E-commerce is the currency in business transactions that business outlets are utilizing a lot these days. There are various kinds of e-commerce, ranging from online auctions, software as a service solution, online ticketing, and online shopping/selling of consumer goods. As it stands, the most popular of these is online shopping.
This post focuses on the basics you should who should do e-commerce, why, choosing and setting up your e-commerce website and making sales.
Who Should Do E-Commerce?
There is a high temptation to think and believe that e-commerce isn’t for you, perhaps as a result of the kind of business you consider for yourself. Regardless of what model you run, you can have an online branch or only use ecommerce (depending on what you sell).
Generally, businesses come in two models. They are Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C) models. E-commerce means different things for these different businesses. How?
1. Business to Business (B2B)
B2B is when a business does transactions with other companies; that is, other companies are your target audience. An example is a stationery store that sells office equipment in bulk to retail stationery shop owners. E-commerce for B2B could also involve the sale of services – this is mainly for businesses that have a fixed price for their services.
2. Business to consumer (B2C)
B2C is the most commonly used business model where the business owner sells their products/services to consumers who buy a small amount of produce. An example of the B2C is a supermarket where consumers do their shopping weekly, but they wouldn’t usually bulk-buy anything. In both cases, an e-commerce website is essential for the following reasons.
Why An Online Store Is Crucial
1. Round The Clock Availability
Arguably, this is the most crucial benefit for e-commerce site owners. Your business never closes. Isn’t that amazing?
The fact that you’re open 24 hours of the day, and every day in a year is beneficial to both you and your customers. For you, as a business owner, it allows for an increase in sales growth while for the customers, it gives them the ability to purchase your product whenever it is convenient for them.
2. Run Your Business From Anywhere
If you have a physical office location, that’s fine. But if you don’t, it’s also okay. E-commerce gives you the option of working from anywhere. Be it in the comfort of your home or comfortable office space. All you need these days is a laptop or a smartphone and a good internet connection, and voila, you can manage your business anywhere and anytime. With e-commerce, you can sell online and deliver various products without any geographical limitations.
Growing and scaling efficiently to meet market demands, including customer requirements, can be made possible with a useful e-commerce website. E-commerce will open you to a lot of opportunities, from an increase in the range of products to getting more sales, exposure to new market opportunities, etc.
You can also add more payment options to your products and input different market segments depending on what works for you. All of these are happening while you still give out the best customer service experience and convenient services that boost your business.
4. Cost Reduction
Running an E-commerce business would reduce the cost of doing business significantly. You save the cost of hiring personnel, operational cost, maintenance cost, and even eliminate travel costs, as you only travel when it is highly recommended and needful.
Funds will then be available for other things such as: productively advertising your business to new and existing customers, perhaps also to promote personnel development and other investments beneficial to the company.
This method will enable you to reach out to more people, get better knowledge about your business, and serve your customers better.
5. Easy And Convenient
E-commerce is fast becoming one of the most preferred ways to shop. For many, this is because they believe e-commerce is easy and convenient compared to traditional methods of shopping.
Consumers consider the ability to transfer funds virtually using a secured and user-friendly payment gateway, the best among all available options. They also find the availability of online stores around-the-clock, as the most preferred option of buying, when and where they want.
E-commerce allows you as a business owner to reach out to as many people as possible most easily and conveniently; same for a consumer looking for where to make purchases.
There are other benefits of e-commerce, but we will take a halt here on the benefits and show you how you can set up an E-commerce store for your business.
How To Set Up An E-commerce Store
Either of these two ways will work for you.
1. Use An E-commerce Platform
You can use an already made platform like Shopify. Shopify is an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform, which makes creating an online store quick and easy.
However, using Shopify means you can only access and enjoy the privilege of having tools and themes that will be provided by the platform alone, and you’ll have to keep paying fees monthly. This shortfall gives your e-commerce store less customization. But regardless of this, it is a good start.
If it’s a drop-shipping business you want to run, e-commerce solutions like Oberlo will allow you to get your store off the ground and enable you to start selling.
2. E-commerce Development From A Web Development Company
You can decide to build an e-commerce website from scratch – this means either developing yourself or hiring an agency to do it for you.
This option might cost more initially than the e-commerce platform option, but it’s just a one-off cost. Afterward, you wouldn’t have to pay subscription fees every month to the web development company, which saves you money in the long run.
Also, by building your custom online store, you’re guaranteed 100% customization with the power to make all the decisions and get all the features that you need to position your website for sales as you envision it and more.
Moving Your E-commerce Store For Sales?
Ready to move forward? Start with getting your online store designed and launched. Then, you can work on marketing, be it PPC, social media, or SEO. You can either hire a company to handle all that or learn how to with in-depth courses and start getting sales.
Many brands have seen success from either opening an e-commerce store that runs independently or marrying an online store with their physical offices/stores, such as, pay online and pick up physically, to increase sales. Don’t waste any more time – start today.