What is E-Commerce and How Does it Help Business?
If you’re running a business, you’ve probably thought about putting an e-commerce strategy in place at one time or another. But, in a continually evolving technological world, the advantages of e-commerce to businesses can sometimes become overshadowed by overly complicated strategies and information.
In first half of 2018 alone, e-commerce sales rose above £28 billion, giving us quite a valuable insight into the financial potential this marketplace has for small and medium-size business owners. So, we’ve highlighted the need-to-know information on the subject to help you get your head around e-commerce, what it is and how it can help your business.
Take a look at our short guide now or get in touch with a member of our team to learn how we’ll create you a tailored e-commerce strategy that will help your business to excel online.
So, what is e-commerce?
In a nutshell, e-commerce is the name given to any business transaction that’s completed online. If something is bought or sold through a website, then both parties are involved in an e-commerce transaction.
However, there are a number of different e-commerce variants, so it’s not just traditional retailers that are able to capitalise on this growing revenue source. Three of the most common e-commerce merchant types include:
Retailers that sell physical goods
This is by far the most common type of e-commerce merchant, selling everything from clothing and electronics to houseware and stationary. An online store of this kind will normally feature their products in an easy to browse manner while also utilising a virtual shopping cart to help buyers select things they’re interested in for purchase. After a completed transaction, many retailers will ship the ship the goods direct to the buyer or invite them to collect from a store in person if more convenient.
Sellers of service-based products
A growing number of workers have migrated online and this has caused them to explore new options when selling their expertise. Freelancers, consultants, and education experts are normally the types of professionals who will utilise e-commerce to push their business forward online. While services can be sold and paid for through independent e-commerce websites, many professionals will instead sign up to freelance platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr to sell their services.
Companies selling digital goods
With more and more people using technology on a daily basis, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that big players in the e-commerce market sell digital goods online as a result of this trend. Some examples of the digital goods sold by these kinds of e-commerce vendors include photos and graphics, online courses, and ebooks.
What are the advantages of e-commerce for businesses?
When we look at e-commerce, it’s important to know exactly how your business stands to benefit, both in the short and long term. Crucially, an effective e-commerce strategy is going to keep your business competitive online and provide you with an ongoing revenue source that once established, requires minimal maintenance.
Additionally, e-commerce also allows your business to remain open 24 hours a day, make savings on staff and the reduce its dependence on having to rent floorspace in order to sell goods or services. Over time, the money your save and make will provide your business with a significant amount of capital to invest in other worthwhile areas of your business.
For many businesses, choosing when to scale can have some risk attached to it, but that’s not the case in the same way with an e-commerce strategy. You won’t need to move to a larger office, but you might need to upgrade your technology to meet the demand of an increase in your customer base, which is far more affordable than the former.
How important is it to have an e-commerce strategy in place?
There’s no doubt that utilising a professionally planned e-commerce strategy is going to help your business to fully capitalise on the opportunities you have available in the digital world. While it’s certainly possible to go it alone, most business owners don’t have the time or required expertise to plan and execute an e-commerce strategy.
Choosing the right e-commerce technology will play a vital role in how you’re able to roll out your strategy and engage with your customers in a digital environment. There are a lot of big players out there, with WooCommerce, Magneto, and Shopify, among many others. But, there’s also a lot of other tech you’ll need to take into account too, such as payment processors and the latest security measures you’ll need to have in place to protect your customers’ data.
Thankfully, our team at Thirty Six Digital has been working in the e-commerce scene long enough to have a firm grasp of the strategic nuances and technological tools required to generate successful outcomes for businesses. To learn more about what is e-commerce or to discuss the online ambitions you have for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.