Last week was our first part in the two part series: “Putting the ‘E’ in E-Commerce: 8 Reasons Why You Need to Conduct Business Online.” In part one we covered topics such as why E-Commerce is valuable for ALL businesses, time-related costs, niche markets, and low overheads – all benefits of creating an E-commerce website for your company. This week we look at the remaining four reasons why E-commerce is an indispensible business tool.
5. Fosters New Relationships with clients and consumers
If you’re a small business located in Manassas, VA and most of your customers live in Manassas, VA, an e-commerce website can help your consumers view your business in a whole new light. By taking your business online you can offer customers a different experience. Not only will they be able to come into your store to shop, but they can also visit your website to make purchases. You can offer special incentives to get those customers online as well. For example, you can add them to an email list that sends out coupons to use in-store or online, you can offer special products only available online, or you can feature online sales at various times throughout the year. This opportunity will allow you and your company to build longer-lasting relationships with your consumers.
6. Increases Brand Recognition
If you are a business, particularly a small business, it can be hard to establish brand recognition – a brand/product that is easily recognized by the masses – think Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Through an e-commerce site and website marketing your small business can build a brand slowly. You can employ various types of internet web marketing to get your brand out there and recognized, and then attract people to your website where they can purchase your products. Many of your marketing efforts can also be linked to your website creating even more traffic and interest in your product. Try using social media marketing such as Facebook pages and Twitter, or even posting fun and interesting videos on YouTube. An internet marketing and design firm can link all of these outlets to your e-commerce website. With enough persistence you will discover that even you can create brand recognition for your small business!
7. Easier delivery of information
Living in a metropolitan area, I hate going out to stores on the weekend – which is typically when I have the most time to run my errands or go shopping with friends. For me, the weekend is a time when everyone and their neighbor are out running from store to store trying to get things done. If I do venture out and brave the crowds, my goal is to get what I need and get out as quickly as possible. This means that if I’m in your store, I’m only interested in picking up a product – not learning about what your business stands for. Through an online store system you have the upper hand in letting the public know what values your business represent. The first page I generally visit on a small-business website is the “about us” page. If I learn that you really care about your customers, or that you use sustainable resources in developing your products, I am much more likely to purchase whatever you’re selling and become a repeat customer.
8. Expands Customer Reach
People in nearly all corners of the world have access to the internet today. Whether they log on from a home laptop, work computer, smartphone, library, or internet café – one thing is for sure: the internet is here to stay. With the growing number of handheld devices that allow people to get online, and the growing number of people gaining access to the internet, it only makes sense that your business is online. Think of the new customers you could reach by taking your physical store and adding an online aspect. An e-commerce store can prove invaluable to a small business because it opens the doors to a whole new market of consumers. Not only will you be able to sell locally, through e-commerce you can sell globally. Overall, an e-commerce store is a great way to increase your business’ bottom line.