Electronic commerce (eCommerce) is simply carrying out business transactions over the internet. But don’t be fooled by its simple definition for it has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and all the four major markets including consumer to consumer (C2C), Business to Business (B2B), Business to consumer (B2C), and Consumer to Consumer (C2C) are still growing strong.
This is mainly because almost all products or services can be offered via eCommerce, providing businesses and individuals the chance to make extra revenue. To that end, isn’t it time you get a comprehensive view of how eCommerce can benefit your business?
Reach More Customers
The number one reason why you should consider an online store is because your customers and potential customers are online, and are probably already making purchases there. A local business can dramatically increase their reach by going online.
For example, by going online, a local custom furniture producer can reach customers nationally and even internationally. Any business looking to grow and expand their customer base simply cannot afford to not be online. According to a research commissioned by PayPal and performed by IPSOS, internet operations boost small business profitability. Their findings include:
- 64% of small business owners said that selling online increased their sales or revenue.
- 48% felt their online presence helped to expand their national coverage in the US.
- 73% saved money by reducing administrative costs.
If you’re still not sure an eCommerce store is for you, consider these five reasons:
- 13% - 25% Growth Projections
Experienced stocks and forex traders often say that trend is king. Their message is to always follow the trend in order to maximize your earnings. In business, that message is equally relevant. eMarketers project growth of 13% - 25% in eCommerce worldwide between 2015 and 2018. Total eCommerce transactions are expected to reach $2.5 trillion in 2018, up from $1.6 trillion dollars it attained in 2015.
In addition, eCommerce market share in the US is expected to reach 16.5% in 2018. Even in a developing country like India, eCommerce revenue is expected to hit $35 billion. Simply put, if you're considering starting an eCommerce business, there is no better time than now.
eCommerce is a serious business, and you should treat it accordingly if you want to succeed. However, it can be done profitably without requiring your presence 24/7. eCommerce stores come with high-end functionality that automates all the daunting tasks and processes, such as invoice preparation, inventory management, and sales report preparation.
This means you can easily keep an eye on workflow and business outcome. You can even automate the marketing process and see detailed information and statistics on how well your marketing is doing without lifting a finger to do the reports or carry out the data analysis.
- Overcome Geographical Limitations
An eCommerce store allows you to serve customers and clients anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. You are not limited by borders or other limitations associated with running a physical store.
With the advent of m-commerce (eCommerce on a mobile phone), the world is now your playground. Apart from attracting customers and clients from around the globe, you can also source goods worldwide and find good deals and bargains.
- Keep Eye on Consumers' Buying Habits
According to RJMetrics, recurring customers account for 43% of revenue for online stores. When products are tailored to their buying pattern and customers’ reviews are implemented, conversion increases by 74% and the return rate of each product is significantly reduced.
With eCommerce, understanding your buyer's preferences and habits are very easy, thanks to functions like purchase history and viewed items. This will allow you to tailor your offers to their needs. Not only will it increase conversions, it will also help you build a loyal customer base.
- 80% of the Online Population has Made a Purchase Online
It's only a matter of time before that number increases. The only question is, how much of it will you benefit from? Running an eCommerce store is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You have to build credibility, attract leads, convert those leads into customers, and turn the customers into returning buyers. The processes are interwoven, but it all starts with building an attractive and responsive website that is easily navigable.
You also have to keep an eye on page-load speed because according to data from Kissmetrics, even a second delay can reduce conversions by 7%. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you may also lose 40% of customers.
You can earn a lot of money while you sleep with your eCommerce store, but it won't happen overnight. However, if you commit to the process and focus on building trust and ensuring the safety and privacy of your customers, you will build a loyal following and see a substantial increase in profits.
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