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Five benefits to selling online

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In a new column for Health Food Business, Sophie Carrick, Marketing and Business Development Manager at the retail app, LoyalFree, sets out why online must be a consideration for all independents.

If the last 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that having multiple sales channels are more important than ever. Although e-commerce can never replace an inperson shopping experience, over the last decade, we have seen a huge rise in online sales. With more consumers turning to e-commerce for time saving and price competitive options, I feel this trend is set to remain.

Here are five benefits to selling your products online:

  • Increase your customer reach
    Having a shop front is fantastic for catching the eye of potential customers, allowing you to entice them into your store. The downside, however, is that you are limited to only serving customers in your geographical location. Having an online presence allows you to target more than just passing trade and allows you to supply the whole world with your goods. There are literally millions of potential customers searching for products like yours online every day. If you’re not already serving these customers online, now is the time to start.
  • Provides scalability
    One of the biggest overheads in business is your premises. Having a large retail space is a great way to display your products and let your potential customer browse, feel and try them but this comes at a hefty cost. Having an online store can allow you to keep your bricks and mortar store but increase your product range online. Selling your products online will not only keep your business overheads down, but it will also allow you to streamline your staffing costs while allowing you to increase your product range.
  • No operating time restrictions
    One of the reasons consumers love shopping online is that there are no time restrictions as to when they can buy your products. They can shop from anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night. Selling your products online is not only convenient for your customers, it also ensures you don’t miss out on potential sales during periods of time when you would otherwise not be trading.
  • Obtain data capture and customer insight
    Another important benefit to selling online is the ability to collect valuable customer data and easily grow your mailing list. This will allow you to communicate directly to your audience. Whether it’s new stock or flash sales, you can let your audience know what’s going on with one bulk email sent directly to your customer’s inbox. It’s also easy to incorporate analytical software such as Google Analytics to see what products your customers are viewing and interacting with. By analysing this data, you can see which products are selling successfully and which stock you should invest in or develop a larger range.
  • It’s easier than ever to get set up
    Previously selling your products online was costly and it could take months to get your e-commerce site up and running. Now, with services such as Shopify, The LoyalFree Marketplace and Etsy, you can be up and running in a matter of hours. With low set up fees and easy to use interfaces, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to get set up and start benefiting from selling their products online.

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