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The impact of online selling on small businesses - Essay Example

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The impact of online selling on small businesses

This essay outlines the benefits and the costs from online retailing for small businesses that use online retailing and for those that do not use online retailing. It also outlines how online retailing would affect the financial management of an existing small business that chooses to move into online retailing. The benefits and costs from online retailing for small businesses that use online retailing Online retailing presents various benefits to small businesses that use it to offer their products and services. In online retailing, the cost of business operations is lower as compared to operating through physical stores. Dale (2010) explains that in online retailing, all only one retail facility is required for sales, shipment and customer services. This reduces the cost of running many retail stores. This mode of business operation involves inbound shipping of products to one location and this makes the cost of shipping lower compared to making shipments to many retail locations. In online retailing, it is easy to control the costs of staff. An example of this is that phone and e-mail support specialists handle all requests from customers. This eliminates the need for sales persons to be stationed at individual retail locations of a business. Online retailing leads to a reduction of time costs because all decision-making personnel are located in one place leading to a quick dissemination of new directives. Lesonsky (2009) states that online retailing leads to improved sales. This is because all the products of a company are housed in one place hence customers benefit from enhanced employee knowledge and stock selection. Improved sales also result from owning an open store that operates all days and all hours of the week. Unlike physical stores who need to attract customers through appealing merchandise displays and securing a prime location, online retailers just require the website. Nissanoff (2006) explains that this is their only interaction point with their customers and this helps to eliminate high rent rates charged at prime locations. Owning a physical retail entity is expensive compared to owning an online storefront that is backed by a warehouse that is well-organised for inventory purposes. This is also to say that online retailing presents lower capital requirements for start-ups. It is the desire of every business to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors and online retailing offers this chance. According to Kumar et al (2004), online retailing allows small businesses to capitalize on the differences between them and brick-and-mortar stores by developing efficient business operations that support online storefronts that are user-friendly. This creates a unique opportunity for success to e-retailers. Online retailing also makes it easy to achieve repeated business with customers because online business requires customers to fill in their names, contacts and address in order to purchase products. This creates chances for customer follow-ups and timely notification on new products, discounts, offers and promotions. In addition to the above, online retailing creates a chance for expanding the operations of small businesses into the global market. Despite the above benefits, there are some costs from online retailing for small businesses that use it. Unlike retailers with physical stores, ...Show more

Summary

The impact of online selling on small businesses The increased use of the Internet over the recent years has created big opportunities for small businesses to switch to online selling (Chaudhuryc and Jean-Pierre, 2002). This is a step in the search for more profitable business arenas for offering their products…
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