Small and medium-sized businesses are facing a new truth – most of the customers have moved online. These days, consumers’ spend more time online than ever before. And, as we well know, in the spring of 2020, most of the world went into lock-down, with many businesses being forced to close temporarily. Even businesses that reopened had restrictions that imposed social distancing, wearing masks, and automatically limiting the number of customers that enter in an enclosed space at the same time. When traditional shopping became difficult, the demand for online shopping increased even more.
In today’s society, focused more on competition and proximity, shoppers no longer want to venture on the streets to buy goods, instead, they prefer to receive the products directly to their homes. Therefore, e-commerce has become a flexible solution for both business owners and their customers.
Based on the e-commerce website’s complexity, we have gathered 10 reasons of its importance:
- Customers expect you to have your own ecommerce website
When customers want to find out more about your business, they are firstly looking at your online presence. Your store’s website helps you consolidate the brand image. As you develop your website, search engines can index it and improve its placement. Once your website gets more visible, people will become familiar with your brand and products, knowing where to find you.
- It is a powerful marketing tool
A website is one of the most powerful marketing tools your business can have. Not only do you benefit from the SEO component that leads to more chances of attracting new customers, but you can also develop a number of marketing techniques alongside your website. These techniques may refer to pay per click advertising, social media and email marketing strategy. In addition, think about it, your store will be available for shopping 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!
- Build your own customers‘ database
One of the most important aspects of having your own website is that you can market directly to your visitors and customers. Unlike marketplaces, which are selling directly to consumers, on your website you get to collect their contacts. As a result, by having your customers’ email addresses, you can send them marketing promotions, offer discounts, or other news about products.
- Efficient Customer Relationship Management
It is well known that a strong relationship with your customers is essential to succeed in such a competitive world. Using information from previous orders, user location, etc., you can also install the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) part. Integrating the CRM solution with a customized e-commerce website can help manage the company’s interaction with existing or potential users.
- Create your marketing campaigns as you please
Just because you have your own website does not mean that all customers will reach you right away. Once you have an online store, you will need to develop strategies to attract shoppers there. The first step is to direct potential customers to your website through a mix of SEO and social media content. It’s not always easy to set up the right campaigns, but using Facebook and Google ads tactics, you can create valuable content for your store’s website. Thus, you will be able to generate interest for existing customers, but also target new ones.
- Enhance your website user experience
The customer experience is one of the most important aspects for the development of any e-commerce business. Search engines also offer a higher ranking to e-commerce websites that show a good user experience. Moreover, online users prefer websites that are customized to their needs and offer a better user experience and flexibility.
- Make your own business rules
When you have your own website, you enjoy the opportunity to build the consumer journey and his shopping experience. Also, you will not be placed next to the competition, as it happens with marketplaces. You are the only one who decides how your products are displayed, their description, their pictures and any other features related to the shopping experience personalization. With running an ecommerce website, you finally control your store and you could test and validate what works for your online business.
- Establish promotions and discount codes
There may be situations where you will allow customers to use a discount code only for a certain number of items. In a marketplace, every vendor depends on the sales policy of the platform, which has quite limited and special rules. Using a personalized e-commerce website for online development allows you to create specific rules for vouchers and promotional codes – adapting the website to the needs of your consumers.
- Extended ordering hours
Having a website means that your products are available for purchase at any time of day, 24/7. Anyone who visits your website in the middle of the night or in the daytime can interact with your store. Being accessible to customers at all the time, strengthens the marketing strategy and contributes to sales growth. It represents a step towards providing efficient customer service, especially if you also integrate an AI chatbot, which can solve your customers’ basic problems whenever they need it.
- You get to know your audience better
Having your own e-commerce website will make it easier not only to establish a better relationship with your customers, but also to get to know them better. You will have access to their demographics data, location, as well as how they found your website or how they heard about your business. Thus, you can analyze the online consumer behavior. You will know what products they looked at, how they ended up on your website, what search engine they used to get to you, when they abandoned the shopping cart, etc. For example, there are situations where shoppers give up products because of the shipping costs or time, and it is good to know what factors led to that decision.
Having a website for your store products is an essential part for the sales strategy and your business expansion. This is a great way to develop your brand, gain customers loyalty, achieve new perspectives and build a creative marketing strategy.
However, if you want to succeed in scaling your business, it is not enough to rely just on one channel to sell your goods or products. Diversifying the channels of the store’s online presence can help you reach new customers, especially now that e-commerce has become increasingly competitive. Therefore, a reliable e-fulfillment partner can help you accomplish all the orders and grow your business successfully.