Electronic retailing, also called e-tailing or e-retailing, is the future of commerce. In 2019, just over 14% of retail sales worldwide were through e-tailing, and that number is expected to jump to 22% in the next two years. Businesses around the globe are making the jump to e-tailing -- should you be, too?
What is E-Tailing?
E-retailing describes a person or business who sells products through an internet-based store or online platform. E-tailing is a particular type of e-commerce that deals exclusively with physical products, and it does not include the sale of services.
E-retailers sell everything from clothing, apparel, and makeup to pet supplies, musical instruments, books, and furniture. Virtually any products you can think of can be sold in electronic retailing. There are two primary types of e-retailing:
Business to Consumer (B2C) electronic retailing:
B2C e-retailing is a business model where a business sells its products to individual consumers. For example, when someone purchases one of your products for personal use, that is called a business-to-consumer sale.
Business to Business (B2B) electronic retailing:
B2B e-retailing is when a business sells its products to another business—for example, selling bulk items to another company that plans to resell them to consumers.
Since e-tailing businesses operate over the internet, it makes sense that the business shape and design of these companies encompass the aspects of their organizations for the online marketplace. This includes e-commerce inventory management, advertising, and payment solutions.
Now that you have a better understanding of e-retailing let’s see what the top reasons are why becoming an e-tailer could be the right choice for your business.
Advantages of E-Retailing
E-retailing offers numerous advantages for different businesses; let’s take a look at the three best benefits that e-tailing can offer and how they contribute to your business’s success:
Precise Product Information
How often have you been shopping at a physical brick-and-mortar store and see something that interests you, but you weren’t able to get any additional information or answers to your questions about the product? Most likely too often. Frustrating experiences like those turn shoppers away from a product that they might have otherwise purchased if there were more info available.
Electronic retailing can help alleviate this pain point for consumers. Most customers won’t purchase a product if they don’t quite understand how it’s used, how it can help them, or why it can be useful in their everyday lives.
Selling your goods online as an e-retailer lets you provide detailed descriptions of your products, along with tutorials, videos, infographics, etc., to show your customers every little detail. Attention to detail and giving as much information as possible makes it much easier to close the deal with online shoppers.
Quick, Convenient Payments
Another part of shipping in person that annoys consumers is standing in lines. Especially when they are in the back of the line and the people in front of them are causing issues, holding everyone up.
E-tailing solves this problem and helps customers by allowing them to avoid lines and queues altogether, allowing your customers to get their shopping done quickly and without frustration. That’s one reason why it’s essential to have a simple and quick checkout process for your e-retail store.
Let shoppers navigate your store easily with clear calls to action and pick an MSP (merchant service provider) that allows various types of transactions. Cybersecurity is another essential thing that every e-retail business should look into and practice; even small businesses can get affected by online predators -- make sure to put safeguards in place to protect your business and your customers!
Personalized Customer Experiences
When you run a business out of a physical location, giving your customers a personalized experience is a challenge. If you have more than a couple of regular customers, you and your staff have to remember their faces, personalities, and stories, making it difficult to make them feel at home.
With e-retailing, giving them a personalized experience is much easier. Once your customers create an account on your e-commerce store, you can use their names as placeholders throughout the store; this makes it look like all the content is directed to them personally.
Other than that solution, there are plants of plugins and apps that an e-retail store can use to gather information about your customers and use it to engage with them in a personalized manner. It’s easier to make your customers feel like part of the family through e-tailing than it is in a brick-and-mortar store.
E-Retailing Customer Service
Making sales in person still has some advantages over e-retailing, like when it comes to customer service. Giving your customers support at a physical location can be an easier task since your shoppers already know that they can get those services during your business hours. Once you’re closed for the day, your customers know that they must wait until you reopen tomorrow to get the support that they need.
But, when shopping online, your customers don’t get the benefit of physically handling your product before purchasing it. So, if the item isn’t quite what they expected, they’ll most likely reach out to you for support. Also, they probably expect a quick response from a real person since your business is “open all day, every day” on the internet.
This might sound like a disadvantage of e-tailing, but keep reading. . .
Providing customer service online actually gets seen as a strength by most shoppers. For example, even when your e-tail store doesn’t have someone around to answer questions at all hours of the day, you can use chatbots to handle and automate customer inquiries at any time of day -- that’s something that physical stores just can’t offer. By utilizing different technologies, e-retail stores can give a level of support to their customers at all hours; this is a massive advantage.
After-Sales Efforts of E-Retailing
An e-tailing business’s success depends on much more than just making a lot of sales (even though that definitely helps!). It depends on developing a customer base that keeps coming back for more to buy from your shop in particular. They can probably find similar products elsewhere, so you need to offer them an unforgettable experience to keep them coming back. Here’s how you can do that:
Aesthetics go a long way in the e-tailing business, and that means more than just the look of your website. Your products and packaging should be pleasing to the eye since other senses can’t be stimulated over the web.
Choosing attractive product designs, informative and fun to read leaflets, and packaging that opens in interesting and unconventional manners makes the process of receiving an order an experience in itself for your customers -- be creative!
Speaking of packaging… how do you handle your product deliveries? There might be a more efficient way -- with Parcll!
Reviews and Communication
Here’s another big benefit that comes with e-retailing: you don’t have to rely solely on your own content. Showing your feedback from happy customers goes much further in developing trust and bringing in new consumers than simply telling them that your products are great.
Using services that allow your customers to post and read reviews can do wonders for your business; it shows potential customers that your products have performed exactly as you said they would.
One of the best methods to bring customers back to you to make more purchases is to present them with other potential products that they might be interested in. You can do this by analyzing what they are viewing and sending them related items through email marketing. Most e-tailers don’t get this perfect at first, but the more often a customer visits your store, the more accurate predictions you can make.
Anyone shopping online wants to feel like they’re a VIP member. You can make them feel this way by creating special time-limited offers that are “just for you!” or you can reserve specific deals for them until a certain time.
Another way to help keep your customers happy is by sending coupons to the ones who create an account with you, even if they haven’t made any purchases. You can also implement referral programs, which is an effective way to bring in additional customers without any more work. When it comes to e-retailing, there are endless ways for you to bring in new customers, keep your current ones satisfied, and do more business than ever before.
E-Retailing Best Practices
Here are some of our best tips on e-tailing best practices for your business:
The product titles in your e-retail store play a critical function in the way your customers make purchases. Mainly, it works as a heading for search result pages in an e-tail environment. The product title also works as a page headline and URL in the search results pages. It is also what your customers see in their shopping carts, product info pages, and multiple other list elements.
While it hasn’t always been common practice, Q&A pages on your product detail pages are crucial. They allow potential customers to ask pre-sales questions that either you or your other customers can respond to. If there isn’t an option to ask questions (and receive a timely answer), your customers are likely to move on to another shop where they can get information more easily.
Providing quick answers to your consumers assists in the early stages of your sales funnel and prevents returns, upset customers, and bad reviews. These Q&A pages also perform well with search engines, providing you with more organic traffic.
Ratings & Reviews
Rating and reviews are essential to the success of an e-retail business; they influence the actual ranking of the e-tail site, and they increase conversion rates in general. Most consumers trust other customer evaluations more than the word of a seller. It’s important to watch out for negative reviews and remarks; nothing is more discerning to a potential customer than a poor review without an explanation or comment from the seller.
Many brands tend not to reply to unfavorable comments, but by participating in a conversation with upset consumers, you can turn a poor situation into a positive one. And, your potential customers will take note of that.
Images & Videos
Consumers are curious, and they want the most information possible before making a purchase. Since they can’t physically handle your online product, you have to give them the most accurate picture possible. You can offer them close to a brick-and-mortar experience with detailed images and videos of your product.
There’s little more frustrating to your customers than attempting to decipher a label on a poor-quality image listed on an e-retail site. Consumers are visual by nature, and they frequently make choices subconsciously based on curb appeal.
Another important aspect of e-retailing is product availability and accessibility. Having your products clearly marked and ready to ship immediately is crucial; offering to ship the same day as the purchase will increase your conversion rates dramatically.
Today’s consumers want to buy, but they also want to receive their purchase as soon as possible. Offer these services to them, and they will gladly keep coming back to you for future purchases.
Related: Ecommerce Shipping Solutions
E-Retailing Success Factors
The success of an e-retailing business depends on various factors that need to get considered; missing even a small consideration can have a large negative impact on your customer and business as a whole. The most important factors of a successful e-tailing company are:
Exceptional website design
Transparency in services
Now that you have a firm foundation to start crafting your e-retailing business, it’s time to decide if this business model is right for you. One of the most important questions for e-tailers is how are you going to handle logistics and shipping? Parcll is your e-retailing shipping solution, from deliveries to returns; enhance your customer experience today!
- By Aaron Cope
- Apr 01, 2021
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