Think ecommerce is only for large corporations with hundreds of employees? Think again. In 2015, over half of consumers surveyed in the U.S. and U.K. said they planned on increasing their online spending compared to only 4% who said they would increase brick and mortar spending. With such a staggering number of consumers forgoing brick and mortar stores to shop online, it’s essential that businesses of all sizes dive into the world of ecommerce.
Why is it important?
Every business, no matter the size or industry, must adapt with the changing times. For example, market analysts have said that the print industry is dead for years, but the companies that have survived are the ones who have found a way to connect with customers and become an online print company.
Brick and mortar stores can only serve customers that are physically located nearby, but going online opens the store to a whole new world of customers, allowing revenue to grow exponentially. Customers that want to buy your service or product are already online, so why not bring your business to them?
How should small and medium sized businesses get started?
For small and medium sized businesses, the idea of launching an ecommerce store can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is to identify turnkey platforms that will allow a small to medium sized business to get up and running with a minimal investment in programming and time. Knowing what platforms are available, reading other customer reviews, and going through demos of the platform will be a key role in making sure you are choosing the best platform for your business.
Make sure the platform you use is turnkey. It should have the following features:
● Upload inventory / products quickly/easily
● Manage orders and track sales through one easy-to-read dashboard.
● Run promotions or discounts on items through custom coupon codes
● SEO-friendly with the ability to insert keywords
● Duplication management of URL’s
For smaller businesses, it’s best to set up a shop a Joomla shopping cart with around 50 items to start so the shipping and processing is manageable for a small staff.
When building the shop, remember to use keywords that your customers could search for in Google or Bing. If you sell fancy Joomla shopping carts, try to use keywords such as “joomla ecommerce” “Joomla shopping cart” or “joomla store” in each item description. This will help you with search engine optimization so more customers can find you down the road.
Another important part of building the shop is focusing on the images. Remember, you’re asking customers to spend their money based on a little picture they see online. Make each product’s image as high quality as possible, and offer different views of each item so customers can get a better idea of what they’re buying.
Once the shop is set up, be sure to promote its existence through your business’s social media channels. If you have a brick and mortar, don’t be afraid to promote your online store at your physical location, too. Many small business owners fear that this will take away from business, but in fact, it gives loyal customers one more convenient way to shop with you.
Remember, now is the time for businesses small and large to jump into the world of ecommerce, as this market is expected to continue to grow over the years ahead.