Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why a small business needs an ecommerce site

In the era before the internet, it used to be that small businesses would market their services locally through networking or word-of-mouth. Their marketing strategy was to provide great customer service, and grow organically until they could buy advertising in tv, radio or even print newspapers.

Today it may still be a good way to market, however, with the ease of creating an online presence, there is no excuse not to have your own website or an ecommerce store. It is a given that every brick and mortar retailer MUST have an ecommerce website, a social media profile on Facebook and a blog. If you don’t, it is reflected in your dwindling sales.

The internet has created so much efficiency that it has affected every aspect of your business, from:

• merchandising,

• pricing,

• marketing,

• promotions

• and even sales!

The true power of the internet is that you can automate one-on-one interactions to many people without having to lift a finger. This allows you to provide personal service to thousands of people from your location, without having to increase your staffing needs or even in some cases, technical know-how.

Some other advantages in having an ecommerce site are:

Level the playing field between large and small businesses. With the right technology, you won’t be able to see the difference in service or performance.

It saves you money. Keeping operating expenses down is a main factor as to why you should start an online store

Reach more customers around the world. With a storefront in your neighbourhood that is already doing business, why would you even want to have an ecommerce website? Opening a brick and mortar store restricts you to your local area that you target. However, with an ecommerce site your market expands beyond your neighbourhood. You now have options to target any country that you want to... Done well, a business could double their profit margin just from their online business alone.

Track everything your customer does online and on your store. The internet allows you to get a deeper understanding of your customer’s purchasing habits, all the way down to the individual client. All this data can be used to create brand loyalty, upsell more products for a higher profit margin and get into new markets.

By selling online, your company size doesn’t matter. All that matters is the shopping experience and whether the product is great! As mentioned before, ecommerce creates a level playing field where small businesses can compete effectively against the big boys.

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