Did you know that by 2040, 95% of all purchases are expected to be via ecommerce? Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing revenue streams for businesses. As of 2017 China (the world’s fastest-growing ecommerce market) had an estimated value of $672 billion. Sounds like a huge opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on, doesn’t it? But what is it? In this article we will take a look at what exactly ecommerce is and why it is important for your business.
A Basic Definition
I promised you a basic definition of ecommerce so here it is: ecommerce is the buying/selling of goods and services online. This can come in a variety of forms. Business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, consumer to business… you get the idea. For most businesses, ecommerce is used to conduct both online marketing and sales activities and to oversee logistics and fulfillment. What that means is that ecommerce can be used to both promote your business and to make it more effective. In the next few sections I will tell you about how ecommerce can specifically benefit your business.
10 Way Ecommerce Can Help You
Reduce Your Costs
The first and most obvious benefit of ecommerce is the reduction of cost to you as a business owner. In order to operate a brick and mortar store you would need to employ several individuals for the general day to day operations. Ecommerce, however, only requires the attention of one individual (likely you the owner) for a few hours a day (maximum). In that respect alone you have the ability to save a significant amount of money. In addition to that benefit, when using ecommerce you do not have to pay the fees traditionally associated with a brick and mortar store like rent, utilities, insurance, and other general leasing information. As you can see, ecommerce has the capacity to save you money in a lot of practical ways.
Using an ecommerce platform allows you to unleash your business in a way that you never could using a brick and mortar store. When you are operating online you are able to offer your products anywhere in the globe (well anywhere you are willing to ship). This opens up a lot of potential customers for your business. In fact, according to eMarketer, in 2021 there may be as many as 2.14 billion digital buyers worldwide. That is a wide audience that you can cater to if you only have the technology to do so.
Your Online Store Will Always Be Open
One of the biggest reasons why people love online shopping is that it is always available. When your store is online you can keep it open 24/7 every day of the year. In fact, one of the biggest reasons why people make online purchases is because they can shop at any time of day. By being open at all times you will never miss out on any customers that may be shopping at odd hours of the night.
Easy & Convenient
In addition to being available at any time of day, shopping online is simply easy and convenient. In a digital world, people have access to online shopping at their fingertips. Now more than ever, most people have access to the internet via their cell phones or other electronic devices almost all of the time. For that reason, online shopping is simple and convenient. Who hasn’t realized that they needed something random, popped onto Amazon, ordered it and gone on with their day? By utilizing ecommerce, you are reducing the need for people to travel to your brick and mortar store. This makes life more convenient for your customers and makes them more likely to use your site.
How strange would it be if you were in a store and an employee followed you around the entire time? Maybe they were trying to be helpful by pointing out things you might like. Maybe they were just watching what you were up to so that they could better help you next time. Either way, it would be a creepy experience. However, this is exactly what we are able to do with cookies and other tracking software when individuals shop at our online stores. We can monitor where they go after coming to our store, where they spend the most time and find out other information about them with ease. All of this information allows us to create a personalized shopping experience for each customer that would not be possible in a real world setting.
Build Your Brand
Ecommerce allows for a wonderful opportunity to develop your marketing strategy for your business. Interestingly, approximately 93% of online shoppers say that the visual appearance of an online store is an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Moreover, approximately, 80% of online shoppers don’t make purchases from ecommerce sites that have problematic return policies. Additionally, around 55% of all online shoppers said that online reviews have an impact on their buying decisions. What does all of this mean? It means that your online brand matters. You are able to cultivate your online presence with an ecommerce site. When you do this you can both build your brand credibility and create a brand personality. Some fun ways to do this could be through social media since online stores that have an active presence on social media platforms have 32% more sales. And approximately 85% of all products purchased via social media platforms come from Facebook.
Easily Receive Feedback on Products
One of the greatest benefits of ecommerce is that it allows for easy customer feedback. Customers can communicate with your company about what works well and what doesn’t work about your products. This easy communication means that you can quickly make necessary changes to your products or services to maintain ultimate customer satisfaction.
Maximum Security of Transactions
Another benefit of ecommerce is that it provides for secure transactions. One of the benefits of mobile shopping is that there have been significant advancements in secure payment online. Online payment encryption and beyond means that for ecommerce both buyers and sellers can feel secure in their transactions.
Yet another advantage of ecommerce is that it is easily expandable. There are no costs to expanding your business when it is online. An ecommerce business is easily scalable and can be changed to handle almost any amount of traffic in no time. This saves you from many of the headaches associated with expanding a brick and mortar store.
Increase in Sales
The biggest and most important benefit of ecommerce is that it allows you to increase your sales volume. The US has the highest ecommerce rates, with around 80% of all internet users making at least one purchase. It’s a simple fact that where there are more people you are able to make more sales. Furthermore, currently, shoppers spend approximately 36% of their budget online (BigCommerce). That number is only expected to increase as the convenience of online shopping only increases.
In conclusion, ecommerce is an absolute necessity in an online world. So get out there and develop your online presence!