In todays frenzied, finance driven world, we have observed the rise of the online marketplace, due to ever expanding technological benchmarks being set. The line between commerce and ecommerce has subsequently been blurred. Given the increased importance placed on having an online presence means as a business owner, you cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to reach potential customers.
Ecommerce vs. Commerce:
Businesses in the early 2000s operating in the online sector often referred to themselves as ‘ecommerce merchants’ or ‘online retailers’, in order to distinguish themselves from shop based retailers. But in the present day, these terms don’t necessarily apply as there is no real difference between the two. It doesn’t really matter what you call yourself, as ecommerce is or ‘online retailing’ is simply a technology and a sales channel. In fact it may even hinder your business by pigeonholing yourself into a category of commerce. It is best to keep it straightforward when stating what your company does. It is important to be clear about the product you are selling, and to know the specific audience you need to target. The focus should be on your customers and its value proposition rather than whether or not you sell online. Almost all businesses have online services so you don’t need to clarify this. As a business in 2014, it is essential that you engage in all possible sales channels. It is imperative that your company offers the following:
- Social Media – In these times of immediacy, it is vital to have a social media presence, if you do not have one then it is likely your market share is declining.
- Marketplaces – It is best to sell your products in a variety of marketplaces (Amazon, EBay, etc.) not just your own store or website.
- Payment Options – It is important to accept as many different payment types as you can. Paypal, Google Wallet, and Amazon offer popular payment services. You could lose out on potential customers if alternate pay methods aren’t available.
- Mobile – Operating a mobile service is another crucial market that your company needs to offer.
- Chat and Phone – If your business doesn’t have a chat service or accept phone orders then you are only hurting yourself.
In the early 2000s, the purchase cycle of a consumer was far more clear-cut than it is today. They generally knew when, where and what they wanted and how to go about purchasing a product. Whereas now, there is so much competition, that consumers often research products more diligently before buying in. The buying cycle goes somewhat like this: A consumer identifies a need and purchase intent, researches products, researches prices, further product research, conducts social media research, before finally purchasing the product, demanding instant gratification.
To be successful in 2014 you need to focus on your customer and their needs, as it is they who will ultimately decide how successful you will be.
- Knowing your target customer – Know their buying cycles, demographics, and where they go about their research.
- Execute the 4 ‘P’s of sales and marketing – ‘Product’, ‘Price’, ‘Promotion’ and ‘Place’
- Know your competitors
- Emphasize your value proposition
- Build and reinforce your brand – Invest in omnichannel branding.
Advansys – Ecommerce solutions
The Advansys group, founded in 2000, is a leading provider of high quality, specialist b2b ecommerce solutions that fuse innovative technology with stylish design. As Experts in internet marketing, we can increase your business’s online presence. Feel free to contact us to find out how we can help your company, you can telephone 0845 838 2700 or alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.