Growth of E-Commerce
Now more than ever, entrepreneurs should be steering their businesses in the direction of online retailing. We are living in a digital age where consumers are gravitating towards the convenience of online purchasing. Although retailers are still receiving heavy foot traffic in their stores, many are improving sales by promoting their online business.
The eCommerce industry is a force that no investor can afford to ignore.”— Cushla Sherlock, Corporate Communications, Credit Suisse
Why should retailers be focusing more on driving sales online?
If an entrepreneur is starting a business they should consider testing the market with an online store. The internet can reach more consumers and could also allow businesses to have larger inventories. Providing consumers with a larger selection can lead to an increase in sales and having fewer physical locations can reduce the amount of money spent on overhead, thus increasing profit. Entrepreneurs with existing companies should also put more effort into their website for the same reasons. Many retailers also utilize promotional emails to draw customers to their site. These promotions are a way of reminding customers of their business and keeping the company front of mind. The website can also create a communication line between the company and the consumer. Customers may leave reviews on product and send feedback to the business, which could influence or encourage others to make purchases.
A website is an entrepreneur's open line of communication with consumers.
How should businesses model their online stores?
Amazon is a successful company that often comes to mind when consumers think of shopping online. As the largest name in e-commerce, they draw in many consumers by creating a fast and convenient shopping experience. They showcase a variety of products and have managed to greatly simplify the checkout process. Many other retailers are attempting to shift their businesses in the same direction. For example, Walmart has been attempting to draw consumers to their online business by offering incentives to shoppers. Some of these incentives include an automatic discount with select purchases, as well as free shipping to any store. While businesses are not going to achieve the same success as either Walmart or Amazon, entrepreneurs should model their approach to e-commerce after these successful retailers. One of the most important aspects of online retail is creating a website that is attractive and easy to use for consumers.
Customer interactions are often a spectator sport today, and every reply to a customer is nothing but an opportunity to demonstrate your values in a way that will nudge members of the audience to buy from you."— Jay Baer
The following are some helpful tips for building a successful website:
- Use basic colors to avoid overwhelming customers.
- Create a seamless experience from shopping to checkout.
- Have an e-commerce platform that is able to accept multiple forms of payment and calculate sales tax.
- Create a comments section for products so customers can leave reviews.
- Make sure a questions/comments page is clearly visible and concerns are responded to promptly.
- Offer promotional discounts to draw in customers.
- Minimal is better so pages are easy to view.
What could this do for your business?
Following these tips while establishing a business online can allow for companies to connect with more consumers. Buyers are attracted to the convenience of the shopping experience, as well as the vast inventory they are given to choose from. Entrepreneurs can increase sales, increase profits, and establish relationships with their customers.
Sara Davis works for one of the world’s largest retailers. She is also currently enrolled in the Masters of Entrepreneurship Degree Program at Western Carolina University. Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author’s information, and any links remain intact. Copyright 2017 by Sara Davis.
© 2017 Davis Sara