Should Your Business Participate in Ecommerce?
This article is the beginning of a 12 part series on Ecommerce 101 in the coming weeks. We will be talking about a wide variety of topics related to answering the question as to why your business should do ecommerce. Most, if not all, of the blog articles will be followed by a video as well as a downloadable whitepaper on the subject of Ecommerce as a Primer. as you read and watch be sure to take notes as well as comment on the information, like us and even tell-a-friend.
So does it make sense to start and online store? Really? In today’s economy? Have you considered that starting an online store could just be like owning my bass boat – one big hole to pour money! As they say the best 2 days in a boat owners life is when he buys the boat and when he sells it.
All kidding aside with today’s reduced barriers to entry, access to variety of quality products and all of the resources it takes to succeed, does make sense to start an online store as part of your bricks-and-mortar store or as a free standing store front online? The following stats confirm that it does make sense.
Some Of The Stats
– 78% of shoppers use the Internet to purchase and to research products.
– #1 reason people shop online is to save time!
– Amazon sells more that its closest 12 competitors combined!
– Over 50% of branded manufactures said their online sales increased since launching retail-integrated Ecommerce and 10% saw online sales double.
– 73% of branded manufactures say retail-integrated Ecommerce has increased their overall sales (online and in-store combined) since launch, with 15% reporting it has increased sales by more than 10%
– 33% of branded manufactures using retail-integrated Ecommerce saw retail and online sales increase by 10% or more since 2012.
– 51% of retailers who who fulfill online orders by brand manufactures for them increased spend on their brand since they launched the service.
– 75% of branded manufactures report that their dealers express happiness with their retail-integrated Ecommerce Program.
Ok! Now you are getting excited and you are ready to jump in with both feet but before you do you need to consider some real world realities. The biggest one is have you done your research?
– Have you taken the time to identify your real and possible competitors?
– What does the audience you are selling to look like?
– Do you have your ideal customer clearly defined?
– Do you know where they like to play on the Internet so you can entice them to come and play in your field?
At this point you should have a complete and detailed folder on all of this and more just like the FBI would do if they were going to do a full workup on you and their business for their files. Armed with this information you are beginning to spot buying trends, needs, wants and more of your targeted market place. You can never have enough information!
The next thing you need to formulate is a strategy on how you are going to meet those needs in combination with your retail bricks-and-mortar store or stand alone online store. Once you define your companies unique value proposition, what makes you different, you will have a clear picture of what gives you a competitive advantage. As a business you have to decide to do ecommerce based on a tried and true business principle of SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) in order to survive. Answer the the following questions is part of that process:
– What are our strengths going to be with our online store?- What sort of weaknesses do we have from operations, management, financial, market, product mix, experience, etc.?
– What sort of opportunities can we create better than the competition to sell more and sell often?
– What sort of threats do we see that will effect our business from competition, budgets, marketing and other sources?
All of this should get your juices flowing as you look to the Web to grow and expand your company sales online. Ok! You have decide to jump off the cliff and do it! You are going to build that online presence so what next? Click now to learn how to start building an amazing online presence.
As always we welcome your input and suggestions. Also we would like to hear about your successes, nightmares and stories of starting a business online.