Imagine one small business – Mike’s Computers: a small independent shop specialising in selling computers for both business and personal use. It occupies a prominent place on the high street in Mike’s small town. Mike stocks almost everything you could need for your home computing or business requirements.
At present (and rather ironically in this scenario) Mike does not have an e-commerce website: his computer business is limited to customers in his local area. His opening hours and the confines of his small shop.
However, transacting business over the Internet (otherwise known as e-commerce) is now one of the most popular and successful ways of promoting a small business. Key points that Mike should really be made aware of:
The stats & benefits
E-commerce has increased apace over the last decade to the point where the UK now has the third largest market in the world. With over 80% of UK shoppers purchasing online, the accessibility and product range is reaching a far larger audience than from a store alone. But what are the benefits of an e-commerce website?
Customers want to access products at a variety of times, including, outside of opening hours. E-commerce facilitates those customers being able to directly access and place their orders at any given time. Time-zones don’t come into play here: products are available to purchase day or night. Thus making a business both nationally and internationally accessible.
Selling products through websites allows for a wide variety of information. Helpful to the purchase, to be given to the customer prior to point of purchase. The volume of products available to e-commerce customers can also be significantly more than those which can be showcased in a shop. By providing a wide choice, customers are more likely to be able to source their requirements in one place.
Customer Reach and Ease
Geographical location is of little relevance to an e-commerce customer. Products previously available on a high street close to you. Are now highly accessible and there are fewer barriers to trading. Mobile-optimised e-commerce technology also ensures that busy customers have fast and easy access to products.
Customer Engagement and Interaction
Although Mike delivers excellent customer service, this is only seen by the customer in question and anyone else who happens to be in the shop at the time. One of the most attractive aspects of e-commerce is the facility to be able to openly respond and interact with customers through a variety of communication types, from Facebook to Facetime.
A web-shop can effectively become a platform for the messages Mike wants to promote about his business and facilitate excellent and interactive customer service.
So, what do you say Mike? Maybe time to re-evaluate the potential of e-commerce?
Rak Design (UK) Ltd are a creative graphic design & web design agency, based in Northamptonshire, delivering website design and development, digital marketing and corporate branding services that drive tangible and measurable results for your business. If you have would like to discuss building an e-commerce website and how to reach a larger audience, call the team on 01933 678 522 or complete our online contact form and we’d be happy to help.