No matter what the size of your business, from a sole proprietorship to a Fortune 100 multi-national corporation, almost every type of business can benefit from having its own e-commerce presence. In today’s ultra-competitive and convenience-driven business landscape, buyers are no longer willing to walk into a brick-and-mortar location, nor are they as likely to pick up a telephone and interact with a salesperson.
As academics and other financial analysts sort through the business data from the global pandemic and the post-pandemic period, one major trend stands out clearly. There was nearly a decade’s worth of e-commerce expansion packed into a few months’ time. Granted, a majority of this e-commerce activity was in the B-to-C space, but hundreds of millions of people were practically dragged into the e-commerce channel because of the physical limitations of lockdowns and business closures. Over time, people became comfortable with e-commerce if they weren’t already comfortable with it, and those who were already comfortable with e-commerce purchased even more using the internet.
Recent research from Gartner reveals that among Millennial generation buyers, nearly 60% prefer to buy using channels and processes that do not involve a salesperson. For GenZ buyers, the percentage is even higher. As Millennials age and mature, there are ever-increasing numbers of them in positions of power and influence in the companies that you do business with. Can your business afford to ignore the preferred method of doing business of an entire generation? We think not!
If you are still on the fence, or even worse if you think e-commerce is not relevant in your industry, then you should think again. Here are 5 good reasons why e-commerce should be the next move your business makes in 2021!
Ecommerce will help you transform your business from a traditional, brick-and-mortar, location-based model to an innovative, forward-looking brand. No longer will your business be locked in to an in-person sales process. You can offer quality products at a great price 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your buyers will pay with a credit card so you get your money up front. By combining online chat, blogs, social media, video, and engaging content you will create a positive, inviting online brand that buyers will enjoy visiting and purchasing from.
Expanding into e-commerce will multiply your online marketing opportunities. By building out your e-commerce portal and using organic SEO and other optimization techniques, you can substantially increase the amount of search traffic that comes to your website. Eventually, if you offer a quality product, a great price, and an easy, friction-free buying experience, traffic will flow to your website, and people will buy from you. You can promote your products directly in your social posts and mass emails, and create an endless feedback loop of loyal online customers who will keep coming back and buying more from you.
An e-commerce store makes it very convenient for customers and would-be buyers to come and shop at any time of the day, every day. And it’s not just B-to-C e-commerce sites that can deliver this level of ease of purchasing. Business and corporate buyers love the convenience and ease of browsing to your website, making their selections, and purchasing without ever having to leave their seat, or get into a car. The sheer ease and flexibility of a well-designed and executed e-commerce website will pay for itself many times over in less time than you expected.
They don’t call it the “World Wide Web” for nothing. When you open your online ecommerce store, you are literally opening up your business for millions of potential customers. Sure, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd, and you will have to work to make your e-commerce presence well-travelled and well-known, but it will be worth it to have thousands of visitors come to your site every day to browse your offerings. It’s like having an army of sales reps out selling all over the country, or perhaps all over the world all day and all night if you are willing to ship your goods anywhere!
If you are like most e-commerce businesses you will start small, But over time, more and more people will visit, and some number of them will buy what you are selling. Some of them may ask you if you sell things that you don’t really sell. Don’t get despondent, these are great “voice of the customer” opportunities for you to expand your e-commerce offerings! Plus, most e-commerce platforms are readily if not easily scaled up to accommodate your successful SEO and organic optimization efforts. You sell more stuff, and you make more money.
I once saw an interview with NBA All-Star LeBron James. The interviewer stated that LeBron may become the first actively playing professional athlete to become a billionaire. LeBron commented that his goal in life is to make more money when he is asleep than when he is playing basketball. E-commerce is one of the easiest ways you can sell stuff and make money while you are asleep.
Ecommerce is just too good of a business opportunity to pass up. It’s not that expensive to get into e-commerce if you work with a reputable vendor who is knowledgeable and experienced in spinning up an e-commerce store or portal, especially if it is based on a well-known and well-established e-commerce platform like Shopify.
Ecommerce provides your company with a wide range of opportunities, from increasing your marketing success, to driving website traffic, to generating more sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And with more and more businesspeople becoming more comfortable and more dependent on e-commerce, and making significant purchases online, you owe it to yourself and your stakeholders to get into the e-commerce game today before you find yourself on the outside of business success looking in.
Watch out for the launch of VBS and EBS’s new e-commerce portal coming soon!