As a budding entrepreneur, youíll always be looking for new business ventures, to raise more revenue, to develop and sell more products and services. But, are you keeping up in the online marketplace? Itís where many people are headed, particularly retail consumers. Here are some reasons why you should take e-commerce seriously Ė and how you can up your online game.
Online trading is thriving
E-commerce is a booming business, and appears to be going from strength to strength. Take the US, for example. In 2016, online sales of physical goods totalled more than 360 billion dollars and, in 2021, are expected to exceed 600 billion dollars, according to statistics. So, you can see that online is the place to be for many businesses Ė and a whole range of them, offering everything from clothing and furniture to holidays and insurance.
Reach more customers
Trading online is a real plus in the sense that it can help your business widen its client base, worldwide. And you donít need expensive shop fronts in towns and cities. Your website is your shop front. Busy people want to buy online, you already have a willing audience. And itís not always through a traditional website that sales come, itís through apps and other online platforms too.
By having an online presence, you can connect with customers much more easily. Search engines will hopefully pick up on keywords across your online platforms as potential clients hunt for products and services, taking your business right in front of their eyes. If you havenít already, make sure you get your website the SEO treatment, or search engine optimization Ė so that it does stand out in the crowded online market.
When you reach more customers, your company workload is going to grow Ė lots more processing will be needed, from finance systems to delivery. You may also have to take on more staff. If you need help managing your infrastructure systems, you could hire in JDE support to ease the load.
Design to impress
When trading online, you need to make sure that your website looks the business, is easy to navigate and reliable. Your products and services need to be clearly illustrated and, if youíre featuring a shopping facility, customers need a smooth experience from selection to sale.
Think about including some striking images and videos on your website to bring the products and services alive. Remember, your website is your shop window Ė dress it to impress!
And donít just stop at a website. Make sure itís mobile-friendly and think about getting an app up and running Ė so that you can reach people on the go. That could open-up your market even further.
Shout it all from social media too! Have your business represented across all the main social media platforms, build followers Ė and link to your website and other online sales facilities.
Donít shirk on customer service
If youíre trading online, it doesnít mean that you donít have to put much effort into customer service. Itís equally as important as having a physical store. Customers need to know you care about their online experience and that you will deliver goods in the way they expect. Think about rewarding your loyal clients through online promotions. But there should also be promotions and incentives more widely across your platforms, to bring in more customers – and more sales!