The accessibility and affordability of modern technology has transformed the way that consumers browse and shop. In response to changing customer habits many retail companies have altered the way they operate. These two factors have resulted in e-commerce becoming the fastest growing retail market in Europe.
Whilst there is still a place for traditional shops, more people are searching, browsing and making purchasing decisions online. The UK population makes the highest number of online purchases in Europe, which accounted for nearly £45 billion in 2014 and is expected to rise to £52.25billion this year, which will be a rise of 16.2%.
More and more companies are setting up as online retailers without a physical store, relying solely on the internet to generate sales. This offers an opportunity for many small and specialist retailers, who would not be able to afford the rent, staff and stock needed in a shop, to enter the market. A sole trader can potentially set up to supply a geographically local market or a global niche market and be able to compete with larger and more established businesses.
Getting Started Online
With internet access, a good grasp of online marketing techniques and business acumen, it is possible to get set up without requiring a huge bank loan, however in extensive planning is needed to ensure that you can deliver what your target customer really wants. Their requirements span beyond the product range you want to sell. They include an easy to navigate website, secure payment facilities and efficient delivery.
When a customer finds exactly what they are looking for on your website and add it to their shopping cart, they want the online purchasing process to be straight forward. When they give you their personal details they need to know that your system is secure and you won’t pass this data on without their consent. They want a confirmation of their order and to receive the goods as quickly and conveniently as possible. They want these goods to be in top condition and if they aren’t as expected, they want to be able to return them.
It can be difficult to fulfil all of these requirements, so you need the tools and support in place before you start. You need to know that you can satisfy your customers even if there is a rush of orders. If you start receiving negative feedback about your service or the quality of your goods it can be detrimental, so best to get everything in place before you begin marketing your goods.
Self Storage Solutions
You certainly need a secure, clean and dry storage solution for your stock. At first a spare room might be sufficient, but as your business grows, you may be wise to invest in a local self storage unit. These come in a range of sizes, so you can find the best option for your requirements.
What’s more, many self storage facilities also offer a range of addition business support. These include fulfilment, where staff at the site can pick, pack and despatch your orders on the day they are received. This allows you to focus on other areas of your business, whilst ensuring that your customers receive a good service. If this service is of interest and you are keen to investigate self storage, Oxford based Barretts http://barretts-selfstorage.co.uk/business/ebay-and-e-commerce-fulfillment-storage/ can assist.