Lesson 3: Ecommerce Training – Why do Customers buy online?

After evaluating the Product demand and competition in Lesson 2, we will now move on to the next aspect.

Local Availability

online-vs-brick-and-mortarOnline stores are mainly driven by the fact that one could buy a product from home at whatever time he/she prefers! However, local availability of the products that you are planning to sell online can sometimes be a deterring factor. Hence, local availability of the product you want to sell online needs to be evaluated carefully.

While some of the products are bought mainly in local stores (fresh milk for eg), many may chose buying products online even though they are available locally (such as groceries). So before you start selling a product online, you need to ensure that it would be bought online by many.

The table below tries to highlight some of the aspects which encourage or discourage online purchase (in comparison to purchase at a local store).

Times when online purchase is preferred Times when purchase from local stores is preferred
  • Product is available at a comparable/cheaper price than local store
  • Products listed online are not available locally
  • Better quality products are available online
  • Buyer prefers to save time (driving to the store and back, standing in queue at the billing counter, etc)
  • Online store/website is easy to use/navigate
  • More varieties/options (such as color, size, make, etc) are available for a single product
  • Home delivery is quicker
  • Multiple products are available at the same online store
  • Online store and payment gateway is reliable/trustworthy
  • Product is available at a much cheaper price than online
  • Physical appearance of a product needs to be verified
  • No reliable online store
  • Buyer avoids using a computer/internet for purchases or is not a computer literate
  • Local store selling same stuff at a same price is nearby (walk-able distance)
  • Prefers to check the product and pay after getting the product

Looking at the table above it would be advantageous to sell niche products. However, you need to ensure that such products are made available at a reasonable price while not compromising on your profits.

In case you are planning to sell what is already available at a local store, you need to match the expectations of the consumer listed in the above table.

We will be covering about Shipping Feasibility in our next article. Do leave your queries/comments about any of the aspects being discussed or which needs to be discussed.

 

Next Lesson 4 – Is Your Product Shipping Compatible? >

< Previous Lesson 2: Ecommerce Training – What to sell online

The author, Dr. Lirish Chinnappa, is the founder of CoorgShoppe.com, an online store that sells cool stuff from Coorg. He also moonlights as a dentist and writes for various technical papers around the world.

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