Retailers benefit greatly from the advantages that online selling offers. Some of the main advantages of online retailing include the opportunity to market to global markets, increase operating efficiencies, improve customer satisfaction and improve customer communication. A few of the main advantages of e-commerce retailing are listed below.
|Advantages for Sellers||Advantages for Buyers|
|Greater marketing prospects||Large database of products|
|Lower costs||Repeat customer marketing|
|Target marketing opportunities||Recommend products based on past purchases|
|Access to foreign language speaking audiences||Attract more customers|
|Access to overseas markets||Sell to more customers|
|Faster checkout and processing times||Faster delivery|
|24/7 access||Around the clock sales|
The Costs of Online Retailing
While e-commerce retailing offers many advantages to retailers and consumers, it comes with some disadvantages. Retailers may have a large upfront costs and additional costs for maintenance and upgrades. In addition, selling to non-English speaking customers means that customer will need to hire a translation services firm to translate their content in multiple languages. Further, selling to different countries might mean that online retailers will need to be prepared to deal with different regulatory issues and laws.
Retailing with Risk
While online retailing offers many advantages and some disadvantages to retailers and buyers. Some problems that retailers and buyers are exposed to include information concerns, security breaches and vendor reliability questions. For these reasons, some buyers may still prefer to make purchases in a traditional bricks and mortar establishment. However, recent data breaches at Target stores suggest that even traditional bricks and mortar retail stores aren’t entirely safe from hackers.
Case Study: A Successful Website Redesign
In 2010, the Marketing Director of Hamilton Law identified that a growing number of clients were being referred by their own website. In fact, law firms in general were beginning to realize the power of the web and that many immigration clients would first turn to the internet for information regarding legal services.
In 2011, Hamilton Law decided to redesign their website and conducted marketing research to determine the type of information that domestic and international visitors desired and expected to find. The results of the research led the company to define a color scheme, intuitive navigation system, include links to practical internet sites, provide video introductions and offer recordings of online seminars that the firm had previously conducted. Further, their research identified that clients wanted the website translated into German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese and French.
According to the Director of Marketing, “Our strategy began by contacting our clients and identifying their needs. We began by listening and then we focused on addressing the needs of our English and Non-English speaking clients. Next, wet set forth to design a site that would address their needs. Throughout the entire process, we relied on client insight.” The new site was launched in 2012 and the firm was awarded the “Best Law Website” award by Law Office and Technology in 2013.