Why Have an Ecommerce Site? Reasons Why Consumers Buy Online

The importance of having an online and mobile commerce strategy has further been emphasised with the recent issues incurred by UK Electrical Giant Comet.

With UK online sales in excess of £100bn, consumers are turning in their droves to buying online; a trend that doesn't appear to be changing in the future.

To truly understand the importance of having an ecommerce website, we need to appreciate the reasons why consumers buy online.

Open 24/7

With bricks and mortar retailers, customers are limited to opening times whereas online stores are open 24/7, 365 days a year. They can buy that must have little black dress in the middle of the night, or start their sales hunting on Christmas Day evening rather than waiting for the Boxing day rush. Buying online is a fantastic way to avoid queues and navigating through busy crowds. With a few clicks of a mouse, a customer can buy anything from a new TV to a bed or anything else.


Online consumers are not limited by their location. They can buy products from hundreds of miles away, or even in a different country. These products can then be delivered to a convenient address. 


Customers are just a click away from your website. They are also just a click away from your competitor’s website. Incentive and loyalty programs are excellent to ensure customer’s choose you, and importantly, return to you. Loyalty incentives can work on a point’s basis where the more a customer spends, the more points they earn which can then be traded in for other products or benefits. 

In 2011, ecommerce shopping cart abandonment hit a record high of 72%, caused by ‘sticker shock’ – which is the increase in final price once various chargers had been added at the checkout. Many ecommerce sites combat this by offering loyalty programs which eliminates shipping costs along with other benefits. 

Money saving

Everyone loves a bargain. The internet is full of them, from various companies of various sizes. As ecommerce websites can allow customers to compare prices of certain things, there is no need to commit to a sale until you are sure you have the best value for money.  This can allow smaller companies to compete with the bigger players. 

Compare Options

Online customers can compare the options available. They can see feedback and reviews allowing them to make a more informed choice over their online purchases – these reviews can make or break a sale, as they’re written by customers for customers. They also provide an honest insight to the quality of service from the retailer, providing details on delivery speed, payment process, and the standard of the product they've purchased. 

Customer Comfort 

Perhaps the reasoning for the British consumers’ willingness to shop online is our delightful, unpredictable weather. Who wants to do the weekly food shop in the pouring down rain, when you could stay in your PJ’s with a cup of tea? Online shopping eliminates waiting in lines, provides excellent customer service and elimates the potential embarrassment of buying in public.  

Wish Lists 

Some ecommerce sites allow a ‘wish list’ option, where customers can compile lists on what they want – ideal for upcoming birthdays, weddings etc., and can take the stress out of not knowing what to buy someone. This is also useful for those who are sticking to a tight budget, who may see an item that they want but can’t initially afford: they are able to keep a stored note of what they want to return to at a later date. 

Wish lists can also be shared with friends and family either via email or various social network platforms, rendering the “I didn't know what you wanted” excuse invalid. 


It can be frustrating and disheartening to find the shelf where you favourite food usually sits empty, or not being able to find the size clothing you require. Ecommerce sites generally have such a larger level of stock, minimising customer disappointment and encouraging customer loyalty.  



Many ecommerce websites use their online shop to promote ‘online only’ products – items that are not available in any store branches, therefore making them exclusive and coveted.  This is an excellent selling point, as the product is promoted as unique. 
This also applies to online deals as many ecommerce websites feature ‘check out codes’, where customers can receive discounts on their purchases, based on the fact they are purchasing online. 

Suggest similar items  

Many ecommerce websites track previous customers’ purchases, therefore being able to suggest items based on your preferences. There is no pressure to purchase (like there can be in stores), instead a gentle suggestion. This unique point for up-selling is also aided by the above mentioned ‘exclusive online deals’, as many ecommerce websites offer discounts on P&P based on the amount purchased; thus encouraging sales.  

We can help you increase your sales with an ecommerce website that delivers fantastic results. To find out more on how we can help, take a look at our ecommerce website features. Alternatively call us on 02920 30 30 55 for a non-obligatory chat about your ecommerce website requirements.

By Paul at 28 Nov 2012, 11:51 AM