5th June 2020
During this health pandemic, businesses have relied heavily on e-commerce to continue their operations. Even companies that traded via traditional mediums have resorted to online selling to expand their reach. This has encouraged not only commercial activities during the lockdown but also ensured safe distancing to reduce the chances of COVID-19 contamination. So, is 2020, the year for e-commerce?
There’s no denying that e-commerce is expanding throughout the world. In this scenario, it has given businesses the power to reach closer to their audience. Furthermore, continuing technological progress and social media reach have made e-commerce more accessible.
For example, Nepalese software company Braindigit has created a secure web-building platform that enables even beginners to create a professional e-commerce website. Their web platform allows businesses to start selling online in just a single day. Such web-development tools help raise brand awareness and subsequently increases business revenue.
In this blog, we’ll discuss five major points that help businesses pave the way for e-commerce ventures.
E-commerce is a highly crowded market. Digital vendors of all magnitude compete to create brand awareness among the netizens. There are various strategies businesses can implement to stay ahead of their competitors, and once they reach their goal, brands should seek more significant opportunities.
In modern business-ear, brands are not limited to only selling. They have the purpose of bonding with their customers. When a specific use of the brand/product aligns with that of the customers, businesses garner a higher audience resulting in a high influx of customers.
If you are operating only from a physical store, and are seeing customers from all around, you need to consider going online. Decentralize your brand to make it more accessible.
E-commerce can be equally significant to stores with low customer-base as well. It helps these stores promote their brand online. Marketing and promotion strategy via e-commerce allows customers with shared interests to engage with the brand easily.
Therefore, going online can help brands with healthy customer-base to expand trade boundaries. Boundary expansion further promotes the brand and increases value. Whereas, for struggling, or new businesses, e-commerce stores help operate amid the digital mass, helping increase revenue and brand awareness.
Cost of Shifting to E-commerce
E-commerce makes physical stores and a hoard of line-staff redundant. This way, e-commerce helps cut costs. Businesses can invest the revenue from cost cuts into other sectors. Brand awareness through a professional e-commerce store can be one.
For big businesses, the transitional cost might not be a matter of great concern. Building an e-commerce site, and executing it requires less developmental, as well as operational costs compared to a traditional brick and mortar store. However, for businesses with lower capital, the transitional cost may be a factor to consider.
Make a checklist of tentative expenses. It helps determine the cost of acquiring new hardware and other operational costs. Computers and other digital devices are prerequisites of going online. Set up an appropriate workstation and a warehouse to store your products. And finally, invest in a fast and reliable internet connection. The checklist comprising cost allows businesses to allocate budget for a smooth transitioning into e-commerce.
Effect on Employees
E-commerce is a crucial business process. It allows businesses to reap the benefits of having a digital store. However, e-commerce human resource necessity differs from that of a traditional brick and mortar store.
Businesses might have to find alternatives for line-workers as online trade makes their work redundant. Therefore, it’s not just your customers, but also employees who are bound to get affected by this transition. Eliminating line-staff will incite the need in other departments. However, rather than replacing, reassigning new roles can be more advantageous. Your former staff are already well acquainted with your company culture and are already accustomed to the work environment.
E-commerce is an organization-wide strategy. First and foremost, businesses will need to assign the right skill to the employees or hire professionals with the right skill set to execute mainly tech and online marketing tasks. Businesses further need to create e-commerce opportunities by aligning with their specific company objectives.
E-commerce can profit if you give it the attention it needs. Create a business case and calculate how your e-commerce store affects the lives of your employees and vice-versa.
Balancing between Physical and Online Store
Not all businesses can benefit from online stores alone. Some companies will still need a traditional physical store to attract customers. Retail stores, like vehicle retailers, jewelers, and fashion stores, need to continue their physical form of business even after owning an e-commerce store. While operating via e-commerce helps raise brand awareness, physical stores provide proof of existence. So, these businesses need to manage time to work efficiently through both mediums.
Effective strategies benefiting both forms of business are necessary for such retailers. Markets can imply incentives and offer to bring online shoppers into a physical store. Through the click-and-collect method, shoppers can place an order online and collect at the time of their convenience. Similarly, businesses can also try to lure in customers living near the vicinity of the physical store through e-commerce marketing. When an online customer’s home address is near your store, your system should be able to include them in your contact list. Now, you can send store and product information through email-marketing messages. Since these customers find shopping at a near-by location convenient, businesses are likely to see more customers from their locality.
This balance allows the business to attract both walk-ins, as well as online customers. Therefore, stores that are ready to welcome more customers can execute online strategies, and see their business grow.
Starting an online store can help business trade globally. But, it takes time for businesses to raise brand awareness. E-commerce businesses, too, need to rely on careful preparation and promotion for success. There is no shortcut in increasing revenue. You need to make sure your company brand reaches among your target customers, and you constantly invest to ensure brand success.
Once you are sure that you are ready for an e-commerce site, you should understand your customers. It is crucial to know the market trend and customer demand to tap into the consumer market.