The popularity of online store is on the increase which is fueled by increased usage of the internet and social media. This implies that there is a market that is on a growth trajectory. Social media has over one billion users worldwide which imply that so many people access the internet and are techno savvy. This is an indication that people have adopted technology as a way of life and will continue to use more services available in the internet. Online payment methods such as PayPal are also popular and accessible worldwide. This allows shoppers to buy products and pay online from any corner of the globe. Therefore, it is possible to advertise online and reach billions of people, sell online and receive payments online. These factors point to a field that has an opportunity to grow further. Furthermore, smart phones have allowed shoppers access the internet and make orders from anywhere. This makes it convenient for them to shop and make orders anywhere anytime.

Brick and mortar convenience stores are more popular than online retailers such as Amazon when purchasing clothes and apparel. This is because it is possible to return a product bought here than it is to return one bought from Amazon or any other online retailer. A substantial amount of products bought are returned for one reason or another. This makes it convenient to buy from a seller who can easily be accessed incase a return is to be made if a replacement is needed. Online store do not have that luxury but brick and mortar online store do. This is because they have their physical stores where returns and replacements can be made without incurring extra charges.

Social media has opened online marketing to a wider audience by creating a perfect marketing avenue which is cheap and is easy to interact with the clients. It also reaches millions of people from different nations in the world which opens an online store to a global audience. This is an opportunity for online stores to exploit currently and in future as the market expands. It also opens the global market to them creating an opportunity that initially required billions of dollars to exploit. This is an opportunity that has emerged from the popularity of the internet and continued growth of social media and other access to the internet.

Millennials are the greatest shoppers due to their exposure to the internet. This is a huge prospect because it implies that in future the number will increase as those below the age of 18 are already exposed to the internet. Therefore, the market will continue to grow as more people get access to the internet and the older generation use the internet more. However, these people do not have a lot of money like those aged above 34 years but they are regular users of the internet which increases the amount of times that they use the internet. People above the age of 34 buy more from online store because they have the money to spend and also are accessing the internet in large numbers rivaling their younger counterparts.

The convenience factor of online marketing draws more people due to the fact that the products they buy are delivered where they live. This has made it possible for people to shop broads sold thousands of miles away from the comfort of their home and get them delivered where they live. This has increased the interest level of online marketing and opened stores to shoppers in distant lands who earlier could not buy from them.

Lower prices of online products also attract a number of shoppers who are driven by prices. As a result, shoppers were found to compare prices and then opt for the store where they could get the product at the lowest in price. In this case, the comparison was between online sellers and brick and mortar retailers. Price is always a factor that affects the number of items sold. The lower the price the higher the sales and vice versa. However, shoppers are also conscious of the quality that they buy which at some point negates the importance attached to the price. Shoppers are attracted by the quality of products that are available in most online stores at competitive prices.

Problems

It is not possible to physically feel the product one is buying from an online store. This makes it hard for shoppers buying clothes and apparel who prefer to even try out the new item before paying for it. This implies that most online shoppers are reluctant to buy new clothes online especially if it is an item that they have not used before. This is a problem that affects the sales of clothes and similar items but has no effect on products such as books.

There are also reservations on costs. This arises especially if the item cost the same with those available in physical stores nearby. A shopper is cautious of how much they incur in terms of shipping charges which could affect the net cost of the item in a manner that makes it uneconomical to buy from an online store. There is also the issue of incurring shipping charges when sending the product back to the retailer in the event it does not please the buyer. This implies that the market will improve if the cost incurred to purchase an object online is lower or equal to that of buying from a physical shop.

Presentation of items on websites is a concern that affects the purchases from a certain online store. It is not possible to include pictures and a lot of details for certain items by huge retailers such as Amazon due to the huge collection of items that they sell. This is an inhibiting factor though it opens opportunities for smaller online sellers who do not have the same collection as that of Amazon which allows them to include as much details as they can.

Keys to success

The companies can offer discounts on purchase of more than one item to lower the price and encourage bulk buying. This will help them cover the losses they are likely to incur in case they sell at lower prices and cover shipping charges for the customer. This will appease buyers who are driven away by the prices of goods. To make it more appealing the offer should not limit the buyer to one product but should allow them buying different items that are shipped at the same time. This will lower the total cost incurred by buyers and also increase the sales volume of the online retailers. This will make the situation a win-win for both parties.

The companies can open a few stores in different stores to allow buyers visit them and sample the products offered online. This will also form a collection point for returned products and provide replacement to consumers. This will increase the amount of clothes bought which have not been very popular with most consumers. However, this will increase the cost of operations of these companies. But, it will also increase their sales which will offset their new operations cost.

Segmentation

The greatest majority of online shoppers are those aged between the age of 18-34. These are people who use the internet regularly and are conversant with the internet and are always aware of the new products released and available at online retailers. However, older people spend more because most of them have a higher income than this group. This implies that a campaign should target on the older generations who shop less but contribute to 25% of sales as compared to the millenials who shop in large numbers but because they spend little money they contribute only 20% of sales.

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