In a sense, the significance of e-commerce in the global retail market is beyond contention. In the decades since the advent of the internet the global rise in online transactions – B2B, B2C, and B2G – has been well-documented.
Simultaneously, ever-increasing numbers of consumers worldwide have access to internet-supporting devices and are taking their shopping carts into the virtual space. This trend is certain to continue into the future, as emerging markets digitize and their citizens gain access to internet technologies.
This article takes a closer look at the drivers behind global e-commerce trade to highlight the increasing importance of engagement in the digital sales space. For any businesses setting out to sell their wares – whether products or services – on the internet, this article should provide the inspiration to go ahead with the project.
The Benefits of E-Commerce
The multiple benefits of e-commerce have been difficult for some of the best-established traders to ignore – even though they have achieved market dominance, the disrupting influence of the internet has forced them to build the sophisticated e-commerce infrastructures that we ordinarily shop with today. These benefits include:
- Lower costs, cheaper overheads and higher profit margins
- The ability to market online with links directly to your store
- Stores remain open 24-7, allowing for increased trade
- The global reach of the internet enables you to access new markets
The list goes on. What this demonstrates is that, with so much to gain from taking one’s business to the online space, no company should be neglecting the opportunities it presents – or suffering the loss of market dominance that a lack of engagement with e-commerce entails.
The range of Shopify services available to those looking to take their business online – or to improve their current e-commerce site – will help businesses large and small make the most of the benefits of e-commerce.
Whether consumers are guiding businesses online or vice versa, the truth is that consumers are primed to trade through their mobile devices or their laptop computers in the modern world. Businesses must reflect on this trend, and offer to their customers the kind of services and platforms that appeal to them the most.
Amongst the current trends in consumer expectation are the following:
- A smart, well-designed website
- An active and responsive social media presence
- Convenience in delivery and returns policies
- The ability to pay through a range of methods
- International shipping at affordable rates
- Clear, concise product listings with reviews and recommendations
If your e-commerce site isn’t matching up with consumer expectations, you can be sure that you’re losing a certain amount of business simply by putting off your potential customers.
Research shows that it takes only a handful of seconds for a web user to decide whether to engage with a website – you need to win them over in those few seconds – or that business is lost. You’ll want to talk with Shopify web developers to get your e-commerce site up to scratch so that you’re converting as much traffic as possible into sales.
Competition and Market Shares
One of the exciting repercussions of the internet’s e-commerce provision is that previously institutionalized businesses, with market dominance and a solid, unshakeable market share, have been forced to compete in an entirely new space.
This has fragmented the market, which means that even small e-commerce businesses are able to compete on a playing field that’s far more equable than its pre-digital equivalent. Your company has the opportunity to seize a new chunk of the market in the modern business world – if you recognize the importance of smart e-commerce, provided by Shopify experts and the interfaces they are able to install – for modern business.
The Power of Data
Whether they say it’s the new gold or the new oil, one thing’s for sure: data has proven to be the most important resource to emerge since the dawn of the digital age. It’s so valuable, in fact, that some of the largest tech companies in the world – such as Google and Facebook – are able to offer their incredible services for free, in return for the data that their user generates.
Simply be establishing yourself in the online space, you’re going to be encountering your fair share of data. You’ll be able to analyze where your web traffic is coming from, and what demographic is most likely to visit your store. You can evaluate the weak-spots in your business this way, as well as knowing your customer on a more intimate level, enabling better customer retention. With the data generated by customers on your site, you can:
- Better understand the needs of your customers
- Fine-tune your business model to generate increased profits
- Target advertising to those consumers most likely to trade with you
- Evaluate in real time the weak spots in your e-commerce platform
- Make better-informed decisions that’ll lead your company to future successes
All of these benefits shouldn’t be underestimated. By engaging online, you’re also engaging in the data economy. By failing to register and log your data, crunching it into real-time insights, you’ll be falling way behind the curve of modern business.
Presence and Professionalism
It may come as a shock that many companies fail to digitize in a way that grants them a functioning and professional e-commerce presence on the world wide web. For many, that’s because they lack the skills, knowledge and understanding to make that happen – and they don’t appreciate the importance of e-commerce in the modern business world.
Merely having a presence online – easily searchable through engines like Google – presents a professional, up-to-date, reliable and trustworthy business. And of course, the better your website looks and feels to navigate though, the more likely you are to convert site visitors into customers – your end goal in any e-commerce venture.
While the new dominant trading arena of the internet has been lauded for some time, this article goes into further detail about what exactly you can get out of the e-commerce revolution – be that access to larger markets, the promotion of your brand, or the collection of that all-important data that’ll help you generate sales long into the future.