In the time of coronavirus, perhaps there’s no need to emphasise how important eCommerce is to any business. With the restrictions placed upon us by the need to restrict the spread of the virus, online shopping has become a primary means of purchasing from the business we want – or need – to support.
That’s left many businesses stranded since they have previously not invested in eCommerce. Independent shops, in particular, have often considered an eCommerce site as a “nice-to-have”, or even an unnecessary addition to their existing business.
On the contrary, we happen to think that, for most businesses, at least some eCommerce element to a website is very often not just a good idea – but a no-brainer. We’re going to explain why in this post.
First and foremost, eCommerce makes sense because there is a very clear market for it. Even before the current pandemic, the value of global eCommerce sales for 2019 was around 3.45 trillion dollars. That’s a lot of economic activity you simply cannot access without an eCommerce website.
Who is spending all this money? As you might expect, Millennials and Gen X spend about six hours a week shopping online – this makes eCommerce for brands with a more youthful slant a must. But the older generation shops online a lot, too – four hours a week, in fact – which might surprise businesses targeting a more mature demographic. Even a third of seniors are regularly searching eCommerce websites.
Again, that data is for last year – way before coronavirus. These trends are only going upwards. The numbers demonstrate that online purchasing is now mainstream – there isn’t a single element of the market not accessing eCommerce, and that means businesses should be in the space. The reason is simple: eCommerce makes shopping easier for customers, and that convenience is attractive. In other words, you’ll attract more customers merely by offering functionality.
Naturally, too, your store becomes a 24/7 destination – no more restricted opening hours, and no additional payroll expenses! Anyone in the world can shop with you. And your business operations will probably become more efficient, too – eCommerce can be an extremely seamless process from the perspective of the seller as well as the buyer. Whether accepting digital payments or preparing orders for collection in-store, doing eCommerce right makes customer service very easy.
On top of all this, since search engines reward eCommerce websites for all sorts of reasons with greater prominence in their results, you’ll also – if you optimise your site appropriately – reach larger audiences through search. Ecommerce grows your customer base in a range of powerful ways, then, and having an online sales arm thus acts as a kind of force multiplier for your brand awareness.
These arguments are in our book pretty powerful: eCommerce is very far from a ‘niche’ product and has been for a long time; whatever your business, you can benefit from it – pandemic or otherwise. Better user experience, greater brand awareness, larger sales funnels: these are the reasons why you should have an eCommerce website.
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