E-commerce is becoming increasingly important for companies and customers. According to Statista, in 2017 there have been 2.300 billion dollars of online purchases. As we can see in the chart below, the forecast is that they will double up in 2021.
People are slowly leaving store shelves preferring virtual shops. Therefore E-commerce is an opportunity for business, especially for small companies.
Don’t think that creating an online store is an easy job! First of all, you need to implement a marketing strategy to avoid making a mistake that could damage your business. It’s important to give a reputation to your brand, in order to catch new customers and increase their trust.
So, let’s make a list of ten reasons to open an E-commerce site.
1) Open 24 hours
It seems obvious, but having E-commerce is like having 24 hours store. People can visit it every time they want and you don’t have to worry to use an open/closed sign.
2) Limitless market
If you manage small and medium-sized entrepreneurship, your company is territorially limited. As sure as that, if your company is a multinational firm your market is the whole world. Now the company’s size doesn’t matter because the internet can reach any distance. So with an E-commerce platform, your audience is potentially limitless.
3) Cut the costs
Some small companies, especially in a start-up phase, have to face a lot of problems. For example, costs could be a deal breaker. Rent, electricity, furnishings and employees are often hard to manage. Many times cutting the costs is a way to make savings and invest money more rationally. Moreover, you don’t need to pay intermediaries because it’s a direct sale.
4) Digital marketing
An online presence can also help a business to build a lasting relationship with the customers. The power of digital marketing is limitless like the users that you can catch. This way it’s possible to adapt the supply to the market target, personalizing the communication. Tracking the user experience on your site is possible to create a database full of important pieces of information to predict the market. What better way to know first what your customer needs are?
5) Online reviews are the new word of mouth
Nowadays, in a customer-oriented world, it’s well known that satisfaction of purchasers is the first step to increase trust. A survey of Spiegel Research Center shows that nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. The consequence is that displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%. In other words, this is a new form of free advertising that should be exploited to the full. Yes, you got that right: it’s free! Your customers can become the ambassadors of your product/service reviewing it positively for new potential users. How to handle fake reviews? It’s no longer your problem. Revi, for example, is a platform that can help you to manage your online reviews discarding the fake ones. This is an effective way to boost sales.
6) Offer discounts and coupons
Users that visit your E-commerce site can be awarded special offers. It’s a way to loyalize customers and attract new ones. Certainly, offering a discount for the second purchase on the online-store can increase both the traffic site and the business. Some platforms in online reviews management offer gift coupons to the customers to increase feedback sharing. This can help us to understand how reviews are important for the company’s growth.
7) Optimal stock management
One of the advantages of online presence is that companies know demand and supply data in advance. Suboptimal stock management is no matter of little significance, especially in physical shops. With E-commerce, being in control of stock level is easier and it’s also a solution to reduce costs of inventory.
8) Increase company visibility and brand value
Having an E-commerce site doesn’t mean only owning an online store. That way, you are the only one that can plan and manage the communication. For example, you can link a blog to the E-commerce site. This is a good communication strategy that could guide users to your services. In other words, you choose the message that you want to share with the world. It’s a powerful tool that can increase company visibility. Consequently, your brand’s value benefits from that.
9) Social media help e-commerce growth
Speaking of communication, never underestimate the power of social networks. The E-commerce-social media’s combo is a powerful weapon against the flop. According to Sprout Social, 74% of users read social posts before making a purchase decision. A lot of companies usually build loyalty with YouTube videos, Facebook contests and Instagram stories. For example, using the help of Instagram influencers could be a good choice. Users tend to emulate their followed icons so why don’t take advantage of this? They could help to make you visible to their followers and get them to buy from you.
10) Clients advantages
It’s important to highlight that E-commerce is absolutely a win-win negotiation. In fact, advantages are not only for an entrepreneur. As we said before, users can find a 24 hours market in which it’s possible to buy without any kind of pressure. In addition, the price is lower than when buying something in a physical store and it’s also safer because of the traceability of transactions. All of this means the resulting increase in customer confidence.
In any case, it’s not simple to build successful E-commerce, especially if there’s a lack of experience. Before launching the online activity, it would be better to make an accurate market analysis because of the fierce competition. If you are a local company, once you’re online, you must take into account all international competitors, not just the locals. At the same time, it’s necessary to implement an exhaustive customer helping service. Since we’re talking about a 24-hour service, the site has to be ready to satisfy clients questioning anytime. For these reasons, E-commerce is becoming more automated also thanks to innovative tools like chatbots and Artificial Intelligence. In conclusion, E-commerce is a double-edged sword given that it can be a breakthrough only if well implemented.