An online presence beyond address and hours

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That is an amazing statistic, online marketing accounts for 8% of total retail sales while still driving online commerce companies like Amazon to a market cap of close to 400 billion only behind Apple, Google, Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway.

Technology is the what is driving this change, there is nothing quite like having a supercomputer in the palm of your hand to empower you to connect to any retailer or to find the product you are looking for. Anywhere and Anytime!

While Amazon and large retailers have had a jump start, technology has even the playing field for small retailers; they now have a chance to allow consumers to discover their product and offer the same global access to these products.

However global access is not the only or even the primary reason to get online, Millennials have expressed a clear desire to get back in stores, they want access to store data and availabilities on their phones, technology drives their entire shopping experience. To compete for the spending dollars of this fast growing segment you have to be where they are making decisions

Everyone loves lists; so here is my list of the Top 4 reasons you should have an online presence;

Product near me searches

This is one of the fastest growing type of searches. Looking for shoes, just type in shoe stores near me in a chrome browser and see where consumers are being driven to? Try it yourself, when the local listings come up which one are you likely to click on, the ones that show address and phone number or the ones that have product websites.

Insight into Inventory

Consumers can very easily see what product you carry and what is available in your stores.  With easy search capabilities they can search for any product based on their size or see all color style and size choices available for pick up today in your store.

Convenience of Purchase & Returns

Connecting your online store to your brick and mortar makes it easy to buy or exchange product from anyplace.  Connected commerce allows you to easily grow not only to an online store but to easily support and integrate all the new distribution options available in social media commerce. Remember you have to be able to show your product where consumers are buying it.

Ease of Implementation

Deploying a web store and connecting it to your physical inventory is no longer complicated,  a few simple clicks and you are up and running. For example the retailcloud web store product can deploy an online store that is fully integrated into your customer lists and inventory within a few minutes; using the launch email feature you can also trigger an email to everyone in your database telling them about the store; convenient, connected and simple. It’s why online shopping is only just scratching the surface.