At the turn of the century, we saw a huge shift in the way people buy and sell goods. Companies like Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba have flourished by offering an online marketplace. People no longer needed to go a brick and mortar store to buy a product, instead they can order it from the comfort of their own home.
In this post we will discuss how ecommerce can help your small business grow and compete with the big players.
1. Fewer and reduced costs
Without a physical storefront, you won’t incur rental or management costs. Your only costs will be the software you use to set up the online store, labor, and any money spent on marketing or advertising. Meaning it costs significantly less than setting up a brick and mortar store.
2. Visitor analysis and statistics
Google Analytics makes it extremely easy to see where people are finding your website, which pages they are visiting, and from what region of the country they are hailing in from. You can use tools like this to help plan your marketing campaigns by seeing exactly how the customer engages with your site.
It would be very difficult to get these kinds of statistics regarding merchandise browsing patterns or visitor traffic with a physical store.
3. Search engine traffic
Search engines are the holy grail of online activity. Rather than constantly pushing out marketing messages and trying to attract people to your store, a search engine will pair a customer’s search queries with products and information that exists online.
If you rank well in a search engine like Google, then you will receive recurring monthly traffic that can convert into a steady flow of incoming sales. If your product is on Amazon, you can also get traffic from their search engine.
4. Larger marketplace and marketing ROI
If you’re running a storefront in a small town in the midwest, you’re potential customers are limited to the population of that town and your marketing will only be as affective as the number of potential customers that see that marketing in the small town.
Once you have your own domain name and online storefront, you’ve now entered a world marketplace and your marketing can bring in domestic or international customers.
It’s true that you’ll be competing on a larger scale, but the wins or rewards that you receive from having great products and a good business are magnified.
5. Automated customer feedback and support
Every business must deal with customer feedback, questions, and issues. No customer wants to go to a physical store location and have to search a support manual, mail in a question, fill out a survey card, or talk to a customer support representative from another country.