You might have noticed that a lot of major retailers are moving their businesses online, while some successful businesses exist solely online. When selecting an appropriate business model, it’s essential to look at buyer trends and growing markets wherever you can – and ecommerce certainly falls into this category. More consumers use online shopping than ever, with projections for 2020 predicting that over 2 billion digital buyers will shop online this year, accounting for a staggering 26.28% of the world’s population!.
Electronic commerce, or ecommerce, simply means the buying and selling of products and services online. Ecommerce websites make internet shopping easier for your customers by creating an online storefront users can interact with. Setting up an ecommerce website can be very beneficial for your business, and there are experts available that can help you swiftly set up your site. It’s becoming more necessary than ever to consider ecommerce for your industry. Here’s why selling online is practical and advantageous for your business.
Why choose Ecommerce?
Wouldn’t you like to tap into some of the earnings of Amazon, the world’s biggest ecommerce store? The good news is that it’s now possible to reach an extraordinary number of customers, if you successfully set up an ecommerce store for your business.
If you’re still not convinced by the aforementioned figures, you should know that the generation that has grown up playing on the internet is today’s working generation, with immense spending power. This growing market is extremely comfortable buying online, and have high expectations for the businesses that they choose to support.
No Spatial Barriers
When setting up an ecommerce website, you are not limited to the confines of physical space, which would be a challenge for brick-and-mortar stores. Ecommerce websites which are optimized for mobile devices can further dissolve boundaries, so your shop can be easily accessed from anywhere, using any device. This also opens up potential for ‘going global’, as there’s no reason why international users can’t access your site, too. However, if you go the global route, make sure that your shipping system is set up to properly serve your target audience, or you’ll need some exceptional customer service in place!
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll have lower costs initially. You won’t need to lease a space and it can be relatively cheap to set up your ecommerce website. There are savings to be made, as you don’t need to pay for travel insurance, in-person staff or traditional advertising on television, newspaper and radio. Digital advertising, which makes use of online channels, is relatively inexpensive in comparison and can be easily adjusted to fit specific budgets on a variety of platforms. Many online platforms use a pay-per-click system as well, which means you only pay for advertising that yields results. You’ll be able to scale your advertising costs on demand. In addition, buying a domain name can be relatively cheap, depending on its popularity. There are a ton of hosting sites to choose from on the internet, so you can easily shop around until you find a price point that works for you.
Search Engine Visibility
Ecommerce websites benefit from billions of people using search engines every day. Online stores capture a large market that might not be reached by physical stores. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help your store be seen by people searching for a specific item. This lets you gain new customers and ultimately, more revenue for your business. While SEO is considered a specialized skill and will probably incur costs, there’s no harm in using your budget to utilize the power of SEO to catch the attention of a broad customer base. This is something that you should always return to, as it is essential for promoting visibility in the cluttered digital sphere. At the same time, using SEO for your ecommerce store allows for broader brand awareness and reach, which will ultimately lead to more conversions.
Ecommerce shopping is super convenient for your customers. They don’t need to leave their homes/ workplaces and can search for different items whenever they want to, and because of this, they’ve eliminated the cost of traveling to a store. Ecommerce websites are open all the time, which allows customers to bypass the hassle of sticking to traditional opening hours. Your ecommerce store should contain detailed information about the products or services you’re selling. This inclusion makes it incredibly easy for customers to learn about your offerings before committing to a purchase.
Digital marketing allows you to collect data about who your customers are. You can figure out which products are most popular, where your customers are located, how they behave on your website and so much more.. This information can be used to target specific customers. You can easily add suggestions for other items on your ecommerce website, to promote cross-selling in a non-confrontational way. You can also use your information to improve customer relations and promote customer loyalty.
Keeping up with the Competition
In today’s market, it’s very important for businesses to acknowledge their online presence, or they risk being forgotten by competitors who are more active in advocating for customer convenience. Nowadays, many customers research items online before committing to a purchase, so it’s vital that they can see what your business can offer them. If you’re one of the only businesses to set up an online store in your industry, you’ll retain a competitive edge over your competitors who do not have an online presence, and you may win over some of their customers in the process.
Access Multiple Channels
Social media marketing is popular for a reason; and you can be part of it, too! For example, there are over 1 billion users on Instagram alone. The reach potential on individual sites is huge, but the magic of ecommerce marketing is in your cross-channel visibility. You can market the same products in multiple channels, increasing your brand visibility and reach, and widening your market immensely.
If you’ve established an ecommerce platform, you’ll soon be able to launch into specific channels to target a dedicated audience. .
Once your ecommerce store is up-and-running, you’ll be able to earn at any time of day, regardless of what your schedule might look like. You might even be sleeping, and you’ll still make a sale. This is because your website is never closed, and accepts purchases at all times of day. This should be coupled with a great digital marketing strategy to make sure that your customers are finding your website amongst their search.
Break the rules
You might feel bored of seeing ‘cut and paste’ ecommerce sites all over the internet, which could be discouraging. The good news is that you don’t have to follow any set layout or structure with your online store, and you have the creative freedom to do whatever it takes to best improve the customer experience. Many ecommerce builders give you access to your online store’s backend, which means you can customize the appearance of your store with some basic coding changes.
You can customize your ecommerce store’s layout, pictures, colours, themes, context and copy. You can focus on certain customers or products, if you wish. You can really stand out if your website is memorable. You won’t have to worry about seeing your competitor close to your products, as you might with a traditional retail space. There’s no physical location for you to decorate, as everything is happening online.
This also applies to your marketing strategy; you can break all of the rules and norms that you’ve seen your competitors succumb to and can make a name for yourself as truly unique. You might be able to launch competitions, or offer discount codes that can draw in a large audience of customers. These can be more easily distributed than with a physical store.
To summarize, it’s clear that ecommerce websites have amazing advantages. They’re effective and easy to manage, with lower start-up costs than physical stores. Increasingly, customers enjoy online shopping because it is more convenient and accessible than physical stores are, and online stores never really close. You’re not confined to selling in a single location, and have the potential to reach customers all over the world if you want to.
You can target your communication to your customers and this could improve customer loyalty. By collecting data about who is using your ecommerce store, you can tailor your website to suit your customers’ specific needs and wants. You’ve got the freedom to play around with how your ecommerce store looks,so that it stands out and converts your customers. You can even earn income passively, if your marketing strategy is up to scratch.
In other words, you should have serious thoughts about starting an ecommerce website for your business. As a first step, you might want to browse some ecommerce websites as a customer to understand the process better.
If you need help with integrating an ecommerce store into your business, you might want to look at ShoppingFeeder. ShoppingFeeder makes it simple for you to sell your products on multiple different channels and even run and track your promotional campaigns via the app.
Have we managed to convince you? Take a look at our article on how to build an ecommerce website and get started today!