E-Commerce Success: When High Risk Merchants Go the Brick and Click Way
Too lazy to shop out?
I have always believed in the empowerment of human potential. Sounds deep huh! Well, a decade and a half ago, when the Internet has started to boom and high risk merchant accounts were unheard of, everyone foresaw that it's the end of the human urge to leave the house, travel, and experience the world using the tactile senses. Virtual reality became a challenge. The Internet morphed into a breeding ground for experimentation in which people would be immersed into a world that was so convenient they would do nothing more than click the mouse (or anything similar to pushing a button) and have the stuff that they want. In fact, today the pioneers of VR have created games in which you would only use your brainwaves (connected to electrodes) to move objects on the screen. Not bad.
When e-commerce sites are a must
E-commerce faces the same situation today. People would normally go to the malls, window-shop, pick their goodies, fall in line at the counter, cash out from the wallet or swipe the credit card, then leave with the big ol' shopping bag in hand. Obviously, everyone still does it. But brick and mortar stores are becoming less and less attractive without an integrated e-commerce website. Whether you are an ordinary businessman selling toiletries and cosmetics or a high risk merchant selling adult products, it usually pays to put up your own website and let it expand your customers' buying experience.
Convenience, convenience, convenience
So what exactly makes an e-commerce store more appealing than a regular Mom 'n Pop grocery on the second block? Studies say that browsing a website for prices proves to be a hundred times more convenient than having to drop by at the store to check out the tags. Also, if people find some prices (in the website) dubious, they can always call the store representative or e-mail her for other details. The theory holds for other kinds of purchases you need to do when time is of the essence: ordering pizza on a rush birthday party, calling up for schedule of sale events, or validating credit card account numbers on the spot.
On the other hand, people still flock to the malls to buy goods simply because they get access to the product and test it to make sure they get what they want when they open the box.
Sure, there are limitations to buying online. Online shopping is a sophisticated business that is mostly conducive to those who buy dry goods that won't spoil when shipped. In other words, most stores that integrate their brick and mortar stores with a commercial website sell mostly books, computer products, gadgets, clothes, handbags, etc.
In-store pick up: Save costs, make money
For low risk and high risk merchants, the best way to increase the sales of a brick and mortar store is to integrate it with an e-commerce website. Most experts would advise that the most advantageous way to do this is to follow the in-store pick up process. Customers would check out the website, merchants would fill in the orders and validate important details, and customers would come on the same day or the next day to pick up the product/s. Contrary to having the goods shipped, this technique far boosts the sales in such a way that customers don't have to spend for high delivery costs, and have the product easily returned or exchanged if certain issues occur. However, a great percentage of buyers pay for shipping especially if they're offshore. Suit yourselves! There are so many possibilities in the e-commerce industry that it's hard to pinpoint what works for every buyer and merchant. In any case, "brick and click" stores would never make customers lazy. It will only enhance their buying experience.