Are you a small business owner trying to expand? Or do you have a great business idea but don’t want to go through setting up a physical store? Whichever the case is, ecommerce might be the answer for you.
Wondering how ecommerce is going to do all that? Keep on reading because we are going to break it down.
When it comes down to why you should get your business online, the short answer is it’s easier and has a lower risk factor than renting a storefront. I know, physical stores have a different kind of experience that an online store can never provide. The human connection, the browsing through actual products, the trying on of three different shades of blue jeans – all that is taken away when you are shopping online. But, unfortunately for us, that human connection has become a fearful undertaking in our time thanks to the Coronavirus. And honestly, that one drawback is easily outweighed by the many benefits of ecommerce.
Back in the day, starting an ecommerce business was difficult. When Amazon came into existence, building an ecommerce site required much technical and marketing knowledge, as well as long periods of time. In July 1995, Amazon started their business after almost a year of preparation. But their success didn’t come overnight. After years of effort and hundreds of millions in losses, Amazon has now become the global giant of ecommerce. Lucky for us, technology today is not nearly as primitive as the technology in 1995.
Building an attractive online shop is easier than ever with the help of hosted solutions like Shopify, WordPress themes and licensed solutions. Today, an attractive looking and well-stocked ecommerce site can be built within as quick as two weeks to four months based on its size, with much smaller investment.
But that’s not all, ecommerce has been made even easier using the concept of dropshipping. Many wholesalers will dropship their products for you, in turns saving you large amounts of money and hustle for storage. Then there are shipping and marketing facilities provided by Daraz, Evally, Priyoshop and other similar platforms.
You don’t need to pay rent every month, no need to hire store staff. Just the initial investment of getting the website set up and you are good to go. Now you know when I said ecommerce made starting a business easier, I wasn’t exaggerating.
Now that your online store is up and running, the next step is to bring in customers. Although ecommerce doesn’t guarantee your business success, it makes marketing your products and reaching a larger audience easier and more affordable. Here’s how.
First of all, ecommerce lets you break the geographical boundary. Even if you are not willing to go global right now, selling your products online means letting customers from other areas, other cities into your store effortlessly. Which means, you can work with a larger audience to build your product’s market.
Secondly, it gives you far more opportunity to implement digital advertising. Digital advertising by nature is much cheaper than physical advertising. While TV and newspaper ads cost thousands, you can implement social media marketing virtually for free. If you provide good service and products and motivate your customers to post reviews, they’ll happily do the marketing for you.
Of course, there’s the option for paid advertising with an affordable investment. Good thing is, with so much data available about everyone’s preferences online, targeting your ideal customers is easier and more accurate. Properly targeted right form of advertising can bring in much better results by spending much less money.
Another benefit of digital marketing is that it’s easily implemented and can be changed according to your customers’ needs. Let’s explore an example of Dunkin’ using the pandemic to create a successful digital marketing campaign.
As COVID-19 struck, Americans wanted to find ways to help and to show support for the frontline heroes. Dunkin’ wanted to give people a way to do so, even without being able to leave home.
Within a matter of days, they created DunkinCoffeeBreak.com where customers could buy a Dunkin’ e-gift card and send it over as a virtual coffee break to show appreciation to the frontline workers. Dunkin’ donated $1 for every gift card purchased to non-profits helping families affected by COVID-19.
Since being launched, the site has been driving incremental gift card sales and has generated a 300% increase in year-over-year gift card sales for events.
Thirdly, your customers are already online. You don’t need to drive them in. According to a survey conducted by Ipsos OTX in 2012, 80% of the 1500 shoppers that were queried said that they’d research products and prices online before making a purchase. Shows how much traffic google could drive to an online store even 9 years ago.
Nowadays, whatever we want to buy, our first instinct is to Google it. And the fact that it’s safer not to leave home much so far in 2021 adds to the increasing number of online shoppers. Which means by joining ecommerce, you are entering an already existing market who are ready to make a purchase and are looking for a good deal.
Finally, ecommerce is growing rapidly due to its ease of access. Searching and browsing products is much easier for the customer, personalised service and customised products are more available because of the ecommerce platforms.
This has all contributed to the growth of ecommerce in the last few years. But what influenced its growth most, is the pandemic. In the USA, ecommerce accounted for 11.8% of all retail sales in the first quarter of 2020. Then in Q2, the number jumped to 16.1% which is a 44.5% increase over Q2 in 2019. To put that number in perspective, Q2 of 2019 grew only 13.8% over Q2 of 2018.
Convinced that your business should go online? Wondering how to build an ecommerce website for it? We can help! Contact us here.