John Edward Doe
Senior Web Devleoper
Owner, Head of Operations
May 22, 2013
In the last few decades, the internet has revolutionized the way people connect, share, and find information. These rapid technologic advancements have changed the way we live, find information, and shop for goods.
In today’s age of face-paced technological advancements, staying current can be difficult for small businesses trying to compete with corporations in the online realm. As more consumers flock to the internet for shopping, large corporations invest heavily in their websites. Big businesses’ websites are often tailored perfectly to the demographic they tend to sell to. Some companies will collect data on each online shopper using a method called narrow-casting, wherein users’ past searches will be used to personalize the online shopping experience by bringing related goods to the shopper’s attention. ("World Wide... Wal-Mart." )
Online sales have been responsible for large profits made by retail stores. Online sales are at an all-time high and will continue to grow as technology advances further. As shown by Figure 1, growth in online retail sales is projected to steadily increase, as they have done in the past. A 94 billion dollar increase in internet sales in just five years explains why almost all retail companies are selling goods online today. This is why our company, First Auto Parts, should begin online sales as soon as possible.
Online Retail Sales Projection, 2009-2014
Source: "Online Retail Sales." Retail Industry Indicators.
Percentage of People Shop Online Once a Week in 2003 vs. 2010
Norris, Anne . "Eight out of Ten Consumers Shop Online at Least Once a Week."
Large corporate competitors spend thousands on their online stores and profit from shipping products to their customer’s front door. Online convenience can make even some of your most loyal customers reconsider coming in your store for a spare part when they can just order the same part from the comfort of their home. Today’s consumers are becoming more reliant on online shopping, which can take a toll on local business sales numbers. Businesses without a website are missing the opportunity to reach thousands of potential customers. Because First Auto Parts is one of those websites that is not online, we are missing a huge group of costumers.
The purpose of this report is to explain the need for an online store for First Auto Parts used to stay competitive and maximize profit by reaching a larger audience and gaining online support.
The advantages of using online resources are substantial. Reaching more customers is the main drive of moving resources online. Eight in ten people will shop online at some point during a week’s time. (Norris) That is eighty percent of people that could be captured by going online. There are a few key reasons that shoppers chose to shop online instead of going store.
The following are important factors why consumers shop online:
Accessibility/Convenience- Consumers have access to a companies’ inventory from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, even on their cell phone.
Selection- Companies can present their entire inventory online and potential customers are free to shop and find products not necessarily commonly found in retail stores.
Information Availability- Consumers can find out more about a product before purchases, leading them to feel more confident when making the purchase.
Ambiance/Atmosphere- Shopping online is more comfortable for most consumers because they do not
Amazon.com, an entirely online store, exploded in popularity from its founding in 1994. As shown in figure 3, Amazon’s online presence has led to their growing success and profits. (Brohan) This is an entirely online business that sees huge sales numbers and customer loyalty but all