Right now, most people search online about what product they want to buy. Either to compare brand, compare specifications, compare features, read review and many more. If you’re trying to grow your brick and mortar business or just start up, eCommerce has several benefits over a long-term plan to win over customers.
Ecommerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. Ecommerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.
While there are many ways to sell to consumers over the internet, the main advantage of online selling is you can sell to consumers anywhere, anytime. You can meet the customer where and when they’re shopping. It doesn’t matter if they’re sitting at home on the couch, on their lunchbreak at work, or even using your app in a physical store – they can complete a purchase online.
The cost of actually setting up an e-commerce website is lower than that of an offline businesses. The whole sales system for your business is automated online. You will therefore save on staff, wages and other business costs, which are usually an expense such as electricity, rent and heating costs. The money that you have saved can then be used to develop your e-commerce website and product range further. E-commerce websites will also help you expand your product offering faster than is normally possible within an offline business situation.
The use of digital channels keeps increasing. 87% of shoppers begin product searches on digital channels, up from 71% last year. Even if they end up buying from a physical store, shoppers are more likely to start their search online, especially on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
Shoppers research online for a variety of reasons to compare prices, compare brands, search customer reviews, check inventory levels, and more. The only way to ensure potential shoppers find your products is to have an online presence. Even if it’s just to check store hours or locations, it’s important that customers find the information they’re looking for. You always want to be where your first customers are shopping, and evidence points to online.
eCommerce selling can take on many different formats. Each channel has its own unique audience that sellers can reach. An online site can help you reach international shoppers. Social sites can reach new demographics. Marketplaces like Amazon provide the widest audience, but can also help you find niche markets. Marketplaces like Etsy, Newegg, and Poshmark serve specific audiences looking for certain products. The best part is that you can also use a mix of online touchpoints to engage multiple audiences at once.
Unlike brick and mortar, online channels aren’t limited to who can physically visit your store. Whether you’re just starting out or an existing seller, you can reach someone online that you couldn’t before.
An online presence allows you to provide more information about your products and services to your customers. A branded site especially gives sellers a place to provide key content to customers.
Your eCommerce site can also provide more information about your business or how to use your products. Webpages and email marketing can be dedicated to your brand’s story and how your products are made. Blog posts and videos can also provide helpful content about the use of your products or services.
Shoppers don’t just research products online. They also complete purchases online too. eCommerce makes even it easier for shoppers to hit that buy button, no matter where they are. Shoppers can complete purchases from Instagram Ads, mobile apps in-store, and more. eCommerce allows sellers to remove friction points and make it as convenient for buyers to purchase the products they want.
E-commerce websites reduce any geographical restrictions you would normally face with an office based business. You can be anywhere around the world and still successfully oversee your e-commerce business. The essential items you need in order to oversee your e-commerce website from anywhere are; having access to emails, the Internet and phones.
E-commerce websites are very effective in allowing you to determine which products are selling successfully, to ensure the stock levels of these products are increased. Additionally how these successful products can be diversified to develop a larger range of products to sell through the website.
This will allow you to grow your business in terms of sales, customer base and profits. Amazon’s online shopping website has developed successfully around scaling their product range, and monitoring closely what is selling with customers. This has consequently allowed them to dramatically diversify their product range into many sectors.
With ecommerce websites you are not restricting your potential customers, as they can view your website at any time of day. This means as a business, you are maximising your sales and profits. How can your sales be further maximised? You can do this through a range of sales initiatives such as special offers and online marketing initiatives.
Once your ecommerce website has been initially set up, you should not have to invest too much time into running it. This is because the whole process for customers ordering and making payments will all be activated through the online system. This will give you more time to determine new products you want to sell, special offers you want to launch and to track how successful your sales are. You will also be able to determine any trends in terms of which products are selling most successfully.
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