The internet is an essential part of our lives today. Before buying anything, we search it online, read its reviews, and compare prices. E-commerce became huge in the 21st century with companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay offering quality goods and delivery services. Thus, small and local businesses have taken up e-commerce, opening up a new world of possibilities. This post will cover several benefits of e-commerce for small and local businesses.
1. Reduced Operational Cost
Opening an e-store eliminates the need for physical stores in all the locations you want to sell products and services. You will not incur extra rental or management costs to reach more customers. Additionally, e-commerce is highly automated, meaning your online shop will require less staff.
The cost of running an online store includes the setup and advertising costs, among others. These costs are lower than running a brick-and-mortar store with a limited reach. You can, thus, easily translate these cost savings to lower product prices to increase sales.
Setting up an online store is more reasonable and economical for small businesses grappling with growing their business and limited resources.
2. Increased Business Reach
Physical stores rely on word-of-mouth advertising, limiting their reach to the immediate community. An e-commerce site takes away your business’s geographical boundaries. It puts your products before consumers across the country and even around the globe.
Your business’s online presence puts it before various niche audiences you didn’t have before. An online shop enables you to sell to different customers in different locations from a single location. Acquiring new customers then becomes easy, and you can use shipping solutions to get your products to them.
3. Increased Revenue With an E-commerce Business
Local businesses do not have to rely only on foot traffic sales to move their products. The increased reach of an online shop widens your customer base to increase your sales volume. Increased sales boost your revenue and profits as you have already cut operational costs.
With a higher ROI, you can diversify your product line according to your customers’ wants or increase your marketing efforts to reach an even wider audience. The possibilities are endless.
4. Consumer Analytics
Running an online store gives local business owners access to consumer data that is not accessible to physical stores. It is impossible to accurately build a customer persona and analyze customer buying habits with a physical store.
Customers provide a wealth of information when registering on your e-commerce site. You will have not only customers’ names, phone numbers, and email addresses but also consumer analytics. Google Analytics provides consumer behavior and demographic data to help retailers optimize their consumer experience.
Consumer analytics helps online retailers to answer the following questions precisely:
● Which products sell more?
● When do most customers buy products?
● Where do most of your retail website visitors come from?
● What sections of the website do most customers visit?
● What kind of promotional offers motivates customers to buy more?
Online retailers can use this information to match their services to consumer needs and preferences. Further, customer satisfaction generates more sales and enables businesses to build better, long-lasting relationships with customers.
5. Search Engine Traffic
Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers heavily rely on branding and customer relations to gain and retain new customers. However, things have changed, and today potential customers can find your business from their homes through search. Search engines drive massive online traffic to online shops by pairing their search queries to the product information on your website.
Through e-commerce best practices, you can rank well on the search engine results page and receive more traffic to your online shop. These practices include building an SEO-friendly website and posting SEO content on your blog. Local businesses can also capitalize on local SEO to increase their stores’ traffic.
Increased traffic to your business website boosts sales and increases brand awareness. The best part about search engine traffic is that most internet users who find your business online already intend to buy.
6. Build a Reputation for Your Business
Customers prefer and trust businesses with an online presence more than those with only physical stores. You can use your business’s online presence to increase brand awareness and build brand authority.
You can share helpful content and information with your target audience. Valuable content helps increase your reach and trust with customers. If customers trust your business, they will also trust your products and buy more of them.
An online store lets consumers review your business and share their satisfaction with your products and services. These reviews are available to other internet users to how your business solves problems. Establishing your business as a thought leader in its niche places it above the competition.
7. An E-commerce Business Never Closes
Another benefit of e-commerce is that your business is always open. E-commerce automation ensures that sales flow seamlessly even when you are asleep. This means that consumers can buy products anytime and in any time zone.
8. Easier to Scale-up
Scaling up a physical store requires more floor space, staff, and shelf space. It is considerably costly to expand your store or open a new store in a new location.
On the contrary, you need more inventory, additional storage space, and a few design changes to scale up an online store. This is way less costly than acquiring more storefront space. An e-commerce store also eliminates the need to open stores in new locations since you have already reached a global market.
Build Your E-commerce Store Today
E-commerce empowers SMBs by putting their products before a global market. E-commerce gives business insights enabling businesses to serve customers better and build lasting relationships. Local businesses can increase sales, revenue, and marketing ROI through e-commerce.
The best part is that it does not need much tech training to acquire an e-commerce website. The increased uptake of e-commerce among small businesses has created more tech career opportunities. Woz U partner institutions offer industry-relevant tech training to jumpstart your path to a thriving tech career. Partner institutions offer accelerated programs in Software Development, Data Science, and Cybersecurity, among others, to boost your e-commerce tech career.
When you are ready to start your new tech career, Woz U is here to help you. With ten courses over 33 weeks, you’ll be fit to start your journey to a successful career.