You can bet all shoppers are paying attention to E-Commerce for all the great deals they can get online without ever leaving the cozy comfort of their own home. They just grab a cup of coffee, huddle up with their laptop or mobile device, pull out their credit card and “voila” their christmas shopping is almost finished.
Wow! Welcome to E-Commerce. E-Commerce is about buying and selling products or services over the Internet and other computer networks. But it’s more than just that. It includes the entire online process of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for those products and services. Innovations like electronic funds transfer, online transaction processing, and inventory management systems have changed the playing field. Purchase transactions are completed in real-time, in NO time flat!
Why Should YOU Consider E-Commerce For Your Business?
It depends on the type of business services or products you sell; BUT, it’s time to take a serious look at E-Commerce for many VERY good reasons.
You are “Paige Turner” the proud owner of a book shop at #4 Privet Drive. You’ve lovingly displayed your books in the window (one of which is entitled “E-Commerce for Dummies”) and listed your business in the yellow pages and phone book. You’ve probably even paid for some traditional advertising in magazines and local papers to attract the attention of potential customers. Okay. Once upon a time this would have been enough. One small problem.
You require your customers to physically walk into your shop. What if the customer doesn’t have transportation? What if they don’t live near #4 Privet Drive? What if they can’t make it to your store before closing? What if they don’t have time?
SCENARIO 2:Lucy wants to buy a new umbrella (because like us, she lives on the rainy pacific west coast) so she ‘googles’ umbrellas online. YOU own an umbrella shop.
If you’re set up for E-Commerce, Lucy is likely to find you and just as easily purchase her new umbrella from you, than any big box store. If you’re NOT online. Well — you just lost a sale.
How Does E-Commerce Change Things?
- Your market becomes global (or at least as far as you are willing to ship using Fedex, UPS, Canada Post, US Post – you get the picture).
- Your store hours extend to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (without the physical requirement of staff at all hours)
- You have instant inventory tracking
- You exist – and now people know it (what’s more they can hit the “share” button and tell all their online friends about you)
- You have trackable customer information in a database for easy access, anytime, all the time; and
- Your customer can view, select, and pay for their product in less than 10 minutes.
The above scenarios are exactly why you should seriously consider using E-Commerce for your business.
Get plugged in! Don’t be intimidated because you are not a techie. There are tons of companies available to support you and teach you how to put those basic typing and computer skills to work – and it’s so much easier than you may think.
We don’t suggest you do the “heavy lifting” yourself. Get the experts to research and implement the shopping cart, shipping, and payment gateway solutions. You’ll save yourself time, money, and frustration in the end. Having said that — just like your customers — YOU will be able to sit down with a cup of coffee in the cozy comfort of YOUR own home to manage your products, check inventory, make adjustments, and follow up with customers ALL BY YOURSELF. Now that’s something you can take to the bank!
Stay tuned for our next article where we talk about some of the things you need to know when considering implementing E-Commerce website design for your business.