Online stores are booming
One of the main reasons why some Internet users once did not purchase goods online was the (supposed) lack of security when making payments via the Internet. However, most large websites now offer a double control system, which makes consumers less afraid. As a consequence, online stores are expanding at the speed of light.
This observation applies at least to online stores that sell computers, hardware and software. A business such as Coolblue, that runs stores such as pdashop.be, mp3shop.be and laptopshop.be, doubled its turnover in 2008, reaching 15 million euros. Het Computerwinkeltje also achieved better sales.
What made these online stores so successful? According to Coolblue, service is a very important factor, as is fast shipping. Indeed, both Coolblue and Het Computerwinkeltje combine an online store and a real store (Coolblue has a store in Antwerp, and Het Computerwinkeltje has 5 stores in Flemish territory). Those who want to can thus order online and then either come and pick up their order themselves in a real store associated with the online stores, or look for the easy way out and choose home delivery.
Fast shipping is crucial for online stores. People look for “instant gratification”, which means that they see something and they want it ASAP. Product availability and delivery times must therefore be very transparent if the online merchant wants to keep his customers satisfied!