Using eCommerce as a Market Expansion Tool for your Retail Business

Posted by Tom Kramer

April 12, 2017 | 10:30 AM

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eCom vs brick and mortar.pngWe had a recent client who was interested in implementing an eCommerce site but was concerned about the impact it would have on their retail brand in stores. We’ve seen this before with clients, but if you’re implementing eCommerce correctly, it should help your business rather than hurt it.

Here are a few ways having an eCommerce site for your products can help expand your audience, introduce your products to new markets, and grow your business.

Cost Savings

Getting started in the retail environment can be incredibly cost-prohibitive. When selling in store, you often have to lease shelf space in a store for your product. Based on that scenario, entering a new product into retail might not be a good business decision because you might not be able to achieve your ROI in a reasonable amount of time.

For example, our client was looking to put their product in a national retailer’s physical stores, but between their profit margins and the shelf rental price, it wouldn’t be a profitable situation for nearly five years. For an established company looking to take some risks that might be a valid option, but that doesn’t work for most companies.

The upfront costs of an eCommerce site are, by comparison, much more affordable. This gives you the flexibility to market and distribute your product without the high overhead of a retail placement.

Tap into New Audiences

Selling your product in a physical retail location alone may not get you in front of your whole audience. Potential customers in areas outside of where your products can be purchased may never know about your product if they can’t pass it in their local store. So, how can they access your product? An eCommerce site.

Your eCommerce and marketing strategy doesn’t need to focus on your entire audience, it can be segmented to target those customers who don’t have access to your retail locations. This can expand your audience without competing with your retail outlets.

Extensible Uses

Most of the time, your retail strategy works to sell directly to those who are most likely to use your product in its primary use. But what if your product has other uses that don’t lend themselves to your primary marketing?

If your product has secondary uses that apply to a completely different audience than your primary market, eCommerce can be a good way to reach that audience. Perhaps you don’t want to dilute your brick and mortar brand identity, or there’s a competitor who already dominates the retail space in this secondary market. Selling online allows you to create secondary or tertiary distribution tactics that are lower-risk than traditional retail. Using eCommerce, you can cultivate those additional markets in an efficient and cost effective way.

When it comes down to it, implementing and marketing an eCommerce site needs to be both complementary to your brand and fiscally responsible for your company. With those two qualifications met, nothing else should stand in your way.

Do you have an eCommerce marketing challenge that needs the help of an experienced team? Contact the Essex Digital Platform team to start your marketing strategy session. 

Click here to start your Magento  Marketing Strategy Session  with Essex

Topics: eCommerce, Marketing Challenges

About Tom Kramer

Tom Kramer is the President and Co-Founder of Essex Digital Platform. Essex offers a Digital Marketing Intelligence System to allow their clients to have access to a variety of digital marketing solutions to meet all of their marketing needs. Their streamlined digital marketing technology stack was built to improve audience development, capture actionable data, drive digital marketing transformation, and yield larger return on ad spend for their clients.


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