You have a business that sells products, but you don’t have an ecommerce store. Ecommerce is complicated, costly, and time consuming, right? Not necessarily. In fact, here’s 5 good reasons you should start thinking about starting an ecommerce site for your business today.
1. Money Money Money Mon-naaay!
According to our number crunching friends at Forrester Research, US online retail sales are to reach $248.7 billion by 2014. Cha-ching! Ecommerce is simply the new way people are buying. Even during the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2009, US online retail managed to grow by 11%. The bottom line is that ecommerce should be part of your bottom line.
2. It Ain’t Just a B2C Game Anymore
“I don’t sell to consumers”, “I sell services, not products”, “My customers wouldn’t be interested”. Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. If you sell B2B products, consider setting up an ecommerce portal where customers can order directly from your site and help you cut down on admin costs. If you sell services, get creative. You know your customers better than anyone else, so what else do they need? A whitepaper or eBook? A useful app? Subscription based services? Think of what your customers need and you’ll definitely peak their interest.
3. It Doesn’t have to Do Anything With What You’re Doing Now
Think of ecommerce as a new business venture, even if it has nothing to do with what you’re doing now. It involves technology, marketing, and customer service – things your company is probably pretty familiar with already. So why not give it a try and add another revenue stream to your current business? Easy, peasy.
4. Don’t Have to Worry About Competing with the Big Boys
Okay, you always have to compete with the big boys – like Amazon, like Walmart, like whomever. But the key is to be niche, niche, niche. According to Internet Retailer Second 500 Top Retail Guide, smaller, niche e-retailers ranked 600-701 increased their collective web sales 20.9% to $670.6 million in 2010 from $554.5 million in 2009. A site like Blank Label, a start-up apparel niche store, grew sales nearly 100 times in 2010 from 2009. The key is to offer something the big boys can’t – don’t compete with them, complement them.
5. It’s Time to Get in the Social Commerce Game
Are you social with Facebook? Twitter? Google Plus? Good. Now’s the time to throw a little commerce into your social-ness. Social shopping is rooted in the overall shift we’re seeing – consumers engaging in the social discovery of everything. Rather than just searching for information, consumers are increasingly turning to Facebook and Twitter to get trusted recommendations. Pretty soon, people are going to start to get paid for their social recommendations. Social media introduces a less-intrusive, more organic way to converse with customers rather than blasting them with emails or direct mail pieces. When done well, it reintroduces a two-way conversation between the business and its customers. Sounds like another good reason to start your ecommerce store today!