Few would doubt the tremendous impact the web, computers and tech have had on society and the work environment over the last 20-30 years. However, it could easily be argued, no sector has experienced the effect of technology more than the world of retail and commerce.
With online shopping driving efficiency, offering better prices and giving greater choice to consumers the world over, it’s beyond question that e-commerce is very much here to stay. Indeed, the e-com revolution has completely transformed modern retailing and even forced the early closure of many of the world’s previously biggest and most successful firms.
COVID – and why you need to get your firm online now
Industry analysts suggest the recent outbreak of Coronavirus may have accelerated the take-up and growth of online shopping by as much as four to six years. As would-be shoppers were forced to stay home through the distancing and isolation measures enforced by COVID, so the world became more accustomed to the e-com experience.
Despite the fact that there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the rollout of vaccinations, most analysts and medical specialists suggest COVID may become part of our everyday lives – meaning the very real potential for sporadic lockdowns or other similar measures. Regardless, considerable research shows that our overall shopping habits have changed through the pandemic and that e-com will come to form a significant portion of retail in the future.
Online retailing is more cost-effective
For the majority of firms, their biggest overheads are staffing costs, the fees involved in owning or renting premises and the considerable expense of holding stock. All three can be addressed by expanding your business online:
Staff costs: Bottom line – embracing technology will reduce your staff overhead. By looking at automating aspects of your operations, you’ll be able to both free up resources so they can be used on more profitable tasks or simply reduce your workforce. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a very long way in a very short time and modern apps and software can largely automate many of the tasks that would have been previously been performed by humans.
Premises costs: Whether you move your entire operations online or choose to hold onto a physical store or premises, you will be able to significantly downsize your real-world shop by setting up an e-commerce store. As mentioned above, using tech could reduce the number of staff you need – thereby reducing the space you need too. Also, e-com tech or dropshipping services could mean you need less storage space to hold goods. Furthermore, by moving to the digital model, you’ll be able to offer and display your full range of goods – without the need for costly, physical stores. Customers these days are more comfortable than ever ordering online and waiting for delivery – so why hold all that stock? There is a huge range of delivery firms that will take on shipping jobs, thereby slashing your overhead – for more information search online for shipping jobs companies.
The overhead of holding stock: The established retail model is changing rapidly with manufacturers now happier than ever to hold stock for online retailers – and will very often ship it for you directly to the consumer. By adopting the e-com model, you could see your company operating at almost zero stockholding, while your manufacturers and suppliers take care of the rest.
January 8, 2022
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