Boost your sales with eCommerce
Taking your business online can be daunting especially when it’s your first time. You have an inkling you should take the plunge and do it, but you’re not sure if it’s a viable option for your business. That’s understandable. It’s your livelihood. It’s your reputation. It’s your time. So here are some reasons why it’s viable to go online as well as some easy to use e-commerce platforms to help you do it.
Adding an e-commerce platform to your business is not as expensive as you think. In fact, it is cheaper than setting up shop as it doesn’t require large start up and on-going costs whilst giving you the opportunity to increase your profit margins, remain competitive and be as easily accessible as your competitors.
Some good options for small product business owners who are just wanting to dip their toe in the water is Etsy, Amazon and Trade Me. These platforms are relatively inexpensive to sign up to. They’re comparatively popular, they have a huge market base which gives you plenty of opportunity to establish yourself as a brand and they accept the majority of common electronic payment methods.
The only downside of these platforms is that they are rather generalist. They don’t give you too much creative freedom for the public to get a true feel for your business.
The obvious reason to invest in an eCommerce platform is that you’re not limited. It allows your business to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week, 365 days a year. Nowadays people are happy to sit at home, or anywhere there is Wi-Fi, to shop. Many also conduct online research for around 10 minutes before making a purchase, walking into your store or business, making it important for your business to be visible online.
This is achieved through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). In plain English, this means how accessible your business is to find online. Having an e-commerce presence makes it easier to list your products/services and key information such as location and opening hours. In turn, helping to strengthen and grow your existing target audience.
If you’re not technically savvy and want a platform that is easy to set up and get your point across try Shopify. The platform is easy to use, set-up and has built in SEO features to make it simpler for customers to find you straight away. The drawback is costs can easily snowball as you need pay more for some of the features.
Help to define your target audience
Setting yourself up with an eCommerce platform has the potential to increase your target audience. It enables you to advertise and sell products to customers who have never stepped inside your business. In turn making it easier to get to know your customers more intimately and helping you to align your business strategies and audiences.
If you’re relatively new or unsure of your target audience undertake selling fewer products and/or services. Doing this will help you to define your target audience and the key benefits of your products and/or services.
You can’t be everything to everyone – there’s no point in trying to cater to a market that serves you no interest or doesn’t define you as a business. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Focusing on less products and/or services not only saves you energy but will allow you to provide better experience for your customers.
Having an eCommerce platform assists you in strengthening relationships with your customers. The majority of these platforms have built in opt-in tools which enable you to gather and stay connected with your customers such as BigCommerce. The main-drawback of this platform is that its advanced POS features such as abandoned cart saver can be costly.
Using an e-commerce platform is one of the best ways to establish your creditability and promote your business with your target audience. It is a method for you to convince your customer to buy what you’re selling. If a customer feels you understand their problem they will feel confident that you can solve it. A way to use your e-commerce platform is to establish authenticity; include customer testimonials from emails or letters expressing how your product or service helped to solve their problem.
Additionally, it can also be a way for viewers to get a more authentic feel for your business. A good option for those wanting a platform that has more creative freedom with a drag and drop functionality is Wix. Wix is user friendly and displays products beautifully. It also has an easy buy function and can integrate any social media pages. However, it’s not a pure eCommerce platform as it’s primarily a website builder that has selling and purchasing capabilities.
Once you've got your eCommerce humming, you might want to make sure your business is covered. AMI offers insurance for many types of small-medium businesses. Check out our business insurance options here or give us a call on 0800 782 838