“Internet” no longer seems to be scary in fact “no internet” seems to be scarier. Without the internet more specifically eCommerce solutions our lives may pause as we might not be able to shop, eat, watch movies, and book air tickets hassle-freely. It is no surprise to say that we are living in an era where digital presence has become as important as a physical one, where no activity on the internet raises questions about existence itself.
The time has come when launching an eCommerce store has become a walk in the park; of course, all the credit goes to the turnkey solutions commonly known as eCommerce platforms. More and more aspiring entrepreneurs especially the non-techies are benefiting by launching their own space. However, there are plenty of small businesses that haven’t realized how large a growth spurt they can see by selling their goods and services online through eCommerce. The following post is exactly for them.
To Survive In the Digital Economy, Small Businesses Need To Take a Page from the Enterprise Playbook
Electronic Commerce often known as eCommerce is pretty much in vogue these days. Over the past decade, we all have witnessed an explosion of eCommerce websites with many small businesses creating online stores. So, have you ever wondered what’s fueling this new trend? Why are people all across the globe no longer interested in buying anything from the brick and mortar stores? Simple, the onset of the internet has drastically transformed the way we engage with businesses and buy their products and services. Convenience to search, and extract any information from anywhere, quick, and user-friendliness are some of the most crucial perks of shopping online.
Due to the severe increase in such requirements, the concept of eCommerce has been gaining severe momentum like never before. It may be quite interesting to know that according to an article in Inc, online retailers experienced the highest profit and traffic in the 2014 holiday season. Instead of greater product selection, fast shipping, and simple cost comparisons, consumers choose to shop a maximum of their products online.
As a result, the number of online shoppers seems to be increasing every year and most consumers are eschewing brick-and-mortar stores for online shopping sites. Looking at these statistics experts predict the eCommerce industry to grow by leaps and bounds in the future.
Reap the Benefits
- Low Operation Costs – One of the best benefits of using eCommerce for small businesses is you don’t need to invest much money, especially in comparison to running a brick or mortar store. The reason is pretty obvious that owners having physical spaces requires investing in purchasing business premises. On the contrary, store location is no longer a key factor for an eCommerce shop. Which means they require very little capital outlay. eCommerce website development company involves a moderate investment and does not take up the cost as high as purchasing a physical store. The profit made from selling to customers online easily compensates for the cost of designing and developing the e-store. Another interesting comparison is that you can save more as you aren’t required to pay staff to handle inventory, checkout, payments, and delivery as everything is easily automated in your eCommerce store. So, again one doesn’t require investing in the physical store, insurance, or infrastructure but just needs a well-designed website to sell products and services.
- Increased Revenue – Another benefit here is physical stores might be limited by geographical areas but with an online store, the whole world acts as your playground. Limitless boundaries do not compel you to sell products and solely depend on the foot traffic. One can easily capture new audiences that they wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. This drives conversions and sales and the small business experiences a new level of growth. Unlike these brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce stores are open 24/7. So basically your business never shuts and customers can purchase products whenever and wherever they want.
- Greater Customer Acquisition – There was a time when retail businesses used to rely on branding and customer relationships. In the present times, things seem to have taken a drastic makeover where potential buyers are looking for products and services online and land up on eCommerce websites including both popular and non-popular ones. These websites also aid in boosting brand awareness with companies spending extravagantly on pushing marketing messages, trying to attract people to the store. They just need to develop pages that can be indexed by search engine crawlers and paired with customers’ online search queries. This is one of the best ways to attract the target audience. Consistent SEO efforts ensure recurring monthly traffic that can be easily converted into a steady flow of incoming sales.
- Social Recommendation – Word of mouth is again in talks! When impressed with the quality of products and services, customers often voice their opinions and recommend e-stores among their peers via different social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the list goes on. Tremendous word-of-mouth recommendations over social media encourage customers to choose small business online stores over mega-marts. So now you exactly know how small businesses leave their large counterparts and achieve success in no time.
- Customer Buying Analytics – Imagine a situation when your customer is entering a normal mom-and-pop shop, will you be able to customer buying habits? I guess not! Small businesses, especially the brick-and-mortar ones, require building a persona based on vague assumptions and perceptions. To top it all off, these insights are not that effective and hardly help in improving sales and marketing strategies.
E-commerce stores empower small businesses to keep a constant eye on customers’ buying habits and interests. Identifying the most popular products, knowing when is the time customers prefer to buy the most, and what kind of discounts, deals, and offers motivate customers to buy are crucial points to think about while focusing on customer buying behavior.
Best E-commerce Website Builders for Small Business
I hope by now I have convinced you to create your very own eCommerce business because of factors like rapid innovation, low costs, shipping facilities, and so forth. Further below I would like to mention certain e-commerce platforms to set your eyes on so that you don’t become bankrupt and end up being at the right place.
3dCart – Excellent inventory system and flexible designing are some of the best advantages of using the platform in particular. Unlike others, 3dcart more precisely tends to rely on powerful back-end tools and inventory features. Now can you edit your site on the go without a mobile app? Yes, you can! 3dcart does offer a significant range of built-in sales tools. So you no longer need to buy tons of apps, which can see costs quickly rack up.
Shopify – Comprising a wide range of powerful tools, Shopify is pretty well-known in the eCommerce realm. More specifically, there is an enormous app store for you to browse easily. Being a dedicated platform, it is designed to help you build an online store and that’s the reason why it has much more advanced sales tools than website builders such as Wix and Squarespace.
BigCommerce – Are you looking for a platform that comprises of maximum built-in features of any eCommerce builder? BigCommerce is one of the most scalable site builders in the market. It lets you sell across a variety of channels such as eBay, Amazon, Square, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. At the same time, this lets you expand your store’s reach while still keeping costs low. It may quite interest you to know that BigCommerce unsurprisingly received high scores for its sales features, and it has great SEO tools to help your business get found via Google.
GoDaddy – By using GoCentral ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), GoDaddy can aid you in building your online store in minutes. I mean for those who simply aim to get up and run their online space as soon as possible, GoDaddy is a no-brainer. Of course, some of its features are way strong, especially the ones about blogging but it has limited creative control. Apart from this, you can’t beat GoDaddy for speed.
That’s all Folks!
Ecommerce stores are a necessity especially if you own a small business. It levels the playing field for SMBs and allows them to punch far above their weight in attracting customers worldwide. I would end the post by offering you some essential tips for eCommerce success.
- Don’t get bogged down trying to create a huge, high-end website featuring hundreds of products. Instead, start small.
- Don’t expect to be flawless with your very first effort. We all make mistakes, learn from them, and keep improvising.
- Also, don’t forget to engage visitors with fun and educational extras, for example- how-to tips or interesting videos, background information and so much more.