The Internet is a powerful platform providing a broad awareness of e-commerce websites. There are millions of people searching the internet everyday, looking for products and services. Online shopping is increasing year on year and is being seen as a convenient method to purchase products, where you can also buy at any time in the day.
Additionally e-commerce websites allow you to employ a range of marketing and sales techniques to give people that extra reason to stay on your website and buy your products.
1) Lower Set Up & Running Costs Than An Offline Businesses
The cost of actually setting up an e-commerce website is lower than that of an offline businesses. The whole sales system for your business is automated online. You will therefore save on staff, wages and other business costs, which are usually an expense such as electricity, rent and heating costs. The money that you have saved can then be used to develop your e-commerce website and product range further. E-commerce websites will also help you expand your product offering faster than is normally possible within an offline business situation.
2) The Business Can Be Operated From Anywhere
E-commerce websites reduce any geographical restrictions you would normally face with an office based business. You can be anywhere around the world and still successfully oversee your e-commerce business. The essential items you need in order to oversee your e-commerce website from anywhere are; having access to emails, the Internet and phones.
E-commerce websites are very effective in allowing you to determine which products are selling successfully, to ensure the stock levels of these products are increased. Additionally how these successful products can be diversified to develop a larger range of products to sell through the website. This will allow you to grow your business in terms of sales, customer base and profits. Amazon’s online shopping website has developed successfully around scaling their product range, and monitoring closely what is selling with customers. This has consequently allowed them to dramatically diversify their product range into many sectors.
4) No Opening Time Restrictions
With ecommerce websites you are not restricting your potential customers, as they can view your website at any time of day. This means as a business, you are maximising your sales and profits. How can your sales be further maximised? You can do this through a range of sales initiatives such as special offers and online marketing initiatives.
Key sales strategies you could employ to increase your online sales include upselling and cross selling. Upselling involves offering products that directly relate to the products the customer has just selected to purchase. Products with very low cost so the customer doesn’t really have to think about it, and they usually compliment the purchase they have just made making it an easy buying decision. By doing this you encourage the average basket value to go up.
Cross-selling allows you to encourage people to spend more money by buying additional products. This is usually related to the main product your customer is purchasing. On e-commerce websites this may be included as, “You may also like”, “Wear with this”, “Perfect match with”, “Why don’t you go pro”. These are all tactics to increase sales revenues for your business.
You can also employ a range of powerful marketing initiatives on your website to encourage interest from new customers such as call’s to action and special, time sensitive offers. These encourage prospects to take action whilst on your site and therefore increase your conversion rate from visitor to sale.
5) More Measurable Than Other Sales Approaches
You may be thinking how do I know it will be successful, how will I measure the results? E-commerce websites are in fact extremely measurable and trackable through systems such as Google Analytics. You can view statistics including how many orders are processed through your site, average cart total, cart abandonment rate and percentage of total revenue your website has achieved at regular intervals.
E-commerce advertising costs are also lower than many other forms of advertising. You could employ a Search Engine Optimisation strategy to increase your website page rankings in Search Engines. This would be a steady ongoing monthly investment. SEO is a powerful method to encourage further customers to go on your website.
6) Less Time Intensive
Once your ecommerce website has been initially set up, you should not have to invest too much time into running it. This is because the whole process for customers ordering and making payments will all be activated through the online system. This will give you more time to determine new products you want to sell, special offers you want to launch and to track how successful your sales are. You will also be able to determine any trends in terms of which products are selling most successfully.
Not to be forgotten also are the increase in sales revenues that e-commerce websites bring. The product visibility that you can gain through e-commerce websites means that your business can encourage new customers at any time in the day.
7) Higher Margins & Better Cashflow
If your business is involved and sells within the trade industry sector, an e-commerce website will allow you to sell at higher margins. This will make the profits you make on your products even higher. The shopping cart and payment options on these websites also mean you are gaining a 100% payment from the customer straight away. This will improve your cash flow, particularly when customers normally provide you with payments in several instalments.
There are also several reliable payment systems you can have for your ecommerce website including; Paypal, Google Checkout, Sage Payment Solutions, WordPay and more. This will ensure all your payment transactions are processed successfully, so your business receives the payments efficiently.