Get your business going with e-commerce
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. Consumers in the United States and Europe quickly realized the advantages of this way of shopping and same process is going on in developing countries where number of people who have internet access is constantly growing.
One of the most profitable kinds of e-commerce are online business to customer sales (there are also business to business and customer to customer sales). In 2013 this type of sales alone amounted more than $1,2 trillion dollars worldwide, and statistics say that 40% of world's internet users bought something online in their life. This is the list of first five countries by the amount of money online shoppers spent in 2015:
United States $1,804
United Kingdom $1,629
In this article we're going to explain the e-commerce benefits and the ways this business can help entrepreneurs to grow their business.
Overcomes Geographical Limitations
One of the biggest disadvantages of regular retail shops was their location oriented business. This means that only big retail chains could target audience nation, region or worldwide, while smaller entrepreneurs with one or few retail shops could only target locals and people passing through their area. Geographic limitation overcome is one of the most valuable benefits that come with e-commerce. Online shopping gives the chance to small retail entrepreneurs to target audience outside their city, or country if they have the means to send their goods abroad.
Makes Small Businesses More Competitive
Few decades ago small businesses couldn't compete with big retail chains. Today when the only criteria for increasing your sales are website design and usability, product quality and prices, small businesses can easily compete with bigger chains by offering promotional prices, introducing intuitive website designs or offering better-quality products.
It Cuts Costs
This is very important benefit, because it enables people with small investment funds to run e-commerce stores. Business owners don't need to pay rent, or electrical bills, and lots of e-commerce beginners store their goods in their homes or garages and run their business from home. Online stores also don't require store personnel, although all orders need to be responded in a timely manner. Hardworking and ambitious entrepreneur can run an e-commerce store effectively, which is impossible with regular retail stores.
Store Works 24/7
Unlike regular retail stores that work 10 or 12 hours a day, online stores can submit orders 24/7, without any extra costs. Customers from different time zones may visit an online store and order goods whenever they feel comfortable. Just remember how many times, you arrived after store's closing time, that doesn't happen with e-commerce.
Good e-commerce stores are informative. They contain lots of information about the products they are selling, together with very detailed photos taken from different angles and link to manufacturer's website, where you can usually find lots of information about production process and raw materials they use. E-commerce websites also offer comparison shopping with links to other places where you can buy the same product.
It's Easier to Find Products This Way
Online stores offer all products they have in stock. If you are buying in regular retail stores, and the thing you want to buy is out of stock, you often need to check with several stores from the chain to find the desired product. E-commerce store save customer's time and travel money, and therefore their popularity grows fast.
There Are More Payment Options
Regular stores usually accept cash, cards and checks, while on online stores customers have much more options including international payment systems like PayPal, Skrill and Payoneer. Some websites also have alternative payment methods that enable customers to buy products without leaving their personal information.
It's Easier to Promote
E-commerce stores can be promoted by regular internet means like social network sharing and SEO, which are both very effective and cheap. That's why online stores have a lot of new customers and with people following links from search engines and social media posts and commercials.
These are just some benefits of e-commerce, there are also many other positive features that make this business so lucrative. With many benefits it seems like this business is another get-rich-scheme. Online stores require lot of promotion, processing orders in timely manner, functional and good looking website design and good marketing strategies that need to be implemented on the website itself that include good value propositions, sales funnels, call to action buttons etc.