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Why every retail business needs an online shop in 2021

Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 • Blog

2020 has changed buying habits forever.

High street retail shopping was already in decline however 2020 has made the situation worse. People choose to buy online because it is easier, faster and more convenient. When they buy online, they are buying time — their own time back as well as convenience and service. The only thing deterring most people from buying online was the technology hurdle.

But 2020 has done away with that.

Most people had to get their head around buying online. Businesses that adapted to this quickly are already benefiting. Any business that wants to survive the next 5 years needs a smooth-running online platform for their business. As a business owner this should be part of your business resilience strategy.

2021 will also present some great opportunities for local online shops to increase market share:

UK and local eCommerce
Due to Brexit buying from UK online shops can now be more expensive. Whilst the UK online shops will most probably still be charging the UK VAT, on entry into Malta apart from the import clearance fees, import VAT and possibly Duty will also be charged. Any shop that sells tech, kitchenware, clothing, books and similar items can potentially gain market share by offering competitive pricing.

Maltese abroad
There is also an opportunity to capture the market of local people buying gifts online for their relatives abroad. There are more Maltese in the UK and Australia than there are in Malta. This market is rather large. Every Christmas, Easter and Birthday these relatives are searching the internet trying to find gifts (with a local flavour if possible) for their far-off loved ones. (International delivery logistics is something we help with click here to learn more.)

Stay Open Longer
By getting your own online shop you can also stay open longer. You don’t need to open on Sundays or stay open late to reach more people. Depending on your operational structure you may even reduce costs when it comes to human resources. You are automatically present 24/7 so people can shop at their own convenience.

Reach people outside your locality
A strong online presence will also help you reach people outside your locality. You won’t rely on walk-in traffic only anymore. Customers will be able to find you online and you decide how far you want your service to go. You could deliver to Malta and Gozo and even internationally. (Delivery logistics is something we help with click here to learn more.)

Reduce expenses in the future
Getting a website today could also help you reduce expenses in the future. When your online shop starts doing well and orders come in regularly, you could also opt to do away with your physical shop and become an online-only business. This could mean that you can save on rent and overheads and can work with your team remotely.  Such a reduction in costs can help you have more competitive pricing without eating away at your profit margin. (Warehousing services is something we offer click here to learn more.)

Better Cashflow
The best advantage of eCommerce is that the customer pays in advance. Especially if you offer products that can be sourced from your supplier and dispatched quickly, you could resolve cashflow problems by working out your logistics in a way that you buy stock after it is ordered and paid for by the customer.

This could mean increasing your range of products and offering a larger selection without the expenditure of buying large volumes of stock. It is especially practical when customers can pre-order because this allows you to run the business entirely without buying stock in advance.  These advantages can be further consolidated using a reliable payment gateway.

Measurable Marketing ROI
When you market your website online you can measure the exact return on investment (ROI). Every touchpoint can be measured online. It is much easier to understand which kind of ads and marketing initiatives are bringing you more income. This allows you to focus on spending more on those initiatives that bring in better results.

It also provides you with the opportunity to build an email list — so you can stay in touch with your customers and encourage long-term loyalty.

Funding Opportunities for eCommerce
You might think that because things have been uncertain this year, it may not be the best time to invest, however there is currently plenty of opportunities to get funding support with creating your business’ commerce portal so that you can take advantage of current and future trends.

We understand that changing to an online business commerce portal can create pressure on your operations, so this is why we are here to help you through this process. If you would like to learn more on how we can help you set up your business logistics while you focus on your business, book a call-back here or call us on (+356) 2124 0877.

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