When to transform my website into an e-Commerce?
E-commerce has been experiencing an important growth during the last years, not only due to the pandemic, but also because of us, the millenials, as well as the generations that follow us. These generations are gradually entering the job market to buy almost everything through this medium, since they have purchasing power and trust in the vast number of online stores that exist.
The pandemic had a boosting effect for e-commerce, as well as for the use of the Internet and we can never doubt that. Sorry if we emphasize this topic too much in our publications, but Covid has changed our world so much that it is necessary to mention in which aspects something so familiar to us is no longer the same because of this tragedy.
Factors such as the change in consumer habits due to traffic restrictions imposed by most governments, or self-imposed by those who wanted to avoid exposure to the disease, has caused most people, regardless of age, to opt for making all kinds of purchases through online platforms. It is widely known the dazzling growth of Amazon, eBay and Alibaba, among others, during this pandemic time, as having restrictions on going out does not mean you are going to stop shopping, people are creative and they solve. Don’t be fooled, it’s not the end of the world but almost.
According to Forbes magazine, in this year 2021, 59.5% of the world’s population are active Internet users. On the other hand, Nasdaq (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation) estimates that according to the growth rate of e-Commerce, by 2040 95% of purchases will be online.
E-Commerce is emerging daily and in all parts of the world, it is here to stay and multiply.
If these facts don’t convince you, I don’t know what will, so please stop reading here or venture into this fascinating world of digitalization.
What is an e-Commerce?
Its most common definition tells us that it is a process of buying, selling and distributing a product or service through technological platforms via the Internet.
Expanding a little more, let’s briefly look at the difference between having a virtual catalog and an e-commerce. As they tend to be confused in many cases, let me ask you, which one do you really have? Let’s find out together!
Your website has a virtual catalog, if it’s a space where your customers enter and simply see the products you handle, that’s it! If they decide to purchase your products, they must go to where your store is physically located, no matter if it’s on the other side of the world, customers must go. That might be considered by some in a pre-pandemic scenario, now you’ll need to forget about it or even better, don’t even think about it.
Now I need to ask you, would you do it? To achieve that mass movement during this Covid era and even before, you must’ve been one of those who sell something as dazzling as an iPhone, or a Maserati, otherwise forget it. The rest of us “mortals” can’t afford to do without an online store and for them that’s also not the case, because even Apple has a magnificent virtual store (e-Commerce), so do not resist and dare to “ride the wave” of e-Commerce.
To learn more, let’s take the previous example, the Apple store. They have an e-commerce on their website because users can: navigate freely through it, know the products available with their respective prices (catalog), choose shipping options, add their favorite products or services to the cart and also pay for them with their favorite payment methods. All this through a highly user friendly platform, which means that it is easy to navigate and perform any type of action.
The development of various technology platforms, as well as the growth in the number of people using cell phones, computers and tablets, has led marketing to focus more and more on this sector, taking advantage of two of its main advantages: the number of users that can be reached and the low costs of investment in advertising.
In short, e-Commerce exploits two factors that are highly appreciated by its users: time savings and the convenience of making their transactions from wherever they are. Two factors that lead to resounding success, especially in these times where immediacy is essential.
I’ve made up my mind! Now, what should I do to become an e-Commerce?
First of all, you must pat yourself on the shoulder because you are willing to evolve and grow as a business. This is very brave, as change is always scary but necessary to progress and if you made it this far it’s because you want to stay informed, so congratulations!
There really is no specific formula for this. Each company, business, service, product, person, has its own particular characteristics, therefore, what may work for one may not necessarily be the most appropriate for another.
So, the first step is to define the different elements that are needed to make known the identity of our business. Among them, the following can be mentioned:
- Define the e-Commerce model to be used. Analyze the trends that go best with the business, whether it will be based on an online store within its own website or Dropshipping is implemented. Choose one that suits your capabilities as a business, the typical supply and demand.
- Have a defined and powerful corporate identity. Elements such as the logo, the mission and vision, the definition of corporate colors, business policies, the quality in the writing of messages, among many others, will help us to achieve an image of quality and seriousness to the public.
- Design content oriented to Customer Experience (CX), which is nothing more than the result of combining user experience (UX), customer service, a good pricing strategy and delivery logistics.
- To have the technological resources that allow its development and implementation, as well as the personnel with sufficient training to carry out the project.
- Guarantee customers a completely secure platform, where both their personal data and their banking transactions are completely protected.
- Design a customer loyalty plan, to ensure that they remain interested in and purchasing your products or services over time.
- Prepare a digital marketing plan, using social media platforms to reach your target audience.
- Ensure that the e-Commerce design is responsive. According to information provided by Google, 67% of users feel more attracted to make their purchases if the site is friendly for their mobile devices.
Believe us when we tell you that this decision cannot be taken lightly, so you should also be sure that you are placing your trust in a company like ours. Here at Bamboo, with each client we demonstrate our knowledge, as well as the quality we bring to each project.
What are the advantages of being an e-Commerce?
The benefits of becoming an e-Commerce can be as wide and varied as you want.
Some of the most important we can mention are:
- Access to a large audience, where segmenting should be a priority for you if you are looking for success, but who isn’t? So go for it!
- 24/7 availability to consumers. Offering products online 365 days a year and the tools for them to shop means that our business goes beyond physical store hours, which can be 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Being available 24 hours a day, seven days a week is a convenience and time saving factor for the consumer, and a competitive advantage for the business.
- The same point above implies a reduction in operating costs, by having a platform that can make sales without the need to rely on a physical person.
- Greater knowledge of your public and clients. Technological tools allow access to endless statistical data of people who visit or buy in a virtual store, and with them to know the demographic, geographic, economic, social factors, among many others, and thus be able to predict their behavior as buyers. In this way, more efficient marketing techniques can be developed and products can be developed to meet their needs.
- Lower investment in advertising. Marketing costs will depend on the objectives that were defined at the time of preparing the business plans. They can be as large or small as you want; however, the use of paid advertising in social networks is imperative and is within the reach of all budgets.
- It’s an owned media. Another factor to take into account is that the website, together with your e-commerce, is your owned media, so you can do whatever you want on it.
While social networks are “borrowed” media, because in them, you must comply with the policies of use and privacy. This is not the end of the world people! In “real life” these regulations are very easy to comply with and it will always be worthwhile to venture into the world of social networks.
In conclusion, the advantages of going beyond a website that functions more or less as a simple showcase of products, to a website oriented to e-commerce in a serious way and with a vision of permanence over time, is a factor that can define the life or death of a business.
Although there are many who have already taken this step, most of them haven’t done it yet, despite the fact that their business is “crying out for it” due to several factors, including the fact that they haven’t read this post.
You can take advantage of this moment to give your business a competitive advantage that will perpetually position you among your consumers. Here at Bamboo we can provide you with all the tools you need to get your e-commerce business off the ground and on the road to success.