Proximity E-Commerce: How To Sell Online In Your Area

If you are a small retailer and you want to know more about proximity e-commerce and learn more about how eCommerce can be beneficial to you, then read the article till the end. Ecommerce has been booming since 2020 ever since the COVID-19 pandemic set in. The whole industry of eCommerce has benefited since the purchasing patterns of customers have changed irrespective of the size of the platform of the eCommerce website.

Before the pandemic set in, people used to go to the stores and supermarkets to go shop, however, that has changed ever since the pandemic since people could not move about normally due to the imposition of lockdowns.

According to data released, in the first quarter of 2020, there was an increase worth of 2 million new customers in Italy itself. The expected rise was supposed to be only 700 thousand.

The proximity of eCommerce during the lockdown

Even though the pandemic has seemed to be reduced in most parts of the world, the eCommerce retailers have ensured that they have retained most of the customers because of their proximity to eCommerce. Retailers used the concept of ‘Click and Collect’ in order to retain customers.

Click and Collect basically means that the customer can potentially place his order online and make the payment, and then, later on, he just has to collect the order from the store. According to research conducted by Deloitte, products such as food items and medicines have seen considerable growth in terms of eCommerce since people have preferred to stay at home most of the time for safety.

Through the concept of proximity eCommerce, the local vendors have kept their relationship intact with the people even during the course of the pandemic.

The most important question here is about the success of proximity eCommerce. The reason behind its huge success was the advantages it holds.

Advantages of Proximity eCommerce

There are primarily three major advantages of Proximity to eCommerce holds. They are as mentioned below.

1. Establishes direct relationship with Customers – A lot of the users do not like to deal with the big-time eCommerce platforms since there is a lack of direct relationships and there is a lack of support provided by them as well. However, the small trader who operates an online business has a good amount of direct relationships.

Any of the big-time eCommerce platforms such as Amazon or eBay lack the warmth and the kindness of the local vendor. The local vendors respond to requests and information and will resolve any sort of issue quickly. The local vendors can easily provide for in small town. And additionally, through social media sites, you can easily be informed about discounts and running sales. This is one of the first and the most important advantage of proximity eCommerce.

2. Unified Shopping Experience- You can have the possibility of communicating with the vendor directly both in an online and offline platform through proximity eCommerce. For instance, the local stores can directly send you discount coupons via mail so that you can use them in-store.

A lot of people want to search for the products they want online but then go to the offline store and have an in-hand feel of the same and then buy it from the proximity eCommerce store.

There is an increasing need for the integration and dynamic status between offline stores and online shopping.

3. More options for Delivery- Proximity essentially means nearby. Hence we can easily assume that products can be delivered rapidly through proximity eCommerce via the vendors.

The other big-time eCommerce stores take a bit of time to deliver since their warehouses are not exactly located near your place of residence. Through the local vendors, you can have both quick as well as personalised product delivery. 

There are a lot of options such as one-day delivery or pickup from a store and much more. The best part about the local vendors is that the process of returns can be facilitated easily without any hassles. The process is simplified and done quickly.

Best Strategies for Proximity eCommerce

There is surely a lot of scope for businesses in proximity to eCommerce. However, in order to best the best out of it, you need to ensure that your strategy for eCommerce is solid and foolproof. Below mentioned are some of the best ways through which you can maximise your output.

1. Offering Same-Day Deliveries – Offering the deliveries on the same day can be the best way through which you can increase your business.

The payment process needs to be well-versed and efficient. You need to learn how to accept payments online (easy way) in order to ensure that the whole ordering process is simplified. There are a lot of delivery partners who you can hire to make your deliveries rapidly. 

Customers can get incentivised to buy from you if you assure them of quick deliveries.

2. Customer Support- The best way to retain a customer is to ensure that the service and the support provided to them is perfect. You can improve your customer service by adopting steps such as real-time chatting, asking for feedback, giving dedicated and special discounts and advantages, and much more. 

A lot of stores also provide a customised birthday message with a discount only on their birthday to make the customer feel special. You can give them better assistance in the context of quality as well.

3. Have an Online Presence- You can grow your business rapidly by having a solid social media presence. You can open your account or page on Instagram, Facebook, and Google My Business and ensure that you update these forums with information about your business.

You can surely get an audience for your page and increase your customer base through that. You can have a sense of a community after incorporating all of that online and ensure that you retain customers as well.

To avoid frustration on your customer’s behalf, it’s best to choose a suitable web host with enough bandwidth allocation to avoid any potential for a slowdown. Consider moving up a payment tier or two if you're locked into a closed-source system like Shopify. However, if your site is built on an open-source platform such as Magento or Drupal, you may want to think about migrating. Ecommerce hosting from a flexible service provider like Cloudways allows its users to reallocate resources on the fly, giving you the option to ramp up when needed (particularly handy during periods of high traffic).

Additionally, you can also follow digital marketing trends to boost your online presence. Through a good online presence, you can ensure that you increase engagements with your customers as well.

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