Electronic Commerce, better known as eCommerce, is essentially the buying or selling of products or services online. An eCommerce store is your online shopfront, the platform where you can retail your products and services online – it can be used for business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) sales across a huge range of industries.
With the popularity of the internet, smartphones and handheld devices, this form of online transaction has been steadily growing over the decades and is showing no signs of slowing down. According to projections from eMarketer, eCommerce will increase at 4 times the rate of traditional retail sales, with room to grow even more in the coming years!
Whilst we still think it’s great to make your local presence felt with a traditional bricks and mortar shop front, we are big advocates of eCommerce and the potential it provides to grow your business and sales to a new target audience online.
So, now we’ve got you across what eCommerce is, here are 5 reasons why you should get your store online to start taking advantage of this growing market.
1. Increase your customer base by being visible on search engines and overcoming geographical limitations
Physical retail is based on making a reputation for your business and creating connections with your customers. An online store is similar, however you have the potential to reach a much wider audience. With magical online tools and the power of digital marketing, you can increase your brand presence on search engines and the likes of social media giving you the full potential to reach international status.
2. Much lower cost, use your savings to drive more sales
etting up an online store is much cheaper than a physical store! With the automation of billing, payments, checkouts, inventory management and some operational processes, you can save on human resources. You can also save on rent/leasing/real estate as an eCommerce store does not require a physical store location.
You can then reinvest your savings in digital marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic to your online store via search engines, social media and email marketing to increase brand awareness, your customer base and sales even more.
The beauty of digital marketing for an eCommerce store is that you can track exactly where your marketing spend is going and what your return on investment (ROI) is. Digital marketing also gives you an abundance of information about your online store visitors – what they are searching for, geographical location, what products or services they are looking at, how long they are staying on your online store…the list goes on, then you can even remarket the products or services they were looking at as they browse other sites on the internet!
3. Easy to grow and take your business to the next level
When your business grows you may want to introduce a larger range of products or broaden who you are marketing your products or services to. With an eCommerce store you’ll be able to scale your business to add more products, features and options for your customers. You won’t have to worry about moving your store to a larger space, you can work with eCommerce platforms that will handle higher capacities in the event of holiday rushes and high churning promotions.
4. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can even earn while you sleep
Your eCommerce store does not have to be manned 24 hours a day. A well designed and built eCommerce store will automate most of the customer service interactions including taking payment, sending invoices & order confirmations and calculating the tax & shipping for you. With the right brand and digital marketing in place, you can land yourself some sales even while you sleep!
5. Learn more about your customers and create targeted communications
As you grow your eCommerce store and start making sales, you can discover useful information about your customers to help market to them better and increase your sales. Information you’ll be able to retrieve includes:
- Locations of where you are generating the most sales
- Time of day your store performs best
- Best-selling products
- What products to spend your digital marketing budget on
- What areas of your store has the most interest and most traffic
- Where you get your traffic from (such as social media, organic search engines, backlinks, featured blogs, etc)
- Track returning customer conversion
- How long your customers browse your store
- What devices your customers use to browse your store
- Track the most effective digital marketing campaigns and your return on investment
Now you know more about eCommerce and how it can generate sales for your business, we bet you’re wondering, what next?! A beautifully designed and super functional online store is what you’ll need to start generating sales. But don’t be fooled, not all online stores are built equally – just like a bricks and mortar store, your online shopfront needs to be bang on brand from the home page to the product pages, you need it to be user friendly and easy to add and edit products from the back end – it all needs to be seamless for a professional, trustworthy customer online experience.
That’s why you should choose BA Creative for your online store build – we have extensive experience in building eCommerce stores and we have been badged official experts in the Shopify and BigCommerce platforms. You can see some of our eCommerce work on our website or get in touch to find out which platform works best for your business! Get clicking!