As technology advances, opportunities unfold across the Internet improving the way many businesses create revenue. It’s this same technology that allows virtually anyone with ambition to host and maintain their own online retail store. As $252 billion was spent in online purchases for the year of 2013, it could be feasible that many local retail locations may see a decrease in purchases over the coming decades.
Less Overhead Expenses
Online retail websites have a considerably less expensive overhead than localized shops. For less than $200 per year, a website can remain functional while hosted on unlimited servers through various companies. It is this reduced expense that has prompted many individuals to start online eCommerce sites in order to make a few extra dollars throughout the year.
Shared Utility Bills
Unlike a local retail business, eCommerce sites may possibly share the utility bills with the owner as inventory is stored in his or her home. The impact of electricity and Internet activity the business imposes is nearly negligible. The only real downside to hosting an eCommerce website within the home is the reduction of useable space a family may have due to inventory, shipping supplies and computer equipment.
Greater Availability Online
Many consumers turn to shopping on the Internet due to the fact there is a greater selection of products available. Instead of being restricted to what local retail shops provide, the consumer can find almost any item for which he or she is looking. Competition is plentiful allowing a wide variety of discounts and coupons driving prices to more affordable levels.
Prices May Be Reduced
As there is less overhead expenses, payroll and insurance premiums for an online business, many of these sites offer decreased prices for products when compared to local alternatives. There is less money needed for the business to maintain functionality which may reduce the price of products. In many cases, consumers will pay less for products online while including shipping fees in comparison to local retail stores.
Online retail businesses are not restricted to local consumers. A large portion of eCommerce sites offer world-wide shipping thus increasing the customer base to millions instead of a few hundred experienced by localized establishments. While a radio or newspaper ad may attract a few people in a rural locale, proper online marketing from the same business could reach a vast array of consumers 24 hours per day without spending money on employees.
Finding Localized Services
Services are much different when it comes to online business. Unlike retail sales, a service may need to be localized. Many of these services include manual labor and various home repairs that simply cannot be completed online. However, marketing these abilities on the Internet can still attract attention to the establishment informing the local populace of the business. Even health industries can promote local services for family development and the like.
The Personal Element
One thing that eCommerce businesses don’t have in contrast to local brick-and-mortar stores is the capacity of personal interaction. There are still a large portion of consumers that prefer purchasing goods in person rather than using websites. It’s this interaction that may prolong the lifespan of local retail business. However, these localized establishments may find that promoting online sales may help bring in additional revenue to offset customers lost due to eCommerce capabilities.