Online shopping is becoming the norm for a vast number of consumers, who can now shop for nearly anything they want from the comfort of their homes. Here are reasons why e-commerce is growing in popularity while traditional shopping patterns are becoming outdated. Part of what drives online sales is the fact that the internet saves time and money.
Definition and benefits of e-commerce
E-commerce is defined as trading products via the internet or facilitating online trading. This definition includes selling both physical and digital products through the following business types:
- B2B (Business to Business)
- B2C (Business to Consumer)
- C2B (Consumer to Business)
- C2C (Consumer to Consumer)
Purchasing through e-commerce is more convenient and more likely to result in cost savings than shopping at physical malls. Not only does the internet save money on gas, it saves time from waiting in long lines. Ordering online and waiting for deliveries at their doorstep within days is simply easier for today’s consumers. Instead of buying impulsively, shoppers can now evaluate products by reading online reviews from fellow consumers.
Your small business can take advantage of the growing demand for shopping online. Even if you have a brick and mortar establishment, it’s possible to increase sales by offering products online. If you already have a website, maybe all you need to do is monetize it with an e-commerce solution that allows you to sell physical products through shipping or digital products directly online.
We can help you achieve your goal and selling products online. Our experience and expertise can guide you through the basics, as well as help you avoid common pitfalls of selling online. We can show you how the more payment method options you offer, the better your odds will be for attracting online customers. All it takes is understanding a few simple concepts to be highly profitable at online sales.
UPS findings for online shopping survey
- 70% prefer to buy from their favorite retailer online
- 60% of adult Americans enjoy avoiding a crowded store
- 71% of shoppers believe they can find better deals online
- 40% of men and 33% of women aged 18-34 ideally want to make all purchases online
Low barrier to entry
Even the most technologically inexperienced sellers can make substantial income with current online models. Since the cost of e-commerce solutions is only a few dollars per month, more and more entrepreneurs are venturing into online selling.
Furthermore, refinements to drop-shipping have inspired startups to enter the world of selling wholesale products for a profit with little capital and virtually no overhead. All you really need is an attractive online store and a desire to give people better deals than what they can find in their local neighborhood stores.
Expanding new marketing beyond geographic boundaries
The internet allows anyone with a high-speed connection to buy or sell products online. The combination of e-commerce and shipping has created vast new opportunities to reach previously untapped global markets.
According to Statista, 40% of the world’s internet population – which is over a billion consumers – engage in online shopping. As worldwide consumers increasingly embrace the internet, now is the time for entrepreneurs and small businesses to take advantage of online sales opportunities.
Developing a successful online strategy
The first step toward building a profitable online business is to create a strategy built on sales and marketing funnels. One of the big mistakes that inexperienced purveyors of online businesses make is to assume the process is completely automated, which isn’t true. Online sales success doesn’t involve just setting up a store then rolling in cash while you’re on vacation or on the golf course.
If you create informative landing pages based on the keywords of your niche, search engines may give you high search rankings. The key to effective SEO techniques is to craft original content that sets you apart from competitors and establishes you as an authority and influencer in your field. You can gain this credibility by building web pages that lead followers through funnels of knowledge to product pages that allow for instant online purchasing.
You also still have to interact with customers and develop loyal relationships. Ultimately, you must attract customers through ongoing content development and social media efforts that help answer inquiries of customers and new prospects. Not only must you build original valuable content that attracts new organic traffic through search engines, you must individually engage with followers on social media and direct them toward deeper content.
Why quick response matters
Responding to online inquiries quickly is one of the keys to converting leads to sales. The reason is because consumers who use the internet as a research tool now don’t have to wait to find answers to their questions. Consequently, if you wait too long to respond, you will lose customers to competitors who are just clicks away.
When you engage with followers it helps build trust, especially if you are able to respond to enquiries within minutes as opposed to days or weeks. Once you capture a lead’s email address, you can then nurture the lead with email correspondence and offer special personalized deals. Even if they do not buy from you initially, you can keep them on your marketing list to receive multiple offers over time.
E-commerce has become the bridge between online buyers and sellers, making it possible to reach a global market. But keep in mind that most successful online ventures involve plenty of work crafting online web content that showcases deep knowledge in market niches.
The more expertise you exhibit, the more likely Google and other search engines will give you high search rankings, which can generate significant traffic. But your work doesn’t end there, as you must also build email marketing lists of loyal followers. The more you can instantly educate consumers about your products and services, the more likely you will develop long term customers.
Everything starts with building your list. So what’s the best way to go about building your list? We’ll cover that in the next article.