Whether you are an artist, musician, established brand, or budding entrepreneur, having your own e-commerce store is critical to attracting new customers, building your brand, and growing your bottom line.
Not only did the e-commerce sales channel explode during the pandemic, but it’s also slated to continue to grow as life returns to normal post-pandemic. This year alone, forecasts predict we will see slightly higher e-commerce growth from a much higher base. While the pre-pandemic forecast had US ecommerce sales growing by 12.8% to $761.26 billion in 2021, sales in this channel are expected to grow slightly faster, by 13.7%, and reach a much higher total sales figure ($908.73 billion).
The convenience of online shopping, combined with the higher profit margins, gives e-commerce staying power that surpasses most other retail channels.
Here are four reasons to build your own e-commerce store and capitalize on the popularity of online shopping:
1. Foster Trust
Dedicated business websites and e-commerce stores serve as a great way to foster trust between both existing and prospective customers and your brand. Redirecting customers to third party websites to purchase your products not only increases the likelihood of cart abandonment and drop off but also erodes the trust between the consumer and your brand. Online shoppers expect to be able to buy products directly from a brand’s site, so when that option isn’t available, they tend to lose trust and disconnect from your brand. Conversely, by enabling them to shop and complete their transactions on site, in your e-commerce store, they are likely to spend more time engaging with your product offerings and spend more money.
2. Capture Customer Data
While you may think that having your products on third party site saves time while offering dashboard analytics, maintaining your own e-commerce store allows you to gather a significant amount more data on your customers online behavior and purchase preferences. This data can then be used to refine your product offerings, retarget discounts and special offers, and ultimately better meet customers’ needs and demands. With plug-ins like Google Analytics, you can also better understand your customers’ preferences, lifestyles, demographics, and paths to purchase.
3. Run Targeted Promotions
Maintaining your own e-commerce store allows you to set your prices while giving you the freedom and flexibility to offer discounts, promos, and special offers to your customers. If your products are only sold on your website, you are better able to control pricing (and margins!) while saving your customers from the hassle of comparison shopping. This control of your market share also enables you run promotions as you choose, without the fear of your products being undersold or liquidated elsewhere, helping you maintain the integrity of your brand. Promotions keep your customers coming back, especially if they feel like they are getting a special offer, and they serve as a great way to get the word out about your company through social media and newsletters, which boosts your presence to your current customers and increases your chances of getting additional people to your webstore.
4. Ability to Cater to Your Audience
By selling directly through your own e-commerce store, you can tailor your product offerings to cater to the wants and needs of your customers. For example, if your data is telling you that your company tends to sell certain products to similar demographics or that a lot of people are buying products together, you can create custom collections or suggest bundles based on buying preferences. This can increase your average transaction as those browsing your website may initially only be looking for one product or item but when they see a suggested complementary item or suggested bundle opportunity (a la “You may also like….”), they’re likely to add it to their cart.
Ultimately, the ability to own your own e-commerce store enables you to attract more customers, engage with them on a deeper level, better control your margins, create brand loyalty, and cultivate long term relationships with those who love and support your business.
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