As a small business owner, it is very important to understand the new trend and patterns that are shaping the world that we live in.
The internet and web development standards & best practice are constantly evolving. How people consume information and access your business offline and online has changed drastically in last few years.
But have you ever considered to add eCommerce Functionality
According to Pew Research center, 72% of American Adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011.
Many of these smartphone users access information about your company, products, services, reviews etc. online. If they find it interesting then they would like to acquire your product from your website itself instead of calling you on phone or visiting the store.
According to Nielsen, "US adults spent on average 34 hours per month using the mobile internet on smartphone and 27 hours on PC internet." This is huge.
The benefits of adding eCommerce channel to your existing businesses are many.
Your website is an online representation of your business and it is available 24/7/365. Whereas brick and mortar store are open only during working hours.
Furthermore, there is not any concrete reason not to build eCommerce functionality to your website. If you don't have a website it is easy to build one with minimal cost and get started with eCommerce functionality.
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook can help you build a loyal customer base and build brand and trust. Some social network works better for your business than other, you need to figure out what works best for your business.
If you have a very visual array of product that can find interest on visual-centric networks like Instagram and Pinterest.
The social network can send you huge traffic to your website & generate sales if they use smartly.
Understand the Cost
Building an eCommerce website is going to cost you some money. It is best to opt for open source solutions for an eCommerce website to start with rather than making it custom store.
Platforms like Magento, osCommerce, Opencart, WooCommerce etc. gives you lots of options to setup your store.
You can also try to explore the option to sell using a Shopify platform. Shopify offers easy site builders and you can get started for free. You can also hire a freelance to setup Shopify store for your business.
See Also: Shopify vs Magento Go - Unveiling Difference Between the Two
New Revenue Stream
eCommerce opens up a new revenue stream for your business. Many businesses look to steadily grow their relationship with the customer and cater to their need.
With eCommerce, you can look beyond one-time transaction purchase and instead move to become an ongoing services provider.
You can connect with the customer via social media, email etc. You can send new product updates, happening etc. to you customers on a regular basis so that customers keeps in touch with a brand.
The key advantage of an online relationship with the customer is an ability to capture customer data over a period of time and provide a personalized experience that your customers will love.
See Also: 12 Effective Email Marketing Plugins for WordPress
Mobile Shopping Experience
As discussed earlier, more than 30% of all mobile shopping is now done through mobile phones. It is really important to make mobile & tablet browsing experience smooth.
You need to optimize a website for mobile so that it has uniform user experience across different screen sizes. If mobile shopping experience is enhanced it gives customers extra push to complete the purchase before losing interest.
See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Sell with Mobile Marketing
Complement Brick- and -Mortar
eCommerce will complement your brick-and-mortar store. The main goal of eCommerce is to increase sales with online channel and not cannibalize existing sales.
You can do online marketing of your eCommerce store and attract new users who are looking for the product which otherwise have gone to other websites.
Brick-and-mortar store is limited within a geographical area - but online business has no limits. You can do business anywhere in the country.
Inexpensive and Targeted Marketing Channel
With eCommerce store, you can target new pool of customers. It is important to do SEO and let search engine understand about the product and rank your website for a particular keyword.
Besides search, you can use email marketing, RSS feeds, blog posting etc. to attract the visitor to the store.
If you were to run marketing campaign online it is inexpensive to traditional marketing methods like newspaper, billboard etc.
Compared to brick-and-mortar store investment, online storefront & marketing cost are way lesser.
See Also: Why It Is Essential for eCommerce Sites To Enlist SEO Services
There are many benefits of adding eCommerce features. The majority of the brick-and-mortar business will see improvement in sales and grow their revenue by setting up an online store.
I hope you will find this post very useful regarding setting up eCommerce for your business. Let me know any questions if you have any questions in a comment. I will reply it ASAP.
See Also: STARTUPS: Is It the Right Time to Build a Website?