If you haven’t considered selling your products or services online, you should. eCommerce is a lucrative and fast-growing trend that is quickly becoming the de-facto method to shop. The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced recently that the estimate of U.S. retail eCommerce sales for the first quarter of 2016 was $92.8 billion, an increase of 3.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. This level of growth is not just restricted to the United States; many other countries also show similar eCommerce growth. If your business doesn’t have an eCommerce website, you are missing out on a crucial revenue stream.
What Is eCommerce?
eCommerce refers to business transactions that are performed online through the Internet. Whenever you purchase something from a website, that’s eCommerce. eCommerce encompasses the sale of physical goods like household products, food, clothing, books, fashion accessories, cosmetics, etc. and digital goods like apps, software, music, games, eBooks, etc. It also includes the sales of services such as marketing, consulting, web development, graphic design, etc.
Many business owners feel that having a physical presence precludes them from needing an online shop. The truth is that the most successful retailers have both physical locations and an eCommerce website. On the other hand, if you don’t have a physical storefront, then you need to consider how an eCommerce website can sell your products or services to a vast audience. An eCommerce website can help you sell your products or services to customers all over the globe and at any hour of the day. The first step to determining if your business needs an eCommerce website is figuring out whether or not the products or services you offer can be sold online.
What Can You Sell Online?
You would be surprised at what is being sold online these days. Many business owners are under the misconception that their product or service is too niche to be sold online, but that may not be the case anymore. The first thing you should do is find out if there are other businesses already selling this product or service online. If there are other companies providing similar products or services online, that means that your business can, too.
Don’t be discouraged by the presence of competitors; it’s usually a good indicator of a profitable market. Other businesses selling similar products or services online means there is a demand for your product or service, and you can distinguish your business from the others by telling your story. Customers love learning about businesses and often identify with brands based on similar ideals. You can use your website to express the differences that set your business above the competition. Now that you have found out that your product or service can be sold online and there is a demand, it’s time to set up shop.
How Do You Sell Online?
There are basically two strategies when it comes to selling products or services online. You can build your own eCommerce website, or you can use existing online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. Each strategy has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you want to use your own website, you will have total control over the entire process. You’ll be also able to better communicate with your customers with a mailing list. However, you’ll need to be responsible for bringing customers to your website and handling any transactional issues they may encounter.
On the other hand, joining up with a website such as Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy has its perks, too. Those websites already have a large customer base, and they are largely responsible for customer service and website maintenance. Unfortunately, there are some major drawbacks that come with using an existing online marketplace. First, they will take a significant portion of your sales. Amazon, for example, charges sellers flat fees, sale percentage fees, seller fees, referral fees, handling fees, storage fees, and more. These fees can add up very quickly, making it unfeasible for some merchants to sell on Amazon.
Another significant disadvantage that comes with selling on an existing online marketplace is the lack of control you will have over your store. When you have a store on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, you are essentially renting space from them. They control what your shop looks like and what types of marketing campaigns you are allowed to conduct. Having your own eCommerce website allows you to portray your company’s image and promote your products or services whichever way you like. Most importantly, having a website allows you to collect email addresses from your customers, which have remarkably high conversion rates. If you want repeat business, there is no better way than directly contacting your customers via a mailing list.
How Can Business Website Builders Help You?
If you’ve decided to sell your products or services from your own eCommerce website, the process can be a bit tricky. The good news is that Business Website Builders will make the entire process of setting up your eCommerce website a breeze. We’ll build you a fast and responsive website with six months of free web hosting. Our designers will work with you to ensure your website is built just the way you want. With our content management system and eCommerce solutions, adding your own content (like new products or descriptions) is hassle-free. Business Website Builders can also help promote your products and drive traffic to your website with advertising campaigns and search engine optimization. Furthermore, our analytics tools will help you understand where your traffic is coming from so you can build stronger marketing campaigns.
How Can You Get Started?
Now that you’ve learned the basics of eCommerce and how Business Website Builders can help you, it’s time for you to take the first step. Contact Business Website Builders today to learn more on how we can help your business with our eCommerce solutions. Your business will be turning heads and making money in no time!