How E-Commerce Can Help Small Business OwnersTanushree Mitra
Electronic Commerce, also know as e-commerce defines purchasing and selling of products or services over the internet. In 2020, Australia Post reported 1.36 million Aussies shopped online for the first time and overall online purchases grew 57% year on year.
E-commerce has revolutionised the business world. The availability and accessibility of creating an e-commerce site has meant that large companies aren’t the only ones selling their products and services online. With more and more people preferring online stores to typical storefronts, small businesses that have an online shop are thriving. So, how can your small business benefit from an e-commerce platform?
One of the most obvious benefits of e-commerce is how it expands your customer base. If someone walks into your store and buys an item, you aren’t collecting their contact details, unless you are signing them up for your emailing list, or a loyalty card. However, with e-commerce, once someone purchases from you, you are collecting their contact and billing information all at once. This means you can send them personalised content, rewards, promotions and more.
E-commerce also means you are broadening your audience reach. Prior to having an online store, many businesses would have been relying on repeat customers, foot traffic and ‘word of mouth’ referrals. Now, potential customers from across the country and possibly globe can view your site and thanks to social media, they can share it with their friends.
Australia Post also reported that in April 2020, 25.7% of online purchases were made on smartphones. So, make sure your site is accessible for smartphones and tablets, not just computers.
How many times have you walked into a store, found something you liked but weren’t ready to buy? It that might have been due to financial reasons, or you just hadn’t made up your mind yet. Having an e-commerce system in place means that when the customer leaves the store, they can jump online, do a quick search, and buy when they are ready.
E-commerce gives you the ability to track your site’s performance and customer interactions. Using free tools such as Google Analytics, you can see where your customers are coming from, what they are looking at, clicking on and how long they are on your site for. Using this information, you can see what’s working, and what isn’t.
Unlike a physical store, if you want to change your site’s landing pages, images, products and offerings, then you can do so quickly.
Further adding on to a comfortable shopping experience, there are several different payment options that are now available: Zip Pay, After Pay, Latitude Pay, PayPal, Open Pay, to name a few. This means the customer can buy now and pay later, over a set period. Many online stores are now also using the ‘Click & Collect’ option which allows customers to order and pay online but pick up from the physical store to avoid shipping charges and delivery times.
Having an online store comes with an added bonus of no overheads and very little capital outlay. Even if purchasing the best e-commerce platform involves a moderate investment, it wouldn’t come close to the cost of purchasing a physical store and all the assets that comes with it.
There are a lot of additional savings to be made from an e-commerce store including no staffing costs for inventory, checkout, payments, and delivery; e-commerce automates the entire operational process.
Overall, e-commerce has made the buying process much easier. Not only it is easier for you as a business owner to sell online, but your customers will also benefit from the simplicity and ease of their shopping experience. If you don’t have an e-commerce site already, setting one up might be the key to growing your business.
Read our tips on how to sell online here.