You are probably familiar with the term e-commerce, the method of buying and selling over the Internet, but do you know what e-commerce is? Have you considered the impact it has on business?
In this opportunity, we want to tell you why e-commerce or electronic commerce is where you should orient your business, regardless of the sector, product, or service you offer.
E-commerce is more than selling online.
It’s not just about being on the cutting edge of incorporating technology into your operation. It is about penetrating the market, gaining a competitive advantage, saving certain operating expenses, being available 24/7 for your customers, and reaching places you never imagined you could go. In short, it’s about giving your business greater reach and, thus, selling more and more.
In practical and less technical terms, e-commerce is also the name given to online stores. These stores are not virtual spaces exclusively for buying or selling products; they also serve to offer services. Such is the case of counseling or psychological support appointments, which are contracted online and received through this channel.
E-commerce is a tool that any business should integrate into its digital strategy. Its impact was already evident before the pandemic, and due to the forced increase of digital commerce after the arrival of COVID 19, its growth is clear.
There are different types of e-commerce:
Online stores can be developed on applications, social networks, and, of course, websites. Depending on your business model, these can be your own or third-party sites. When they are third-party sites, we usually talk about a “Marketplace,” We refer to virtual spaces where all kinds of sellers converge, such as Amazon.
Also, depending on your business goals and target customers, the characteristics of your online store change. The most common ones are designed for the end consumer (B2C); for other companies (B2B), or there is even a modality in which consumers trade with each other (C2C), which is booming for used items.
How to open your online store?
Although it is easy to create an online store, thanks to the tools offered by different hosting sites, the truth is that the more you prepare yourself before launching it, the better results you will have. You will be on the right track if you are clear about your business model and target audience.
Below we will give you some practical tips that will help you not only to open your e-commerce but also to incorporate it into a digital strategy that will allow you to advance in the goals you set for yourself.
We will assume that you already have an active business and want to take the next step. In case you are not yet at that point, we recommend you start with the following:
- Define a business idea with a value proposition: identify a need and how to solve it.
- Identify your customer, and make a detailed segmentation.
- Analyze and evaluate the viability of your idea.
- Research your competition: check what they are doing and how.
- Find the strategy to differentiate yourself and make your proposal stand out in the sector.
- Make a financial projection.
- Create a marketing plan that includes a digital strategy (this is where e-commerce comes in).
Once you are clear about these 6 points, placing great emphasis on understanding the situation of your business and your customers, these are the steps you should follow:
1. Website creation
Your digital strategy starts with the creation of the website. Start by giving a creative, eye-catching, and easy-to-remember name to your site’s domain; it can be the same as your company or something related. With the help of an internet search engine, verify that the name is available and make sure it complies with what you want to communicate with your brand.
There are online tools in hosting sites to create an e-commerce for free with very friendly interfaces. You can start exploring these options and, as your business progresses, move on to paid plans that offer more complex and sophisticated services. Ensure you do it with quality hosting to guarantee good capacity, speed, and stability in your site.
If you have a limited budget for the design, do not worry: these online tools also facilitate this matter by providing you with templates, image banks, etc. Thus, with dedication, you can create a good site.
Little by little, you will be able to perfect visual aspects. It is an original site with valuable content and is easy to navigate, essential from the beginning.
If, on the other hand, you can hire a designer, find out here some key questions to ask that person before hiring them.
2. Choosing payment methods
Even with the rise of e-commerce, many users are fearful when it comes to paying. Therefore, the more you offer different payment methods, the more likely your customer will make the purchase. Also, consider providing refunds in special cases to generate trust.
If you plan to use online payment platforms, study the commissions and additional charges they may entail so that this does not harm your financial projection. And remember to validate the compatibility with the hosting site or web builder where your e-commerce is hosted.
3. Define the delivery policy
Whether you offer a product or service, delivery is crucial to all e-commerce. For products, you must have precise logistics regarding shipping times and costs, packaging, returns, etc. All this must ensure that the buyer receives his purchase at the expected time and condition.
If it is a service, information about the service schedule, date and time it will take place, duration, and any other details you consider relevant. It will not only give the customer clarity but also limit your service without generating false expectations.
4. Digital marketing strategy
For e-commerce to be successful, it must be part of a whole marketing ecosystem, of a digital strategy. You can develop a great online storefront, but no one will get to see it, let alone buy from it if you don’t promote it.
First of all, have a presence in social networks. You don’t need to be on all of them; you should identify which ones your potential customers are most active on and be there. Offer valuable content, clear and complete descriptions of your products, and testimonials. You can invite your community to visit your e-commerce and make a purchase. For example, your business in the field of educational assistance. In that case, point out to the client looking for “who would write my essay” that they can quickly get help from your company’s professional experts.
Secondly, if your budget allows it, run advertising campaigns where, for example, you give away products or services to influencers or hold contests. You can also pay for digital ads with a segmentation strategy and keywords.
Go ahead and open your own e-commerce business
We are starting the second half of 2022, and it is the right time to open your online store. Can you imagine increasing your year-end sales thanks to your e-commerce?
Know your customers and your competition. Evaluate the options that best suit you to open your online store and do it. The investment is small, and the profits can surprise you.