E-commerce: Simple Steps to Embrace It In Small Business

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ecommerce simple steps to embrace it for small businesses and the self employed your best kept business secret small business news for smart self employed business owners
ecommerce simple steps to embrace it for small businesses and the self employed

Some say everything needs to be online. And they have led you to believe that everything is now actually online and you won’t succeed unless it is. Yet, as we look across the business landscape at how customers and clients are coming back to businesses, there is still a very healthy demand for face to face contact and relationship building. So the sensible and and logical thing to do is to build a business that can offer both.

E-commerce has completely and utterly transformed the landscape of retail and doing business. The range of products and services which are purchased through digital platforms is virtually endless, including everything from groceries and electronics to clothing and toiletries. National, multinational and international brands alike have been operating successful e-commerce platforms for a number of years, but these household names aren’t the only ones profiting from the e-commerce revolution.

Marc Ford

Marc Ford

Editor-in-Chief, Business Media Owner, Business Coach, Author and Keynote Speaker. Works with over 100's of small businesses every year. Trusted by BBC TV and Radio, Channel 4, Mercedes Benz, Hitachi Capital on business matters.
Part of an Overall Strategy

In a digitally-oriented era, it is crucial that large, medium-sized and small enterprises consider setting up an ecommerce platform in order to maintain a competitive edge within an already saturated industry. More and more self employed and small businesses are running successful and profitable online stores, and in this article, we’re going to be looking at why the opportunities provided by e-commerce are so lucrative, profitable, indispensable and needs to be a robust part of an overall business strategy as we go through the next few years.

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1. Extend your business’ reach

Compared to brick-and-mortar only businesses, the extent and scope of the reach your business can achieve via e-commerce is truly unparalleled. When your products/services are situated within a physical location, your reach is largely limited to those customers who can conveniently access your business either by foot or some form of transport.

With e-commerce, no such limitations exist. As long as you adopt a robust and effective marketing strategy then you can sell to a considerably more expanded base of customers. You’re no longer limited to the local market in your area, and instead, national as well as international customers can browse through and purchase your products/services. This is especially advantageous for small businesses because e-commerce gets rid of the geographical barriers and greatly increases your profitability.

2. An affordable business model

Affordability is another significant factor. Establishing and maintaining an e-commerce venture is considerably cheaper than the responsibilities associated with a brick-and-mortar businesses. Ultimately, selling your products/services within a physical location requires significant investments which are ongoing and expensive. The costs associated with rent, electricity, heating and cleaning can quickly begin to build up and consume a large percentage of the profits that you earn.

Whether you’re just starting or you’re thinking of expanding your small business it’s crucial that you retain as much of your profits as you can so that you can invest it back into your small business. An e-commerce platform is a much more financially viable route for anyone with a small business of their own, but doesn’t want to expend the entirety of their budget on running costs. The number of resources you invest in your business’ set up will be kept to a minimum, enabling you to redirect those resources into efforts that will actively contribute to your business’ profits and expansion.

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3. Seek out innovative and creative marketing strategies

One way in which you can invest these additional resources is into innovative and creative marketing strategies which will further increase the reach of your business. It goes without saying that you should have an active presence on your business’ various social media accounts in order to establish a rapport and connection with your target audiences.

Establishing a brand image for your e-commerce store is crucial, and it involves everything from using the right visuals, pictures, descriptions and information to the way in which your business interacts with potential as well as existing customers.

The possibilities when it comes to establishing your brand are truly endless. Social media platforms, blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), professional websites and collaborations are just some of the ways you can expand your marketing repertoire.

4. Collaborate for increased exposure and revenue

Collaborations are another incredibly effective marketing strategy. The digital retail sector has expanded so much that there are now ecommerce stores specifically dedicated to representing multiple brands within a particular niche or industry. This means that if you’re just beginning as a small business or you’re looking to increase your revenue, then you can collaborate with a larger ecommerce store that will feature your products/services for you.

With this representation, you’ll be able to generate more awareness and interest around your small business whilst simultaneously earning a percentage of the revenue whenever your products/services are sold.

5. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of running an ecommerce store is that it doesn’t require a constant presence or consistent supervision. With a physical store, you would have to ensure that for as long as it is open it is being overseen by either yourself or a colleague. With an e-commerce store, however, once you have everything running smoothly then you can leave it unattended for hours at a time. An online store can more or less operate independently when it comes to customers browsing through goods and completing transactions.

This means that you can leave your store running throughout the night and even on weekends, maximizing the number of sales and therefore the amount of profit that you will receive. What’s more, customers will also be able to browse through your online store at their leisure at a time and at a pace that is convenient and practical for them, which wouldn’t be possible in a physical store with limited hours of operation.

Selling at the speed of e-commerce

The pace of technological developments is continuing to accelerate, and e-commerce is no exception. By ensuring that you remain updated on these changes and adjusting your business model accordingly, you are priming your business for success in sectors that are shifting away, (but not leaving yet), from the traditional bricks and mortar presence to a digital one instead.

As a small-business owner, you’ll be continually searching for ways to reach out to, communicate with and sell to customers effectively. With an ecommerce platform, you’ll be able to operate your business for twenty-four hours a day, market your products/services to a diverse demographic and really grow and develop your brand. It’s an incredible opportunity which every small business should avail of.

E-commerce has completely and utterly transformed the landscape of retail. The range of products and services which are purchased through digital platforms is virtually endless, including everything from groceries and electronics to clothing and toiletries. National, multinational and international brands alike have been operating successful e-commerce platforms for a number of years, but these household names aren’t the only ones profiting from the e-commerce revolution.

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Business Coach, Author and Consultant. Has worked with BBC TV and Radio and Channel 4 on business matters. Trusted by Mercedes Benz, Hitachi Capital. Keynote speaker.