What is eCommerce?
eCommerce is the term used for any commercial transaction that takes place online. This could be between a general consumer and company or from business to business. If either of these sounds like a service your company offers, eCommerce is something you should consider.
What does eCommerce do?
eCommerce removes the limitations of customers buying from you due to distance and time – so a sale that may have been lost because a customer is on the other side of the country to your location is still possible with an eCommerce website.
Businesses across the world are turning to eCommerce to help increase sales and profits – although this may sound like a crowded market, as long as your product is available at the right price, your company will have a fair chance of making a sale.
Do I need eCommerce?
You may think taking the step in to the world of eCommerce sounds daunting because it is an area that you are yet to explore and are worried whether your company can compete in online sales. But please bear in mind if you are not willing to move into the world of eCommerce there will be many of your competitors that will and you may be left behind – so our answer to the question ‘Do I need eCommerce?’ would generally be yes! However, you may want to consider the advantages and disadvantages listed below:
Advantages of having an eCommerce website
Increased customer base: Having a ecommerce website will connect you to potential customers that you would’ve otherwise never attracted due to distance.
Lower costs / Increase margins: Selling a product or service online costs much less in overheads than running a shop. We’re not suggesting you should close you shop, but think of your eCommerce website as opening new stores across the country (or world) because you will be able to entice customers from towns and cities you may have never done before.
Increase brand recognition: Having an online presence in general increases the chance of new customers discovering your brand but having an eCommerce website will give each product their own page which will be effective with search engines, therefore there is more chance of a web user discovering your product and in turn finding your company and then in time recognising your brand.
Disdvantages of having an eCommerce website
Underestimating the work involved: Keeping your eCommerce website up to date can be very time consuming – checking stock levels and adding and removing products can be quite a task in its self and if you fall behind in doing this, it could lead to disappointed customers when they are informed a product is no longer in stock after placing an order.
Choosing the wrong platform: Choosing the correct platform for your online shop is paramount. You should consider your options carefully and not commit to one before doing so. There are two primary solutions:
- A hosted commercial solution (eg. Etsy.com)
- Or a custom eCommerce software program (eg. Magento)
Neither of these solutions are right or wrong but depending on the needs of your company and the technical ability of yourself, one of the above could be considerably more effective than the other.
Poorly showcasing your product: Many business owners underestimate how a poorly executed photograph or lack of information can put a customer off purchasing a product from your company rather than a competitor. You should always take the time to display a product or service in the best possible way and ensure your description answers as many as the customers queries as possible. Because unlike in your shop, there are many alternative options on the web and you will not be there to assist and answer any questions in person.
With all this in mind, eCommerce is something you should definitely consider for your company because over the last 10 years eCommerce has grown at a rapid pace and shows no signs of slowing down – Can you really afford for your business to not jump on the band wagon and compete for these customers.? Just take your time to get the right advice from the right people before creating your eCommerce website.
We have converted many of our clients over to eCommerce and could guide your company into doing the same… If you would like to know more, please get in touch and we give you experienced advice today.