What is an online store?
An online store is an electronic commerce platform that uses the world wide web for commercial transactions.
An online store has the capability to display products in a catalog fashion, provide shopping user experience via a virtual shopping cart, and accept payment via credit or debit cards.
An online store requires that a customer provide their full name, address, and credit/debit card information.
When a store requires this kind of information, the customer must be respected, their questions answered, their concerns addressed, and their fears mitigated so as to guarantee the success of the business.
Once a customer orders a product online, the product is shipped directly to their door.
To fully grasp the online store idea, we will look at the normal and new way of selling things.
The normal way of selling things.
1. The supplier delivers goods to the brick & mortar store at wholesale price.
2. The consumers go to the brick & mortar store to buy the goods they need at retail price.
3. The retailer takes cash to the bank.
The illustration shows that the supplier and retailer are making a profit, but recently, many traditional retailers are struggling to keep up because of so many reasons which I listed below:
1. Store sizes are decreasing along with margins
2. Customers are spending less.
3. Prices are going up.
4. Products sold are lesser.
5. Security fees and store rent fees are increasing.
6. Electricity bills are rocketing higher.
7. Maintenance fees are dumbfounding.
8. The competition is getting tougher.
9. The market is crashing.
The reasons listed are largely influenced by changes in consumer behavior.
Let’s take a look at this pie chart.
These customers on social networks are open to influence from companies that are making tempting offers every day.
It is time you upgrade your way of doing business.
The new way of selling things.
Online purchases in Nigeria will double in the next two years.
Your store can increase profits.
Customer experience will improve.
Supplier and retailer will make hundreds of millions of Naira in the first year alone.
Suppliers and retailers will work together and think like an organization.
Let’s take a look at the online business model.
1. Customers make payment for goods at the online store with credit/debit card. Fills in the shipping information.
2. Funds are transferred via SSL [secure sockets layer] to online store owners’ bank account.
3. The control room, supervisor, and online store owner get order notifications.
4. The control room operator packages the ordered items in the online shop’s branded envelopes and sends it to the dispatcher. He also notifies the buyer/customer of product dispatch details.
5. Dispatcher delivers the products to the customer and notifies the control room of delivery status.
How do you take advantage?
At this point, you will need a team that will help you build an online store, handle fulfillment services, and take care of logistics.
Many store owners understand the benefits of taking businesses online but there are so many challenges on the way.
1. How do I take my business online?
2. Who is competent enough to understand my business?
3. Who will build my store from scratch around my business?
4. How do I handle fulfillment services and logistics?
5. Will people trust me enough to drop their credit/debit card information, address, and full names on my stores’ website?
6. How much will it cost to build an online store?
7. What are the major benefits I will get on this investment?
8. Will people buy my goods?
9. How do I take care of marketing?
10. How do I keep my customers and make them loyal?
All of these challenges have simple and effective solutions.
The truth is that there are so many questions on your mind right now about taking your business online which I may not have listed here.
Based on solid experience about how online stores are built from scratch, how they are managed into a profitable level, and how they start rolling in millions, you are in safe hands.
If you want to discuss the best strategy for your business to get online, call or send a WhatsApp message to: +234 (81) 3909 0556 or +234 (81) 5620 7123.