Over the past few years, the e-commerce industry has grown incredibly in size and popularity. Not only are online stores replacing traditional ones to a great extent, but digital and social media products are also in great demand. Although it’s a relatively new advancement, it would be really hard to imagine life without it. Electronic commerce breaks down the barriers set by geographic locations, but because online shopping is an integral part of today’s life, people don’t really recognize how remarkable it is. Here are 7 important factors you should know about e-commerce.
1. Principles of Business
When it comes to online shopping, many people forget that it’s still quite analogous to traditional retail. E-commerce undoubtedly comes with additional novel features and techniques, and the basics of running a physical shop still apply to managing electronic businesses. Some principles need to be respected in the business world. Neglecting them, even if you are tech-based, can cause you to fall behind your competitors.
2. Resembles Traditional Retail
Your website is your digital storefront. Just like how any store’s window display can either attract customers or drive them away, your website can do exactly the same. Market research is a procedure that both brick-and-mortar and digital businesses must take seriously.
Any business relies greatly on market research. All organizations should have extensive knowledge about the market, competitors, customers, industry trends, and more. Digital and traditional retailers typically use the same marketing channels and tools. If you think about it, even the stores that don’t offer digital services still make the best use of email advertising, social media, and paid promotions. Incentives are also things that unify electric and physical stores. As you may know, everyone loves discounts and offers, and any business that knows how to play on incentives can generate a lot of sales.
3. Customer Profiles
One important factor that you must know about e-commerce is that building a customer profile is essential. As we mentioned above, any business must conduct thorough market research. For an electronic business to thrive, it must define its buyer persona. This includes age and gender, average income, location, personal beliefs, and lifestyle.
4. Understanding Your Audience
When you know everything about your targeted audience, you will know exactly how, where, and when to reach them. For example, if you are targeting a 65-year-old female, you will approach her at a different time, platform, and using a different method than you would approach an 18-year-old male. Knowing your customers will also help you improve your products or services, and expand or add product lines.
5. e-Commerce Fulfillment
Fulfillment is the reason why many businesses may be skeptical about introducing online shopping services. While a digital selling platform may open up more opportunities to businesses, they also come with many issues and responsibilities.
Sellers are typically liable for shipping and delivery. Whether you’re the one paying for freight or you charge your customer for delivery, you need to ensure that your products are safely delivered to your customers. Luckily, you can now outsource your business’ e-commerce fulfillment in the U.K. The specialists at FinishingLine.co.uk sighted that this can save you a lot of time, effort, and money. Instead of having to do the processes by yourself or hiring different companies to do the tasks, a fulfillment service will handle all these for you. These services will handle your products’ storage, packing, pick up, delivery, and distribution, so you can be sure that the products arrive at your customers’ homes in good condition.
6. Product Descriptions
One of the very few disadvantages of online shopping is that you don’t get to try or inspect products before you purchase them. This can be especially problematic with nonrefundable products or clothing items. Listing clear and helpful product descriptions can help customers understand how the product is supposed to function, its dimensions, purpose, and more. It gives the customer a clearer idea of what to expect and allows them to determine whether it’s the right choice for them. Images are sometimes deceiving, although this is not necessarily due to false advertising, but because it leaves much up to the customer’s interpretation and expectations. Communicating to your customer everything about your product leaves no room for disappointment.
7. Social Media Integration
Social media is an integral part of any business’ performance. As we mentioned above, it doesn’t matter if your business is traditional or online-based, you need to make use of all the possibilities that social media has to offer. Digital platforms can help you connect with prospective clients and target audiences from all over the world, offering a wide array of tools that make them the perfect marketing and sales channel. You can now integrate your social media profiles into your website to establish a stronger online presence. Using Instagram’s novel shop feature, as well as Facebook’s marketplace can also further improve your visibility and make you more accessible and convenient to shoppers.
E-commerce makes it possible for anyone with a stable internet connection to purchase anything from any part of the world from the comfort of their home. It’s highly convenient and makes products and services more accessible. Not only is this advantageous for the consumer, but businesses also benefit from the opportunity to expand their market.