In today’s world of commerce, basically anything and everything can be sold over the Internet. While some types of businesses’ call for a regular store to be successful, one should never dismiss the option of selling online, either in addition to a physical store or as a main source for sales. It is important to analyze your business (or business plan) to see if selling online could work for you because you may find the benefits of selling online greatly outweigh the alternative.
So what are the benefits of opening an online store verses a physical store?
It is a great way to reduce overheads. In general, conducting business online costs less to set up and run, although it’s important to recognize that making e-commerce work requires continuing investment.
A business owner incurs lower marketing costs. With better targeting, online promotion can be more precisely aimed at potential customers than using conventional media.
Stacey Mwesezi, the Marketing and Community Manager of Kaymu, one of the biggest online shopping portals said, “There are more than 10,200 sellers currently registered on Kaymu Uganda. Anyone can become a seller on Kaymu, so our numbers keep on growing every day.”
She added, “We do not offer incentives to acquire sellers. Our sellers are willing to list their products on Kaymu mainly because our website gets thousands of visitors every day. Being listed on Kaymu means that more potential customers can access your products, which typically will increase one’s sales revenue.”
It also facilitates expanded geographical reach. A local business can become regional or nationwide, depending on the product, just through having an effective e-commerce strategy. “The majority of Kaymu sellers are based in central Kampala. However, anyone can list their items on our marketplace, regardless of which part of the country they reside in – plus they deliver anywhere in Uganda,” Ms. Mwesezi said.
Being open for business 24/7: With automated order and payment processing, sales can be made at any time, and customers can buy when it suits them, creating convenience.
It also calls for improved customer profiling. This comes with the opportunity to target products and services at specific groups of customers based on buying data.
The ability to tell people about your business: This is particularly valuable when to businesses operating online whereby they can provide vital information about opening hours, contact details and answer to Frequently Asked Questions by their customers.