Most men hate shopping. They get in. They spend 5 minutes on buying or not buying something. They run out.
Naturally, women are shopinistas who enjoy roaming the modern colorful jungles of trinkets and rags, browsing around, trying things on, touching things they don’t even intend to buy.
OK – enough with the stereotypes. There are men who feel at home in a clothing store, as well as women (myself included) who hate it and will endure the annoyance of buying something only if they really can’t do without it.
The point is, all people belong to one of the two categories – shopping addicts and officinaphobes. (Yes, this word is the official term for people who are allergic to shopping.)
And guess what?
Online shopping appeals to both of these categories.
1. E-commerce is the new consumer revolution
The first Consumer revolution happened around four centuries ago. Acquiring things other than the mere necessities is an old phenomenon, and people started succumbing to this inclination as soon as the middle class emerged and started filling their pockets.
Back then it was a question of class.
Today it is a question of accessibility. A greater number of people than ever before can access more things than ever before.
If you wanted to have a new garment back then, you had to invite a tailor to your house if you were rich or make it yourself if not. Today you can order a piece of clothing from the other side of the globe and pay only a few bucks for it.
To go back to the shopping addicts and haters: E-commerce serves the whole world of possibilities to the former ones. It spares the latter the trouble of having to deal with the horrors of making a single choice among so many things.
Although you might think you’re good with a small shop or two in a physical place where you will always have your loyal customers, it isn’t true.
The truth for both your customers and yourself is one and the same.
Why should they settle for walking to a store and choosing what to purchase by hand when they can go online and find everything they have ever wanted?
The other side of the coin says the same: Why should you settle for customers who may or may not want your products when there are so many people out there who surely will?
The whole world is a buying and a selling place.
You just need to get out there and lure those shoppers and anti-shoppers out to come and visit your online store.
Which means being there, on Google, when they search for something that suits them.
All it takes to find what a customer needs is a couple of clicks and a few seconds of time. Once a customer has a taste for it, they’ll never go back to their old ways.
2. The Internet is an ever-growing market, and there is room for you, too
Let’s pull out some numbers to prove the point.
As many as 53% of internet users in the US have made at least one online purchase in 2016. In total, this makes one billion users. In 2015, each customer spent approximately $1,800 on online shopping over the course of the year. Furthermore, 40% of surveyed men and 33% of women from 18 to 34 years old said they would ideally love to buy everything online. (source: SmartInsights.com).
Projections shoot high, and so do the expectations of an average online shopper.
3. Remove the bricks from your shop
If your physical storefront is seen by 100 people each day, your online storefront has this wonderful potential of being seen by thousands.
There is one crucial difference between selling in a brick-and-mortar store and selling online, though.
The number of those who will stumble upon your merchandise online is insignificant. They will come to your online shop because they searched for that red scarf or a fancy looking pair of shoes, and Google estimated your shop was worthy and relevant enough to list it on the results page.
Your online store is going to be visited almost exclusively by people who are really interested in what it has to offer. Even more – a great number of them will eventually buy from you if they like the offer.
Your customer basis is going to grow much easier if you get on this train. You’ll aim at potential customers on different fronts – Google, social media, advertising, word-of-mouth. But you’ll hit only those who want to be hit.
4. Communication made easy
Successful communication is about:
1) knowing how to listen to others and
2) answering their needs.
It doesn’t work the other way around.
Once you delve into the online realm of demand, you’ll know what exactly you need to supply.
Furthermore, you will have direct means of speaking with your customers, engaging them, sending attractive offers their way, giving away a product for free to get hundreds of followers in return in just an hour or two.
The possibilities are endless.
Sure, some serious work needs to be done if you don’t want to lose the game in a highly competitive environment, where there are hundreds of thousands of sellers.
But it’s a fair game. The players who get to know the rules will swim. Those who resist the zeitgeist will drown.
And the zeitgeist isn’t all that hard to understand. It all comes down to a basic human trait. The need to be heard.
Where there are thousands of sellers, there are millions of buyers.
Identify your buyers and start marketing to them.
Listen to them and start selling.