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Selling Online - Retailing Storefront Alternatives

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Overview:

E-commerce offers many ways retailers reach consumers and conduct business without the need of a storefront. It's almost economic suicide for any retailer not to sell online. Before you enter the world of e-commerce, be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of selling online.

Advantages:

Online retailers can increase their sales and profits faster than a brick and mortar shop as selling online offers the advantage of having an open store, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Selling online also allows retailers to display their merchandise in any part of the world without additional expense. This advantage lets online retailers expand their market to global proportions or target an extremely focused segment.

While the small retail store on Main Street may never dream of competing with a national chain retailer, it may find itself on a more level playing field with its competitors.

Disadvantages:

The biggest disadvantage of selling online are security issues. Shoppers are becoming more relaxed with providing their personal and credit card information, but security concerns are still keeping many consumers offline.

Retailers that sell online only may have to work harder to build trust and a relationship with their customers. Personal interaction is limited with selling online and store owners may find it very difficult to keep shoppers coming back.

As online retailers expand their customer base to include shoppers in other countries, they increase the difficulties in delivering their goods. The shipping process takes control from the retailer, but leaves the burden on his/her shoulders. If the customer does not receive their products immediately, it is ultimately the retailer's responsibility to resolve the issue.

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