Long ago, if we were to set up an e-commerce site, we’d need to raise a capital to hire professionals to do it for us. Now, things have changed tremendously. Thanks to helpful tools, tutorials and software platforms, anyone who has access to a computer can set up their own online store. No more months of designing and coding along with hundreds or thousands of ringgits spent prior to developing your product or services. Literally, we now have the opportunity to launch a quality e-commerce site at any time and anywhere.
Notably, with the ease of setting up a digital store and making a good profit from it, we must also understand the benefits of e-commerce. Below are the 5 things you may not know about e-commerce.
1. E-commerce is not only for big businesses
Many people make the mistake thinking that e-commerce is only for the big guys. Maybe it is due to the previous cost and high-tech process, it was considered a “big business with big budget” kind of project. And we’re not asking you to be the next Alibaba or Lazada. However, thanks to the extensive selection of e-commerce software, it only takes a few clicks for DIYers and small retail players to establish their online stores. Even our local BabyDash was started by two mothers who gave up their careers to start their own business. Technically, unlike brick-and-mortar, selling products and services online makes practical and financial sense.
2. E-commerce benefits local businesses
As with the world wide web, e-commerce is often associated with taking your business globally. Yet, if you’re operating a small business and wish to expand your reach within the local area, well, why not? It’s a great solution for many reasons: your customers can read the reviews about your products and have access to discounts codes/coupons. Take Sen Heng for example: since its establishment in 1989, it has now grown into the leading consumer electronics chain stores in Malaysia. Apart from operating over 100 stores spread throughout the country, it has its own website and has an official store in Lazada too. Ultimately, nobody wants to wait in line or deal with crowds. Having that option to shop online 24/7 helps add value to your customer’s shopping experience.
3. E-commerce sites need to be mobile friendly
Responsive design is important and this means your website should look and perform the same on all digital devices. It was revealed by Google that mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches, which is not surprising, taking the fact that how much each individual spend their time on their mobile phones. What’s more, Google has also stated that it favours websites that have a responsive design. Generally, if you want to bring visitors to your site and convert them into loyal consumers, make sure you have a mobile-friendly website.
4. To be proactive when it comes to e-commerce
Who doesn’t like a good bargain? Shoppers today are good hunters for the best bargains. While it may seem harmless, shoppers are good with “showroom shopping” or as we normally would call it window shopping at physical small businesses to touch the products and ask questions. Once they’re done, they would head online to get a similar or exact same product for a lesser price. It’s unfair but who can blame them? At the end of the day, every cent counts. So, to avoid being a showroom for another business’ sales, you have to think proactively. And this includes being accessible on social media, engaging your audience and rewarding your customers.
5. E-commerce has a social component
Even if you have a clean, engaging e-commerce website, not being social online could be your downfall. Look at the social media platform as an essential part of your e-business. Facebook, Instagram or Twitter helps to add interaction to the ordinary buy-and-sell relationship. It is proven that people are more likely to trust a brand and purchase their product when it’s recommended by friends on social media.
While e-commerce creates a lot of business opportunities, it is really important to know which elements fit into your business’ buy-and-sell lifecycle before the start. It can be a huge opportunity for me, you or anyone who knows how to take advantage of it! This is no longer a big business or a big shark game.