While most well known retailers are now selling their products online, a number have yet to take the plunge. This includes brands like Primark, Morrissons, Gap (in the UK) and others.

We know that such firms are missing out on an extra revenue stream, but what other effects can not selling online have? 

Brand bidding

If you are not selling online or taking an interest in your search rankings, then others can take advantage by bidding on your brand name, taking traffic and sales that could have been yours.

For example, Clarks, which doesn't sell online, has plenty of sites bidding on its brand name, selling shoes:

Google brand bidding

Damage to reputation

If you are not selling online, and someone else is selling your products (as in the example above) than you have no control over the customer's experience.

If customers receive poor service from these websites, even though you have no control thisexperience is still linked to your brand, and could affect people's future perception.

Boost to competitors

While you are still deciding on whether to make the move into e-commerce, your competitors may already be there, building up their search rankings and improving their websites.

By the time your company decides to take the plunge, you may have a lot of work to do to catch up.

Limited exposure

If you stick to offline retail, you have a relatively limited opportunity to make sales and, because you can only sell through your stores, a limited market for your products.

Moving online means that you can sell your products around the clock when your shops are closed, while your market will no longer be limited to those places where you have retail outlets.

Missing out on sales

Obviously, if you don't sell online then customers searching for your brand or products that you sell will simply choose the next best thing, which will be one of your competitors.

Related research:
E-commerce: A Beginner's Guide

Related articles:
Which retailers are still not selling online?

Graham Charlton

Published 23 September, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (1)

Sophie Erhard

Sophie Erhard, Web Marketing Consultant at 123 en ligne

Very interesting and well argumented. I work for French luxury brand and it's a discussion we have each year. Their exclusive positionning is based on scarcity: people have to wait for several months, sometimes years to get their bag. There are less than 20 points of sales around the world. They do not want to sell to a large market because all products are hand made and production is restricted. But I think they should sell online. It would be a very good strategy against sites selling replicas. It' no about loosing sales but good reputation management.

almost 10 years ago

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