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No Fear Of Lockdowns And Curfews

It is unbeatable how convenient online shopping is compared to running a store offline. Comparatively with shopping in-store, when shopping online, customers don't have to worry about maintaining social distance or any covid protocols because they can shop while sitting on their sofa.

 

Customers don't need to travel to the store because they can place an order from the comfort of their homes. Longline queues are not required, and cash is not needed as they can make the payments online. Also, they no longer need to enter card information separately for each purchase because modern browsers securely store the information.

Now, I am better prepared for any future curfews and lockdown restrictions in the future. The online store is now my rescue to beat the insecurity of losing my business growth numbers.

 

Availability 24/ 7/ 365

Another great benefit that I have over an offline store is that it (online store) doesn't close after limited hours.

 

Further, I don't have to worry about factors like:

 Store open and close timings

 Covid compliances in-store

 Impact of curfew on the store

 Availability of staff


Another best part is that even when I am asleep, my store would be attracting buyers from other time zones. And, gone are the days when I have to worry about the limitations of not opening the store on weekends or the complications of managing long queues of customers during festival sales.

 

Also, unlike weekends and half days, I don't have to wait to go on a holiday trip. As I can easily operate my store from any corner of the world. With my E-commerce system, my website can operate round the clock and provide shoppers with accurate product details, warranty policies, product reviews, and product descriptions to make a more informed buying decision.

 

But with an offline store, this problem always tipped the scale in favor of the online store. With my online store, I can sell anywhere in any part of the world 24*7.  

 

Multiple marketing opportunities

With my offline store, the marketing opportunities are limited and traditional. So this got me thinking that how I will market my business online to increase my sales and brand awareness? And that's where my e-commerce partner helped me to perform incredible SEO optimization to increase organic reach for my website.

 

With my online website, I reached more audiences and have more leads for my business. Also, slowly and gradually, my business ranked higher in search engine results.

 

In addition to organically marketing my business, the eCommerce platform also helped me leverage several marketing options. And, now I know how to promote it on multiple social media channels and marketplaces like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram, all of which were easily linked with my website.

 

Attract new customers at an affordable price

Online selling gives me the advantage of expanding my business and reaching a new audience. It is easily done with better SEO practice that helps in better Google ranking, enhancing branding, and providing better customer relationships. All this is done with a low-cost investment as compared to an offline store. A physical business is more expensive to run, whereas an online business has lower overhead costs.

 

A centrally managed management system on an easy ecommerce platform helped automate inventory management and reduce inventory management costs. Also, any overhead costs incurred in setting up the business were covered by the additional profit I made by reaching more customers.

 

Better scalability

Another great advantage of selling products online is that it offers better and enhanced scalability options. This was yet another doubt I had in mind when planning to start my online journey. And this concern was smoothly resolved by my online e-commerce growth partner. They helped grow my business by broadening the product line, targeting more audiences, and adapting to consumer and customer demands with detailed product listing and selling in multiple places.

 

With online commerce, I can grow my business without changing my location or having to expand into a larger shop as I might have to with a. Also, I can add more product lines, add more payment options, and ship to more locations.

 

Better customer interaction

With online selling, my business has done better and increased customer engagement. Over the years of running my offline store, I now know that customer experience is of the utmost importance.

 

That is why I was determined to put together a website with an engaging interface which helped in great customer satisfaction. With my personalized eCommerce website, I captured and shared data like customer names, birthdays, and brand preferences on my POS and eCommerce system. Using eCommerce features like social media integration, live chat, and automated email campaigns, I increased conversion rates by engaging customers and delivering a compelling user experience.

Throughout March 2020, many businesses were forced to shut down in response to a global lockdown temporarily. The restrictions are being eased gradually, but the future remains uncertain.

 

You must be wondering who I am. Well, my name is Ratan Kumar, and I own a silk saree store in Varanasi. This Banarsi Silk Shop has been in my family for almost 100 years and was founded by my great grandfather. Our shop is famous for its brocades, fine silks, and opulent embroidery, all made of gold and silver.

 

In the wake of the covid outbreak, I wanted my business to thrive in the 'new normal' environment. With all these COVID restrictions, my silk sarees store was not performing well as sales and profit dropped drastically. After that, I decided to take my Silk Saree offline retail store online to sell silk sarees.

 

Not just this, but the reopening of businesses was subject to tedious and frustrating social distancing policies, mask-wearing, and limits on the number of individuals allowed into a space. All these points indicate that it will take a long time for retailers like me to recover from such a loss.

 

But that got me thinking that due to covid-19, people are increasingly turning to online shopping. And the reason was clear - traditional shopping is turning scary, unsafe, or becomes time-consuming because of numerous safety checks. And now, this new Omicron variant is raising more questions about the saree industry in eastern Uttar Pradesh.


That's when I thought, why should I bear so much loss, debt, and disappointment? Wouldn't it be better to take a more creative and practical approach to revive the business?

 

I definitely had done my fair share of research and found Covid-19 made the transition significantly easier for several online marketplaces like Amazon and other online retailers. And the best part was that consumers already welcomed them with open arms.


Also, I read in the Internet Revenue Association, online revenue grew 44% in 2020 and increased 6.8% in Q3, 2021. In the post-quarantine world, this trend is likely to continue. Even when retail businesses reopen fully, online shopping will retain its advantages. Considering all of these factors together, I thought now might be the best time to start selling clothes online or expand my e-commerce business.

 

But, Why Was I Nervous?

While I was thinking about expanding my local and global sales by moving my business online, I had several doubts.

 

First, I wasn't clear about how to do it and faced challenges along the way, like how I would be able to manage the technical aspects of starting an online store. It was my lack of understanding about how I will promote my online business and what would be the next step to sustain. All these thoughts made me hesitant to break into the e-commerce space.

 

However, I researched online and found a good eCommerce platform that helps retailers start their online business with no-code websites. And the best part is, one doesn't need to hire a developer and pay hefty fees for launching an e-commerce site. Not just did the platform help me start my store for free, but it also made it easier to market it later on popular social media platforms, allowing my business to become a successful brand.

Now that making a website was easy, here are some of the other benefits that intrigued me about moving my retail shop online.

 

Conclusion:

Along my journey, I have learned that today's businesses can no longer afford to ignore e-commerce as it has become a necessity. It is relatively easy to start an e-commerce company, even if you own a physical store. For me, it was a huge relief as I started my online website for free without having any technical and online selling knowledge. As a result, I can rightfully say that I am now prepared to face any future pandemic challenges.


Also, with an online store, now I have plenty of opportunities to sell my sarees in the global market. Additionally, I have multiplied my online sales by 30% in just six months by displaying a wide variety of sarees online and implementing a solid online selling business plan.

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