E-commerce is everywhere, you can’t get away from it! It has taken the world by storm and it seems like every business is finding ways to integrate it into their model. But is it the be all, end all it’s made out to be? Moreover, should your business integrate e-commerce?
Before you start, ask yourself: What kind of business do I have? Does it lends itself well to adapting to e-commerce? How could I efficiently incorporate e-commerce into my business model?
Here are some advantages of integrating e-commerce into your business model:
1. Easy to integrate
E-commerce, technically speaking, is easy to integrate. It requires relatively little technological expertise and there are many other programs that facilitate relations between businesses and their customers. Plus, any business can and should have a website – which is often free or inexpensive to design.
2. Understand your customers better
Thanks to e-commerce and online data collection, you can track your customers’ shopping preferences. This can provide valuable insight into what your customers are buying and searching for, what products could pair well with their searches and how much they’re spending on average. Understanding these customer habits can help you cater to your customers’ needs better and provide better customer service.
3. Enhance customer satisfaction & increase loyalty
Knowing what your customers want can give you better insight into how to interact with your customers. Understanding how they shop will allow you to provide more tailored recommendations. This in turn will make your customers feel valued because you are able to maintain that small-business authenticity that many people expect from small businesses.
4. Stop you from falling behind larger competitors
The necessity for a greater online presence from businesses is a growing trend. The more companies participate in e-commerce, the more online availability is expected from customers. Despite this, less than 1 in 5 Canadian small or medium-sized businesses use e-commerce tools such as online payment methods. Integrating this technology allows small businesses to compete with larger competitors.
“There’s enormous potential for our smaller companies to really adopt digital technologies and understand how they can be more data-driven and do so in a way that doesn’t undermine privacy.” – Navdeep Bains
5. Increase operations efficiency
E-commerce and greater online access can provide customers with a secure, consistent access to information. This can enhance accessibility to your product as well as the mobility of your product. It can reach people who otherwise don’t have a channel through which to access your business. In essence, your product is no longer confined to the walls of your shop. On a side note, e-commerce can also help streamline communication between business employees and customers thereby lowering operational costs.
6. Reach more people
Expanding your online outreach can help your business connect with more people, especially by increasing awareness on social media and allowing for increased accessibility through e-commerce. These new technological developments go hand in hand. Making your business known and accessible to a large customer base can help expand your business outreach and help drive your regional economy.
Whether e-commerce is right for your business is up to you. But, if your business lends itself well to integrating e-commerce, it is a great opportunity to enhance your business operations and customer satisfaction. As the trend of increased online presence of businesses grows, considering adding e-commerce to your business model would be a valuable long-term investment.