In Australia more than 73% of households shopped online in 2018 but online sales still only account for around 10 per cent of total retail sales. Though online sales are growing fast and the majority of people do some online shopping, the default model for most shoppers in most categories is still traditional retail. This is still the case even in advanced e-Commerce markets like China, the US and the UK.
So for your online store to be successful, it needs to fill a need for the consumer that isn’t being satisfied through existing stores. Why is buying online going to be a better option?
Reasons to shop online
There is the convenience of being able to place on order at any time of day. And if the items are are heavy or bulky it is easier have them delivered to your door.
Does the product or service have a lot of technical features? These can be explained through providing product information pages. And links to research online and expert reviews and opinions can help drive online sales conversions.
Is there a lot of choice for shoppers in the category you are looking at? Online stores are less limited by physical space as traditional stores are so can often offer a wider range and variety of products online.
And how does pricing fit into the shopper decision? There is usually a delivery charge for online shopping. But for larger purchases, it is easy for shoppers to compare prices and find a bargain, particularly if there is a sale or promotion on.
Let’s assume you establish why your target audience might buy your product online. Your next challenge is to look at competitor offers and work out how your D2C service will be different to other stores.
Why would the target audience choose your online store to make their purchase? It is worth taking the time to visit competitor retail sites and simulate buying from them. What is their online shopping experience like? Are there areas where your D2C service could do it better?
For example, is the content (images, information) they provide about the product clear and helpful? Is the shopping experience smooth and simple or is it clunky and complicated? How many clicks does it take you to get from landing on the website to placing an order? A really strong e-Commerce site can do this in only a few clicks. But we’ve seen major retailers create a complicated buying process that can take up to 18 clicks to buy.
Look at the delivery options your competitors are offering. One of the major gripes we hear from people shopping online are hidden delivery charges. Are the competitor stores clear and upfront about their delivery charges? Or do they sneak them in at the end? Do they offer different time slots for delivery? Are they able to offer delivery tracking so shoppers know when their delivery will arrive?
The more of these types of services competitor online stores offer, the bigger the challenge it will be for your new online store website to stand out.