression that damages your brand, regardless of the quality.
Enhances Your Rivals
With your competitors likely to be already offering sales online when you are not, then obviously they are going to end up securing more business for web users.
But, however, there is a much bigger problem. If your rivals are offering online sales, that makes them look more competent, more progressive and a lot more successful than you. Not only does your lack of a website damage your brand, it enhances your rivals.
Miss Out On Targeted Marketing Messages
The internet allows you to use dozens of methods to market to your customers. In your shop, a customer will walk in, witnesses generic marketing that might or might not appeal to them, buy a product and then leave.
Even though your promotional efforts may have worked, they may easily fail to hit their mark. With an online transaction, you can ensure that your customer will see adverts and opportunities relating specifically to their purchase.
If you are selling camping equipment for example, your emailed receipt can include information on other relevant products. In a shop, phone or catalogue sale, you would have been far more limited.
You Fail To Exploit Global Sales
In the online world, a person in the Shetlands can find himself selling to consumers in Australia. For any company, this allows you an easy expansion into other countries with no further financial commitment than some targeted online marketing and a sales-ready website.
Through growing the number of your consumers in other parts of the world, you are not just expanding your customer base, you are protecting yourself from potential local economic downturns.
You Miss The Chance To Secure Customer Data
The majority of people are happy to tick a box allowing a firm to contact you if they are buying online than they are to answer questions or give personal details when in a shop.
It has become expected of a company to try and secure a customer’s email address whilst online, but attempts in a shop seem to be far more intrusive. This allows online retailers to source a much wider pool of people to promote further products and offers to than those businesses with no online web presence.
For more information on how selling online can expand your business or any of our eCommerce Solutions please contact Visualsoft e-Commerce today on 0870 766 1092.