Ecommerce for small businesses
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Up today, the thought of creating an eshop for your physical store may have sounded daunting to you. You have limited resources, no technical knowledge, and a huge inventory that needs to be taken care of. However, as consumer shopping habits are constantly changing, your ways of conducting business should be adapting too.

Social and technological changes redefine the way customers shop, from the economic boom to the rise of subscription boxes and the internet.

The e-commerce revolution is a case in point. It has transformed the business world and shopping habits, making things easier and more convenient for shoppers. And it has not only impacted the big retailers but also small businesses, with a lot finding success online and growing beyond their expectations.

Why is e-commerce important for your business?

In 2021, according to Statista, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online.

In a post-COVID-19 world and with all the safety and health regulations in place, it is no surprise that eCommerce is booming. As we speak, there are more online stores than ever, and online shopping is overtaking retail. According to a Nasdaq report, 95% of retail purchases will be made online by 2040, deeming traditional retail almost non-existent.

Some small business owners continue to think that eCommerce is not for them and that their customers are not online. As shopping habits constantly change, so does the variety of people shopping online. In the past, older customers felt uncomfortable shopping online due to the complexity of technology. As the internet is currently dominating all our devices and with peoples’ fears of COVID-19, online shopping is becoming the preferred method for people of all ages.

How can your small business benefit from e-commerce?

1. Greater reach means a larger customer base and increased revenue

eCommerce will help you expand your customer base beyond what is locally possible. You can reach a much wider customer base than relying on traditional face-to-face interactions. Αn online store enables you to sell to customers globally. Even if you are not looking for that kind of expansion, you will still be able to sell to a broader audience within your country.

As you widen your reach and you grow your customer base, it only comes naturally that you will impact your sales and boost your revenue.

2. Low operational costs

As a business owner, you are juggling cost-cutting with growth. One of the benefits of having an online store is that you can grow without the need to invest in physical stores at all the locations where you wish to sell your products or services. Your online store has got you covered, as it is location-free and requires very little capital outlay.
Overall, opening up an online store is a lot more reasonable for your small business as you try to operate and grow with limited finances.

Benefits of eCommerce for Small Business

3. Build a strong reputation

A large majority of consumers are very vocal about their customer experiences. They voice their opinions and recommend e-stores to their followers on social media.

Word of mouth is still one of the most popular marketing methods that can help any brand go viral overnight. Social media recommendations can drive customers to choose small business online stores over their mega counterparts. This way, small businesses that remained unknown until now can lock down the buyers with superior quality product and service offerings and personalized shopping experiences delivered through e-commerce solutions.

In comparison to the retail environment where it is difficult to get customer reviews, it is much more comfortable and easier to do so online. By asking customers for reviews online and publishing them on social media platforms and other sales channels you can build credibility.

4. Be present in search engines

Search engines are the holy grail of online activity. Rather than reaching out to your audience by printed advertising or by contacting them by phone, you can optimize your communication through a search engine to make things much easier and comfortable. The search engine pairs a customer’s search inquiries with products and information that exists online.

By establishing an eCommerce business, you can rank high in search engines and start receiving recurring traffic to your store. As you start adopting the best eCommerce and SEO practices, you can convert these visits to a steady customer flow for your business.

5. Greater Convenience and Accessibility

Overall, eCommerce has made things a lot easier for both business owners and consumers. It has made it easier for you to sell more online, while the customer benefits from the simplicity and ease of online shopping.

The fact that the Internet never “sleeps" and that your business can be available 24/7 allows potential customers to research your product or service thoroughly and in the privacy of their own homes. An online store allows them to place their orders around the clock, as soon as they are interested, as opposed to waiting for your physical store to open, by which time they might have lost the urge to buy something from you and might have purchased from a competitor.

6. Have a clear picture of what works for your business

In your physical store, it is probably impossible to study your customers’ buying habits.

Online stores and analytics can give you the chance to keep a constant eye on your customers’ buying habits and interests (e.g., most popular products, days and times when customers buy the most, discounts and deals that mostly interest customers, and so on) to make decisions accordingly.

Based on the vital insights that you can collect online, you can tailor your offerings and provide personalized experiences that match customers’ requirements, satisfy their needs, sell more efficiently and build long-lasting relationships with them.

Make a step forward, take your small business online

You can start your online store by uploading your product inventory and taking advantage of the millions of customers turning to online shopping, without needing to have any technical knowledge or to make a big investment.

Once you take the step, with the help of Routee you can easily integrate your eCommerce solution with our marketing automation tools to reap the benefits of automation and omnichannel communication and make every customer journey count. You can strengthen customer relationships by sending out transactional SMS messages about customer orders, by creating welcome email sequences for newly registered users, or by sending push notifications about abandoned shopping carts. Now is the time for your small business to go online and start meeting its potential.

Find out more tips for newcomers to eCommerce.

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