How Having an Ecommerce Store Can Benefit Your Small Business
If you are a small business owner who sells your goods at local markets, you might be wondering if you should also have an e-commerce store. After all, ecommerce is growing rapidly and expected to serve over 2 billion people by 20211. Ecommerce can offer many advantages for small businesses, such as:
Increasing your reach and revenue: Making your business available online opens up the opportunity to reach all of the potential online customers who shop on the internet. You can sell your products to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This can boost your sales and profits significantly.
Getting more traffic from search engines and social media: Having an e-commerce store can help you rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing, which can drive more organic traffic to your website. You can also leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to promote your products and attract more customers.
Building an online reputation with reviews: One of the benefits of e-commerce for small businesses is that you can collect feedback and reviews from your customers online. This can help you improve your products and services, as well as build trust and credibility with your potential customers. Reviews can also influence buying decisions and increase conversions.
Lowering operational and labour costs: Running an e-commerce store can be cheaper than running a physical store. You don’t have to pay rent, utilities, or staff salaries for a brick-and-mortar location. You can also automate many tasks such as inventory management, order processing, and customer service using software and tools.
Tracking customer data and inventory: One of the huge benefits of e-commerce for small businesses is the ability to track customer data. This lets you consistently fine-tune your website and how your products are presented and promoted, to constantly improve your business brand. You can also monitor your inventory levels and avoid overstocking or running out of stock23.
As you can see, having an e-commerce store can benefit your small business in many ways. It can help you expand your market, increase your sales, reduce your costs, and improve your customer satisfaction.
However, there are also some challenges and disadvantages of e-commerce that you should be aware of, such as:
Competing with larger and more established online retailers: E-commerce is highly competitive and you will have to face many rivals who may have more resources, experience, and loyal customers than you. You will have to differentiate yourself from them by offering unique products, competitive prices, or excellent service1.
Dealing with technical issues and security risks: E-commerce requires a reliable website that can handle high traffic volumes, process payments securely, and protect customer data from hackers and fraudsters. You will have to invest in a good web hosting service, a secure payment gateway, and a robust cybersecurity system1.
Losing the personal touch and physical experience: E-commerce lacks the human interaction and sensory appeal that physical stores offer. You will have to find ways to connect with your customers online and provide them with a satisfying shopping experience. You will also have to deal with longer shipping times, higher shipping costs, and possible returns or refunds1.
These challenges and disadvantages of e-commerce should not discourage you from having an online store. They are just some of the trade-offs that you will have to consider and overcome. With proper planning, research, and execution, you can create a successful e-commerce store that complements your physical presence at local markets.
If you need help with setting up or managing your e-commerce store, feel free to contact us at SDDS Web Design. We are an agency that specializes in digital marketing for small businesses. We can help you with web design, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and more. We have the expertise and experience to help you grow your online business.