Why Should I Use E-commerce with My Website?
E-commerce is more than just a buzzword: it’s a viable solution for running a sustainable business online. You should consider putting an e-commerce solution in place whether your business is primarily digital, has retail and online elements, or is even solely brick-and-mortar. E-commerce itself is merely the buying and selling of goods or services, or the transmission of funds or data, through some kind of electronic system (namely, the internet.) In modern digital business lexicon, e-commerce primarily refers to the tools that merchants use to accept payments and manage customer data which is referred to as an e-commerce provider.
Many small retailers have utilized simple methods of accepting payments online or in-store such as putting PayPal buttons on a webpage to accept payments. While this method can be a temporary fix while your business grows or work well if online sales volume is low, it isn’t a viable long-term solution if you’d like to get the more sales volume.
Here’s why you need to start looking into e-commerce providers right away for your business.
Increased Search Engine Visibility and Viability
Small and large retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses where physical presence is required need to have strong branding in order to attract potential customers. These companies also need a wider reach which local advertising can help with but prove to have limitations. For online retail however, sales are driven by clicks: social media, targeted ads on computers and mobile devices, email marketing, but also through search engines. People often follow links in search engines, whether they are organically appear in the results page or were sponsored, and can be taken to a slickly-designed landing page courtesy of your e-commerce provider.
E-Commerce Significantly Cuts Overhead and Systems Management Costs
E-commerce doesn’t stop at just accepting payments online. It also streamlines invoicing, payment management, inventory management, customer spend tracking, and other important sales management and digital marketing aspects that used to require larger staffs or service providers to manage. Your e-commerce provider can provide an efficient means for automating or minimizing these important operational processes so you can focus on how to increase your sales and other business goals.
In addition to the cost-cutting benefits, e-commerce also gives you more means with which to manage customer data and use it to maximize profit. The tools included may remember their preferences and make personalized recommendations from your current product mix based on past orders, and all of it can be automated.
You Can Accept More Payment Methods In-Store
The benefits of using an e-commerce provider aren’t restricted to online sales even if digital stores open 24/7 are what they were originally intended for. Providers such as Square and LevelUp offer integrated payment solutions that offer more than simply accepting credit cards on-location. These new e-commerce solutions mean that you don’t have to lose out on the valuable customer retention and marketing capabilities that digital sales present, such as collecting customer emails for personalized offers and automatically sending receipts to the email address linked with their credit card. The customer also has more means to pay such as universal apps (e.g. PayPal Here, Apple Pay) or individualized apps through LevelUp or other systems so they do not need a credit card on their person to make a purchase.
Products Can Be Sold Through Contextual Targeting
In addition to utilizing customers’ past purchases to create and automate personalized offers, sales, and discounts, sophisticated e-commerce solutions offer a plethora of options for highly-targeted advertising that doesn’t require sending cash into the pay-per-click void. Your e-commerce provider may offer tools such as placing cookies on your website that collect information about customers and their search history, location, and other data that can result in ultra-targeted marketing where the customer doesn’t feel like they are being sold to.
E-commerce is constantly evolving, and making purchases more seamless for business owners and customers alike. There are innumerable benefits to putting an e-commerce solution in place no matter what kind of business you have. Rue & Associates can help you decide on an e-commerce provider and strategize how to get maximum utility out of it. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly and professional business experts!