It’s no secret that online businesses are booming this year, but most people don’t know why they’re so successful. In truth, there are many reasons why online businesses are seeing results.
One of the most crucial is the sheer number of us who conduct our business online. In 2017, online-only sales increased by 15.9% compared to a 2.3% growth in in-store sales from the previous year. Between 2008 and 2017, online sales saw a six-fold increase overall, which grew rapidly from 2015 onwards.
This change in how we shop can also be seen on the high-street. In 2017, the number of new high-street stores opening fell to 4,083 compared with 4,534 in 2016. The second half of 2017 also saw less openings and more closures than the first half of the year. With so much change happening as a result of online businesses, we’re here to show you what makes them so enticing and profitable.
Easier to shop
The ability to shop from the comfort of your own home may be the top reason that most people think of. Why would consumers sit in traffic, battle crowds and struggle with a lack of available items when they can find everything that they need online?
Online shopping has made searching for clothes, gifts or essentials less stressful and more convenient. Even returning goods has been streamlined thanks to online businesses. Customers no longer have to traipse back to a store and stand in a queue to return an item. Now you can wrap a product in the supplied packaging, attach a pre-made label and drop it at a convenient location to you.
Shopping aside, other online businesses such as online casinos are seeing strong growth. These casinos allow consumers to enjoy fun games like blackjack, poker and slot machines on a phone or laptop.
Between October 2017 and September 2018, the gross gambling yield for the remote sector was £5.9b, according to the UK Gambling Commission. This was a 2.9% increase from April 2017 and a 10.1% increase in online gross gaming yield over less than 10 years. In 2009, remote gambling gross yield was valued at around £817m.
Better customer service
The previous statistics cement the idea that online businesses are exceeding as people want more options offered at their convenience. This also includes customer service. With the rise of social media, it is now easier to get the service you need without going to a store.
Even many smaller businesses offer a Twitter or Facebook page. Customers can use these to provide feedback or speak to an employee about an issue. Bigger companies may offer 24/7 support, so you don’t have to struggle with a problem out of office hours.
There are often pages of product reviews that consumers can check before they make a purchase too. Being able to see what other people think of a particular item allows them to make an informed decision. This applies to a company’s reputation as well. Google or Facebook reviews can make or break a business’s online presence. If others rate you highly and praise the service or speed of delivery, new customers are more likely to visit and make a purchase.
Is online essential?
We’ve outlined just a few reasons why online businesses are booming. With online options continuing to grow and a greater emphasis being placed on online customer support, it is likely they will continue to thrive. For businesses who are based solely offline, it may be worth considering your online options moving forward.