Benefits of e-commerce for your business
As online shopping grows rapidly in Canada, e-commerce is becoming a necessity for Canadian retailers and even business-to-business companies. The good news is that it has never been easier for small businesses to get started in e-commerce and take advantage of its many benefits.
Here are the top four benefits that e-commerce can bring to your business.
1. Reduce your operating costs
E-commerce activities can be started inexpensively by using inexpensive platforms. These services make it easy for entrepreneurs to launch a complete online store. This is done by providing an attractive and mobile-friendly site, payment support, as well as inventory and shipping management. They can also integrate sales and inventory management between your online and in-store activities.
Obviously, there will be a lot of details to work out and difficulties to overcome, but your initial investment will be relatively small, especially when compared to that required to establish a physical store. Over time, you can increase your spending to increase your product offering, do more targeted advertising, create content, and then build a personalized site.
The three founders of Rachel’s Box, a Montreal-based company that sells high-quality fancy stockings and leggings, used a WordPress platform to launch their online store in 2014 and will soon be launching a new site on Shopify. Thanks to their trendy brand image and highly personalized service, partners Carolyne Parent, Alyeska
Guillaud and Mélanie Heyberger have tripled their sales each year and are now exploring the United
2. Follow your customers
Another benefit of e-commerce is the amount of information you can get about your customers through web analytics. You can locate your customers, know what pages they are viewing on your site and what they are buying. You can then use this data to optimize your online store. What are your most popular products? Where do visitors leave your site? What are the design changes and promotions that increase sales? You can also use a lot of this information to drive sales in your store.
Nicole Smith’s team continually analyzes data within her company, Flytographer, a platform that
connects vacationers and professional photographers in more than 200 cities around the world. To
improve sales and create new products, Flytographer continually studies the data generated by its
website, online marketing efforts, and booking platform. The Victoria-based company “seeks to figure
out how to remove irritants and add pleasure” in every contact with customers, Ms. Smith says.
3. Improve your customer experience
An ever-increasing number of consumers are shopping online, but they also want an in-store experience – so they can touch and try merchandise while getting advice from your staff. An e-commerce site gives customers the best of both worlds. Your site gives them the ability to shop anytime, anywhere. You can further enhance the experience with apps that allow visitors to examine your merchandise up close and chat with your staff.
You can also use your e-commerce capacity to improve the in-store experience by equipping your employees with smartphones or tablets. They’ll be able to show customers what products are available online while they walk them through your store, and even take orders on the spot. Empire, a growing board sports chain of clothing and accessories, serves customers online and in the 10 stores, it operates in Quebec.
“Some customers can buy a snowboard online without taking it in their hands, but others will not,” said Philippe Grisé, president of Empire. “Many of them prefer to go to the store to get technical information from knowledgeable employees as well as to be able to touch the product and compare it with other makes and models.”
4. Extend your reach
E-commerce allows your business to compete with significantly larger competitors and expand its geographic reach beyond your community – that is, your region, nationwide, or overseas markets. The 7 Virtues is a Halifax-based company that makes Fragrances for Peace” from essential oils imported from countries undergoing reconstruction, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Rwanda.
These fragrances are sold in 70 Hudson’s Bay stores and as many Sephora stores in Canada. President Barbara Stegemann also plans to sell them soon at Sephora’s US branches. The 7 Virtues also operates an online store in Canada created on a WordPress platform.
“Our online store effectively complements our in-store presence,” says Stegemann. You really have to
go to the store to try our perfumes and discover the fragrances that suit you. Once you know them, you
can then restock online to save time. ”
“It works the other way around, too. We publish 6articles and magazines online featuring inspiring
women. When customers read these articles on our site, it piques their curiosity and entices them to
come to the store. ”
Tips for Success in Ecommerce
1. Start small
Don’t get bogged down in creating a complex and sophisticated website with hundreds of products. Start with a free or inexpensive e-commerce site, showcase three or four products to gauge the interest they generate, then fine-tune your ordering and delivery process.
2. Experiment, learn and adjust
Don’t expect to get it right the first time. Technology allows you to try new things quickly and inexpensively and to correct things.
3. Create an attractive site
Showcase beautiful images of your products, clear descriptions, and a user-friendly interface so visitors
can easily find what they’re looking for and make a purchase. Also, spark their interest with fun and
educational little touches, like tips on using your products, interesting videos, and information about
your business history.
The e-commerce platforms, today increasingly accessible thanks to the high competition of the market,
can be considered as the alias of your physical online store. They effectively represent an important section of your online office where you can directly control aspects related to your brand, update content and tell stories through integrated blogs, and above all sell and deliver your products.
The sales functions are integrated with marketing activities aimed at collecting, organizing, and exploiting data on your customers to retain them and increase their value over time. Currently, the main e-commerce platforms can be divided into two types of proprietary and/or open-source e-commerce. proprietary e-commerce This type of e-commerce requires greater use of resources and skills to manage all online sales activities in the face of a greater possibility of customization.
In fact, the term owner is used because they are extremely customized platforms on the needs of th individual company or online business. For their management and updating, specialized internal or external skills may therefore be required.
These platforms follow a subscription business model. S I can therefore pay online providers who develop all the technical parts of your e-commerce. They are generally cloud solutions, often open-source, which welcome and implement changes and updates by the users themselves.
This allows fewer customization options than proprietary solutions but has lower implementation costs and requires less specialized skills for their management and updating.
Marketplaces are essentially websites that collect and organize information on third-party sellers and products, making them visible and usable for any user arriving on these platforms. They are also limited to managing sales processing, facilitating the match between demand (consumers browsing online) and supply (sellers posting their offers on marketplaces). Currently, the best marketplaces for online sellers are Amazon.com, eBay, Etsy, Rakuten, and Jet.
Amazon.com is the largest e-commerce marketplace in the world, attracting hundreds of millions of customers to its site. Amazon.com doesn’t just win over a large customer base, it provides the amazing Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. The FBA program allows business owners to send their products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers to fulfill their orders and handle customer service requests.
eBay is a marketplace that has become famous thanks to its auctions. Sellers offer products for sale and their sale price is decided by an auction system by users interested in buying. Today eBay is adding more and more to this system a traditional sales system based on predefined prices, products, and stock quantities. Today is a great tool for testing demand and price for your products if you’re not sure what your offering is worth.
Etsy is a marketplace for “handmade” or artisans products. Customers who use Etsy are willing to pay a premium price precisely for the added value from the personal touch of those who made them. Etsy has low entry costs and an effective communication dashboard for interacting with customers, making it a perfect online marketplace for sellers of niche or highly customized products.
Formerly Buy.com, Rakuten is one of the top 3 e-commerce companies in the world. You can subscribe to the marketplace by joining various vendor programs. The professional costs $ 33 a month and is particularly effective for certain sectors and categories of online businesses.
Jet.com is a newcomer to the e-commerce market. Unlike other marketplaces, it is much more focused on the experience of end consumers. It can count on a sophisticated algorithm capable of obtaining the most convenient price for its customers. Clearly, given the business model, Jet is very active on the marketing side of attracting potential buyers. This can be an advantage for the sellers in the marketplace.
How to increase e-commerce traffic
Do you want to increase the traffic of your e-commerce?
Increasing the sales of e-commerce is the goal of every entrepreneur or marketing manager, and the first step to take to achieve it is to increase direct traffic to your web store and attract new potential customers. We all know that in the last year the world of online sales and e-commerce has experienced tremendous growth and it has therefore become more difficult to compete to stand out from the others and increase sales.
So it is important to understand which elements of an online marketing strategy work and analyze them
to be able to best adapt them to your business. With a personalized strategy, you can make your website more attractive and you will be able to attract more visitors. This way, you will be able to increase your sales and reach a larger base of new potential customers.
There are several methods of achieving these goals, such as
2. The SEM
3. E-mail marketing
4. social media
But before you start planning any strategy and choosing which tools to use, it is essential to understand why you should increase traffic to your e-commerce site and what are benefits you will get.