By: Tristan Anwyn
From small businesses to that consummate eCommerce giant Amazon, many companies can benefit from having their own eCommerce site. As well as selling a physical product, eCommerce can be used to sell digital products, consultations or appointments, or intangibles, making it a flexible solution for all kinds of businesses.
So how can eCommerce boost your business? Read on for five ways it can do so, and to see how other businesses have had success with eCommerce.
eCommerce Influences Purchase Decisions
When customers are deciding on a purchase, they start by looking online.
Your website is your showroom, where customers can research your product and see all the reasons it is right for them.
Now imagine that same product was just a couple of clicks away from being theirs. A well-designed eCommerce site can influence purchase decisions by showcasing your product at its best, and making it as easy as pie to take action and make a purchase.
Staples' customer-friendly online shop has been such a success that they have scaled back their bricks and mortar stores in favor of it. Their secret?
A searchable and convenient catalog that makes purchasing easy, with plenty of product reviews to encourage that sale.
eCommerce Taps into Social Media
It's a social world out there, with customers turning to social media such as Facebook and Twitter to research potential purchases.
For a smart business, an engaging social media presence can raise their company profile and encourage traffic and sales. A well thought out social media strategy marries well with a good eCommerce site, forging connections with buyers. Offers, competitions and other shareable content can be used to grab attention and encourage visits to your eCommerce store.
Walmart takes its social media presence seriously, with a YouTube channel filled with useful videos, and a Facebook page that's regularly updated with shareable feel-good pictures of their food.
It's a seemingly simple strategy but it connects emotionally, garnering them a lot of likes - and custom.
eCommerce Is Convenient
Whether they're just getting through the door after a 10-hour work day, or getting the shopping done at the crack of dawn before the kids get up, customers appreciate the convenience of online shopping.
People's lives are hectic; getting to a bricks and mortar store means taking a sizeable chunk out of their day for a detour. eCommerce means you can fit into your customer's busy lives, offering the products they want, when they want them.
Amazon is a prime example of the convenience of online shopping, with a vast online store of products available anytime, day or night. This convenience combined with a quick checkout process, order tracking and quick shipping is a winning combination.
eCommerce Can Broaden Your Brand
eCommerce can be used in ways a traditional bricks and mortar store couldn't, whether that is by offering intangible products, providing some kind of web search, or giving customers the ability to order a product to their exact specifications.
eCommerce can be used to broaden your range of products for sale, bringing you more custom and diversifying your sales.
When Apple first started ITunes, it was viewed as an IPod marketing tactic rather than a serious online store.
With billions of sales, ITunes is now a vital part of the global Apple brand, demonstrating how eCommerce can be used to broaden what a brand offers, diversifying and increasing sales.
eCommerce Offers a Personalized Experience
There are many ways in which eCommerce can be used to forge a more personal connection with customers.
For example, an eCommerce site could include personal recommendations, order tracking, quick customer service, or personalized rewards, allowing your business to offer the same kind of personal service online that you would offer face to face.
Shopittome has built an entire business, and reputation, around offering shoppers a personalized experience. Busy browsers can enter their brand preferences and size, and receive regular personalized newsletters full of bargains to suit them.
eCommerce offers businesses a vital opportunity to offer their customers round-the-clock convenience.
A good eCommerce strategy that adds excellent customer service and a dynamic social media presence into the mix can spell higher traffic and better sales for your business.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, Reputation.com reviews, and SEO.