Definition of eCommerce:
commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet. AKA: An online store
Benefits and facts about switching your website to eCommerce:
eCommerce is growing extremely rapidly in the U.S. It is expected that in 2021, there will be an estimated 2.14 billion people who will have purchased online!
eCommerce websites work around the clock and continue to bring in revenue long after you’ve said goodnight or closed shop. And since $861.12 billion was spent by consumers online in 2020 in the U.S. (which is up 44.0% year over year), it’s obvious why you’re considering this option for your business!
eCommerce is possible for you, provided these four things are in place:
- Product of service
- Place to Sell
- Able to Process Payments
- Have a Marketing Strategy
As long as you have a physical product to sell and are equipped with a means to ship them, there’s a good chance an eCommerce website would be a helpful asset.
But just because it’s possible, does that mean you should pursue it? Sometimes, absolutely! Other times, not so much. In this blog post, we’ll take a look about some of the factors to consider.
When Should I Switch My Website to eCommerce?
Let’s ask this question from another angle; Are you ready for your business to grow?
Business growth is exciting! Many possibilities arise when you see sales rising and your business begin to flourish. Going eCommerce with your website is a great way to do this. With it come more responsibilities and if successful, more sales! Ensure you’re ready for this step before taking the leap. Here are a few things to look into first:
“Let’s ask this question from another angle;
Are you ready for your business to grow?”
- You Have Physical Products to Sell/Ship to Customers
This is the first place to start. If you’re reading this and thinking about launching an eCommerce site, you likely already have a retail store and a website, -OR a retail store and need a website to sell your products online. As long as someone can walk into your store and physically purchase an item, unless it’s a perishable food item, it’s very reasonable to pursue an eCommerce website.
(There are ways to ship food items, of course. But with it you’d need to establish a shipping/packaging system that would keep it cold, safe and fresh during transit.)
- Your Shipping Area is Set Up
Do you have the teamwork needed in case shipping/packaging is necessary? You’ll likely need to set up a completely new work station for this if you haven’t had one in the past. Or you can turn the space you already have into a designated area for packaging/shipping.
(Note: Depending on your line of business, you may need to dismiss some staff if going eCommerce will eliminate traffic to your physical store. But there is also a possibility that you’ll need to hire more help. It will depend on how your business operates.)
- You Are Prepared for Inventory Challenges
If you’re going eCommerce, you may have times when items are on backorder or they’re simply out of stock. Either be willing to order more products to sell, or be OK with not always having a specific product in stock.
When Should I Not switch to an eCommerce Website?
Sometimes it is better to keep your website informative and helpful, but not to switch to eCommerce. When you offer something completely customizable, every product is different and it may be difficult to sell online.
If what you’re selling does require complete customization, it’s better to refrain from going eCommerce. It’s better to have the customer call in or come to your physical location and get a quote. Or if you own a service business, you might have to go do an estimate for them at at their location.
For example, if you are an excavator or contractor, eCommerce is not for you. It’s important to have a website explaining what services you have to offer as well as photos of projects you’ve done. This in itself has the potential to interest customers, but factors like the size of the project, length of time it takes to complete it and building types vary too much to offer online purchasing.
What Type of Business Can Use eCommerce?
Below are a list of the types of businesses who benefit greatly from an eCommerce website. Keep in mind however, it is not limited to these listed!
- Physical/Digital products
- Minibarn Companies
- Commercial Products
- Affiliate Products
- Puppy Websites
- Tea & Coffee
- Dry Foods
There are many more options out there! As long as you have something for someone to purchase and it can be done online, an eCommerce website is the gateway to growing your business!
A few more things to think about before going eCommerce:
- Can you keep new customers and past buyers satisfied during and after the transition?
Is your customer service team prepared for new challenges that may arise? When new programs and projects are being launched, make sure your customers are still getting their much-needed satisfaction. This is paramount to ensure your reputation doesn’t suffer while endeavoring to grow your number of consumers. Don’t remove the engine on your way to the moon!
- The Right People Are in the Right Places
Are you well established and have the right people in the proper departments such as Customer Service, Sales Department, Accounting, Shipping and HR?
There are many small businesses who have the only one individual in charge of numerous departments, and sometimes one person is all there’s needed. Other times, you’ll need help managing those departments.
- Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew with eCommerce
Before diving into this adventure, do a bit of scouting to make sure things are well managed in your Brick & Mortar store. If you’re having trouble managing what’s there, you’ll have double trouble going eCommerce on top of it. You learn from mistakes, but if they’re recurring, avoidable issues, spend some time resolving them before putting time and money into switching your website to eCommerce.
Along with this, ask those closest to you to point out blind spots. Discuss it with the management team, floor workers, your spouse, etc., those who will be honest with you when presenting the idea. If your business is doing well and both you and your colleagues see the possibilities as positive, go for it!
How Do I Get Started?
If your answers were positive to the above questions, it looks like the opportunity is ready and waiting! Grab the opportunity and get started! If you’re needing help building an eCommerce site, or perhaps you’re needing to convert your already built website into an eCommerce one, Troyer Websites would be happy to help!
A Bit More on Growing Your Business With eCommerce
Simply moving your business to the web isn’t all it will take to grow your business. You’ll need more than that. What you need is a marketing strategy. Whether you choose to go with email marketing, social media, or Google ads, you’ll need some kind of marketing strategy to get the word out, bring brand awareness and get your product into the hands of consumers. Troyer Websites also provides email marketing services!
If you choose to switch to eCommerce, you’ll be able to ship to people all over the country and perhaps beyond, thus expanding your customer base! This is why marketing is so important. No one is going to find you if you don’t spread the news.
If you have questions regarding an eCommerce or any other type of website, click here to contact Troyer Websites.
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