Ecommerce and Small Business
It is very much possible for a small business to compete with larger and established companies that have gone online. With the internet being the fastest and largest growing communication medium, it certainly offers numerous advantages to small business owners. Here are some advantages:
1. Small business can compete with much larger corporations.
2. Customers can be reached locally, nationally and even internationally.
3. It is not restricted in any way by hours of operations; it is a convenient way of conducting business.
4. Higher revenues earned with companies doing business online.
Once the online store is up and running with a unique product to sell, any small business still needs to allure customers to their site, not just to browse through the site, but to retain them to purchase while they are browsing. We will look into a few tips regarding this:
Specials offered that are limited to online orders can make customers feel like they got a deal with their purchase. An example would be to give free shipping to any online orders that exceed a certain value, attract customers to shop online, and shop more to avail of the special offer of free shipping.
Sending a newsletter with interesting product news and coupons that could be used on the business website can build relationships with the new and existing customers. After getting the names and addresses of customers, all sorts of traditional advertising and marketing can be done.
ECommerce Newsletters and Magazines Online
By regularly checking out the e-commerce newsletters and magazines online, any small business can gather a wealth of information, providing valuable tips which can be used while conducting business online.
Using banner exchanges are a great way to achieve visibility for small businesses simply by running ads on other websites in exchange for running that particular company’s ad on their site.
By subscribing to search engines, a lot of traffic to a company website can be ensured, allowing products and services to be reached by a wider audience.
By joining affiliate programs, a small business can make a little cash and at the same time give their site fresh content. It’s free of cost, and all it involves is putting another company’s logo on their site that links to the other company. This way, it gets a portion of the return when people click on the logo and buy something.
It does not end at just creating a website. Still, efforts have to be made to change and update it at regular intervals to enable customers to visit it time and again and retain their interest in the company products.
Despite eCommerce having its advantages to small businesses, its disadvantages shouldn’t be ignored. For the time being, the percentage of internet users turning into customers is very low. Implementing a website and maintaining it can be costly for a start-up company, as regular cash flow must keep the site up and run, changing and updating it. There is a lot of speculation on internet security with lots of credit card frauds and hackers out on the prowl. Last but not least, there is a complete lack of interaction at a personal level between the customer and the business owner.
Even with its drawbacks, the internet is where the future & foundation of all businesses are laid, especially small businesses. They have a lot to gain and less to lose from the ever-growing community of worldwide eCommerce. Growth in consumer sales online continues to rise high, even though it’s slow. In the coming times, both the consumer as well as the merchant will reap the benefits of a vast and secure online market.