If you were born just before the age of high-speed internet, odds are you’re a bit apprehensive about taking the bricks-and-mortar business you’ve built from the ground up, into the ethereal regions of “the cloud”. And so, chances are, you haven’t exactly been studying the latest e-commerce trends. But, let’s face it, the internet isn’t going anywhere and if you don’t get your small business online, you’ll be left choking in the dust of your competitors as they leave you far, far behind.
Why do you need an online presence?
As we said in a previous blog about e-marketing to attract customers today, your business needs an online presence. The vast majority of consumers use the internet to research products and services before making a purchase. This makes sense, not only for expensive items such as cars or computers – where people usually spend an extensive amount of time reading reviews and comparing products – but also for smaller items like wallpaper or carpets, where potential clients will initially do their window shopping and price comparisons online before they even step foot inside a shop (if they ever even get to a shop). No matter how good your product is, if you aren’t online you won’t even get a shoe in on those sales.
What are some of the e-commerce trends you should be considering?
The most important issue businesses are grappling with in 2015 is how to improve the overall customer experience from initial contact through to after-sales service. Here are some of the e-commerce trends businesses need to think about:
Your website needs to be responsive across devices.
For starters you need to make sure your website design is easy to navigate and responsive across mobile devices. People are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to search for products and the experience should be as easy as possible for them. If it isn’t, they’ll simply leave your site and take their business elsewhere.
Your e-commerce site needs to be a web destination.
Quality content is becoming increasingly important. To attract viewers your e-marketing strategy needs to include interesting, useful content that will keep potential clients coming back for more.
Price will determine who wins the most clients.
With a global marketplace to choose from, shoppers are able to be picky, particularly when it comes to products that are widely available and can ship easily without being damaged (like books). This means businesses need to constantly re-assess their model and pricing structure to find ways to stay ahead.
Things are about to get personal.
You may think that going online will leach personality from your business, far from it. As the number of e-commerce vendors increases and more data is gathered, businesses can identify buying trends and create niche shopping experiences to cater specifically for client needs and desires.
Starting an online business.
As with any growth phase in a company, you need to start by mapping out what you hope to achieve by starting an online business. This includes what technology you need to support your e-commerce venture.
Sage Online Tools is a user-friendly and efficient option for small businesses that want to make their presence known online without incurring enormous expense. Not only does Sage Online Tools allow you to build your own customisable website, but will also help you to drive customers to your website through efficient e-marketing strategy and implementation.
For more information on getting started online visit Sage Online Tools.