Technology has drastically changed the way that business is done today. It used to be that if you wanted to sell your products abroad, then you had to travel for days or months at a time or trust merchants with your money and goods. Now, thanks to technology, you can make your products available for the world to see with a click of the button and sell them worldwide. That is the magic of ecommerce.
If your business is not set up for ecommerce, then you are missing out on revenue. Ecommerce allows customers to buy from your company whenever they think about your products, regardless of how far they live from your business. Since 2014, ecommerce retail sales have totaled over $300 billion annually, and today ecommerce accounts for close to ten percent of all retail sales. Point blank, you need ecommerce to compete in today’s business world. Here are some tips to help you to maximize your profits with ecommerce.
If you already own a brick and mortar business
If you own a brick and mortar style business and you’re considering making ecommerce part of your business strategy, there are some basics that you need to know. Integrating ecommerce into your business can be a great step in the right direction for your business, but only if it’s done right. You have to consider whether or not the products or services you provide translate well to ecommerce.
One way you can determine whether ecommerce is good for your business or not is by your clientele. Online shoppers tend to be young. Millennials do much of their shopping online, so if you have a lot of millennials frequenting your business, then you may have products that do well online.
You can also gauge your ecommerce readiness by the products you sell. For instance, if you sell a niche item that is pretty indigenous to your area and isn’t very popular elsewhere, then you may not need ecommerce. Your inventory is more suited to locals and tourists in the area.
Do your own market research, because you need to be armed with knowledge before expanding your business to take on ecommerce. You want to know how money is spent online nationwide or worldwide on the type of products that you sell. You want to know who the big players are and what their market shares and best practices are. The good thing about ecommerce is that there is sales data readily available that you can analyze to get a picture of the market.
The goal of expanding into ecommerce is to grow your business to enter revenue streams that were once closed off to you. If your online storefront starts doing a substantial amount of transactions on a daily basis, then you will want to bring in ecommerce accountants to help you keep up with your ecommerce earnings. You need digital experts to handle operations concerned with your digital revenue so that you can continue focusing on your brick and mortar business.
If you’re just getting started in business
If you’re just getting started in business and you’re going the ecommerce route, then you have the advantage of not really having to unlearn anything. Today’s business world is driven by technology, and business models change with the speed of technology these days.
Technology has really leveled the playing field for people who want to go into business. Entrepreneurs who may not have been able to afford a store or other building to house their business can open a store online for very little money. Technology has made it where opportunities for entrepreneurship are based more on your knowledge and skills than capital. It still takes some capital to start your business online, but it’s cheaper than opening a store in the trendy part of town where all the other small businesses are.
If this is your first foray into business, you still need to understand some concepts that are universal to ecommerce and traditional shopping. Business is still all about supply and demand and generating more revenue than you spend on overhead costs. Your overhead costs may not be as high with ecommerce, but you don’t want to skimp on necessary programs to save money either.
You will need a website and an ecommerce program and other software to monetize your website. Research the software available and choose the solution that is the best for you. But remember, with technology, you get what you pay for. If you try to go cheap in this area, you may pay for it later with an inefficient website.
You also have to be very hands-on with marketing to generate revenue. You will need to use social media and blogs to generate a buzz around your business. Begin pushing your business on your personal pages. Once you have people interested in your business, launch a page just for it. Use your business’ social media page to countdown to the official launch of your online storefront. If you can drum up interest in your business before it opens and keep people in anticipation, then you could have a loyal customer base starting on your opening day.