For business to remain competitive and relevant, whether that means to ship your product or roll out your services faster than the rest, you wouldn’t want to depend on walk-in clients, or cold-calls to get things done. Restricting yourself to these methods will inzevitably bottleneck your efficiency. With the COVID-19 pandemic inducing fear on the people, many businesses are now transitioning to eCommerce to sustain their business operations and for its future due to the fact that:
- 95% of global retail purchases are expected to be conducted via eCommerce by 2040
- In most countries these days, to minimize the risk of spreading the virus, cashless transactions are the only means to make a purchase. Therefore, majority of consumers prefers making a purchase online through credit cards
- It provides opportunity to reach more customers regardless of their geolocation
- The main reason why consumers shop online is the capability to shop 24/7
At the bare minimum, most businesses have an email address or a social media account to facilitate individual transactions with clients and coordinate with suppliers. But there’s more to the Internet than this, and to win at this game, you have to be ready to play.
Electronic commerce (eCommerce) is defined as a type of business or commercial transaction that involves the transfer of information via the Internet. Different types of businesses and industries, including auctions, consumer-based retail websites, online services, and exchanges between corporations are only a handful of examples that illustrate the breadth and depth of eCommerce.
With eCommerce, marketers have the advantage of purchasing the item from the supplier upon receiving the order placed by the customer. This gives you unparalleled flexibility with your inventory, since you no longer need to have the item in stock, waiting around for a buyer to come around.
With the liberty of using a virtual stockroom, however, it becomes more important to keep track of your inventory more closely than in a traditional one. With revolving stocks, items are constantly on the move, and it’s up to you and your supplier to have a good rapport and be on the same page. Communicating with them on a weekly basis, or even more frequently, would not be out of the ordinary.
The cost of monthly rent, or monthly amortization payments if you actually choose to buy the property to build your brick and mortar store, can represent a large proportion of your expenses. Also, the cost of maintaining staff, equipment and utilities add up quickly. Once you factor in insurance costs and incidental expenses, you are left with a very small amount of cash to take home.
In comparison, setting up an eCommerce store requires minimal starting outlay. To get started, you just need the following:
- Hosting Provider – Depending on which company you choose, the cost for domain name hosting can range between $5 and $10, depending on the package. Here is a list of some of the best web hosting providers
- eCommerce Platform – You don’t need to have programming or coding skills to build and design your own online store. An eCommerce Platform will take care of that stuff for you. In fact, most eCommerce platforms these days are now bundled with a hosting provider. Therefore, just focus on your business operations. You can choose one that best suits your business needs from this article.
- Training – By acquiring an eCommerce platform, you need to learn how to use it. A platform representative will provide you assistance by assigning one of their in-house trainers to provide you with free training to guide you how to set up and navigate your store. As customer-oriented professionals, they have worked with clients with a wide range of experience, from first-time marketers to seasoned veterans, so you can expect them to be patient and accommodating. Once you’re up and running, you won’t need to hire a staff or worry about training, salaries, and other costs.
Image source: Megan Rexazin from Pixabay
eCommerce is here to stay. It is the “new normal” and future of all businesses. It will continue to grow and innovate as technology becomes more advanced. It is very likely that online marketplaces will eclipse most in the retail industry in a short amount of time. With that, I recommend you to give it a try and sell your products online. With the opportunity to globally expand your market reach, ease of startup and low-cost upfront investment. The risks involved are outweighed by potential high rewards.
Are you convinced to make your business go online and ready to make the transition to go digital? Let us know your opinion and questions in the comment section below.