Businesses that want to increase their button lines must start selling online through e-commerce. With more consumers shopping online than ever before, companies must embrace selling online.
Regardless of type of business, companies should start selling online. Whether it’s operating an online only store, or adding an e-commerce website to an existing brick and mortar business. Internet sales are a key sales channel for most companies.
Research indicates that e-commerce sales are growing by more than 20% each year. More than 200 million people are shopping online in the United States, resulting in the spending of over $260 billion dollars in 2014 alone.
Selling through E-Commerce Websites
Consumers and shoppers have numerous reasons for online shopping, including that it saves them time, larger selection available, no need for travel and fighting crowds. It also enables shoppers to easily compare prices and get better deals.
Companies have a couple different options when it comes to selling online. Most operate their own e-commerce websites, which gives a business the most control and flexibility. The other option is a leased or hosted e-commerce solution. A leased or hosted solution enables a company to launch an online store that is inexpensive and quick to launch. The third method is to utilize existing shopping communities such as eBay, Amazon, or Etsy.
What are the Pros and Cons of E-Commerce?
The Pros of Selling through E-Commerce
Selling online through e-commerce opens a business significantly up to a much larger customer base and market. Brick and mortar stores are limited by geographical locations. Furthermore, e-commerce websites are always open for business, every day, 24/7, all year around, and worldwide.
E-commerce websites can as well reduce cost to a business. This is especially true for online-only operations that do not need to pay for a physical location, store employees, and costs associated to a brick and mortar operation.
Marketing services and advertising can be much more specific and results oriented online, in many cases a lot less expansive. Companies can be very specific and niche oriented with marketing campaigns online for e-commerce websites.
The Cons of Selling through E-Commerce
One of the main cons of selling through e-commerce websites is that brands and companies loose the ability to interact with customers in person. A brick and mortar business can in person make an impression, educate the potential customer, and make a sale. E-commerce websites do not have that option.
E-commerce websites often face strong competition as well. Depending on type of products and services, some industries are more competitive than others. Thousands of websites potentially sell similar products or services online. This makes it harder to stand out and be visible.
In addition, an e-commerce business has to manage technology, websites, and software applications that power their online business. This at times, can be a challenge for a business. Not every business or staff knows how to manage and maintain e-commerce websites.
What is needed for an E-Commerce Business?
– Have a Product or Service to Sell
– Register the Proper Domain Name
– Choose the Right Hosting Solution
– Design and Develop a Website
– Implement Shopping Cart Solution
– Activate Merchant Services
– Market and Advertise the Website
– Optimize Sales Conversion
Entrepreneurs and organizations that wish to launch successfully an e-commerce website for their business, can always work with experts for best results. Experts can be companies that specialize in website design and development as well as integrating e-commerce solutions. Also, consulting services can be utilized to learn more about the business and options prior to making any larger investments.