If you own a business or you are in the process of starting a business, it is important to consider the benefits of e-commerce. E-commerce has quickly become an effective strategy for businesses who are trying to sell their products without a large overhead. While e-commerce might be the solution, if you are not familiar with the back-end components of this sales strategy you might have difficulty selling or fulfilling your orders that are placed online. If you are not taking advantage of e-commerce at the moment, you could be missing out on potential sales and return customers. If you are skeptical or you simply are nervous to implement a new strategy, there are a number of tools popping up that will help you go digital easily. Here are 5 things you should know about e-commerce before you get started in the e-commerce world:
E-Commerce Can Be Used in Product and Service-Oriented Businesses
You might that that the only time you can implement e-commerce into your business is when you are selling physical and tangible products. While this was the case in the past, business owners have gotten very creative and found ways to sell professional services on the web as well. By simply creating a service package online, you can sell the package to customers who are visiting your website or shopping on the web. This not only reduces the amount of time you spend trying to use your sales pitch on interested clients, it also increases your profits while you decrease your budget.
Smaller Retailers Do Have the Opportunity to Profit
You might be skeptical of even making the effort to implement e-commerce into your business because you think that all of the big players in the industry will always beat your pricing. You might be surprised to find out that the market share of the 25 largest online retail stores fell in 2011. This means that there is a growing gap for small retailers who want to get in on the action. If you have a presence online, you can build your brand identity, and you offer products that people want, there are profits to be earned. Online, your small plastic card printing business will have the same chance of reaching customers as a big gadget store chain. You might want to start locally, but thinking big is something you always want in the back of your mind. After all, e-commerce gives you the tools you need to stay connected with customers all around the world.
You Will Need to Use Social Media to Supplement Your E-Commerce
You cannot simply build an e-commerce site and expect people to find your site out of thin air. You are going to need to generate traffic to your site just like you need to market to generate traffic to visit your business website. One of the best ways to generate interest in your e-commerce site is to create a social profile that will supplement the site. Some social media sites have e-commerce features built-in so that customers can share the products they have purchased with their friends. Customers who share products with their friends are marketing for you. In addition to this, studies show that people are 50 percent more likely to buy a brand they have followed as opposed to one they have not followed or subscribed to. As you can see, social media can truly help with your e-commerce strategy.
Make an Effort to Make a Mobile-Ready Site
You might be so focused on creating an e-commerce site that you will look over the importance of creating a site that can be accessed on all of the latest mobile phones. If you did not know, mobile phone users are growing to be quite savvy. They can buy items, download apps, and do almost anything they could do on a PC on their phones. When you are creating your website, you need to make sure you have a mobile-ready version of your site active so that customers can buy on the web or from the mobile browser.
Attract Bargain Hunters and Aim for Customer Retention
There are people online who are always looking for the best deals. After all, you can find value-priced items on the web that you are not likely to find in-person. When you are marketing, you do not want to cheapen your worth by attracting a customer who is far from loyal. You need to find ways, through email marketing and other effective methods, to ensure that the customers you generate will buy again and again.
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when you are implementing e-commerce into your business model. It will take time and a lot of planning. Make sure you design a professional site and do your part to market this site as well. If you offer quality products and great online customer service, there is no reason you should not profit with e-commerce.