Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is the term used to describe transactions conducted over electronic systems, such as the Internet or other computer networks. And nowadays, just about everyone has shopped online before. Businesses large and small are taking advantage of the Internet marketplace to generate sales online.
So what can e-commerce do for you business?
Actually, e-commerce offers a lot of advantages to retailers and wholesalers alike. They can be considerably less expensive for businesses, allowing transaction costs to go down in the long run. They can allow for better, more efficient customer service opportunities. And e-commerce is not bound by geography or physical location, which can allow businesses to easily gain unprecedented presence in markets both near and far.
Establishing an e-commerce site can be a very cost-effective way of selling your product or service. Once your e-commerce website is up and running, the shopping and billing processes are automated, which allows for transactions to be conducted with fewer employees on the clock.
E-commerce websites can also save businesses money in the form of rent or property expenses. With e-commerce, a physical location is not even necessarily necessary, though many businesses enjoy a robust increase in sales by offering an e-commerce website in addition to their brick-and-mortar store.
Better customer service can also be achieved with an e-commerce website. Online messaging and emails can be used to better interact with customers. Product information is much easier to convey and maintain as well. A product description online, complete with information from manufacturers, is often more thorough than the info an in-store employee could provide on the spot.
Products and services can be found more easily, since simply entering terms into a search engine can go a lot faster than having to search up and down the aisles of a physical location. E-commerce also allows for 24/7 transactions, and customers will never have to wait in line, so they can buy from you whenever they want.
In addition to buying whenever they want, customers can also buy your products from wherever they want. There are no geographic or travel limits with e-commerce – you can do business with just about anyone who has access to the Internet. This helps increase your exposure not only in your existing market, but also exposes you to new markets as well. All this increased exposure means increased sales for your business.
E-commerce also offers unique business opportunities, such as targeting niche markets. For instance, if you sell unique or individualized products or services, it may be difficult to attract customers to a physical store location. However, an e-commerce site makes it much easier for customers to find you, since your niche offering is now just a few quick clicks away. Proper Search Engine Optimization efforts can make it even easier for new customers to find your e-commerce site online, which makes it even easier for you to grow as a business.
One example of using e-commerce to serve unique markets is our friends at Rare Finds, a business that specializes in selling rare and collectible furniture and antiques. They have a physical location, but they wanted to increase sales and grow to new markets. We recently designed an e-commerce site for them, rare-finds.com, which allows them to offer their unique products to anyone on the Internet. Now their customers range near and far, not just in one corner of one geographic market.
E-commerce can also…shoot, are we still listing all of e-commerce’s benefits? Perhaps we should try to wrap this post up, before this blog becomes a novel. That said, we really could go on and on about the benefits of e-commerce websites. We can even help you set up a secure e-commerce website of your own, just like we did for Rare Finds. So, seriously, feel free to give us a shout some time. Let’s get together and discuss what an e-commerce website could do for you!
If you’d like more information, contact us today! Call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Also, check out this helpful article at kennesaw.edu.
Cartoon credit: Lynch