Whatever reasons you may have for not looking into e-commerce yet, we want to tell you to reconsider. Like the title says: it’s easy, efficient, and very effective…and those are all things that are great for business. The OG team has put together this awesome primer to get you up to speed and on the right track to reap the benefits of a well-executed e-commerce strategy.
YES! Let’s do this! But, I still don’t actually know what E-Commerce is.
The E in e-commerce stands for electric, because it refers to the process of buying and selling goods and services online. Since the internet never closes, your customers have a 24/7, direct connection to your business from anywhere in the world. Most of the sales process is automated, which means you can focus on giving the best possible customer service and less on the actual transaction itself. So really, that E may as well stand for excellent commerce, because you already know you’ve got an amazing product- but now you’re able to put it out there for more people who couldn’t get their hands on it otherwise.
Think about all the things you shop for online now. The list probably grows every day, because e-commerce has changed the way almost everyone in the world shops… even if they plan to buy at a physical location in the end. It’s simply easier and faster for your clients to learn about you and your product online before they ever actually get around to seeing your product or meeting you in person. That’s why the OG team keeps coming back to the basics of figuring out your brand and designing a great website in our blog posts: it’s one of the most important selling tools you have in today’s world. And if you’ve already got the perfect sales pitch, then having e-commerce built in is the way to close the deal and capitalize on all of your hard work- even while you’re sleeping.
Bricks vs. Clicks… What about my real world presence?
One of the best things about e-commerce is that it can stand alone without a physical storefront, but it is built directly out of the successful business you’ve already worked hard to develop.
For those who want to shop physically, your website remains the best place for information on your company and your products or services, but they can still come to you if they crave the full experience. In fact, getting an e-commerce strategy in place means you’ll only be adding more information to the site you already have – such as pricing, pictures, and descriptions – and offering a quick and easy way to pay. You may find that you can convert customers on the spot who were only thinking about coming in with a convenient online experience, or that the sale is already made for those who do visit your retail location. Your web and real world presence will only be heightened by integrating e-commerce, and your sales will start trending upwards as a result.
Introducing e-commerce to your digital presence doesn’t have to replace your real world operations. Depending on your customers, the type of product or service you sell, and your needs as a business, introducing e-commerce might be the perfect supplement to an already thriving company that amps up your profits. You might also find that cutting back on your physical operations and going fully online is the direction that’s right for you.
A short list of the benefits of e-commerce includes:
- Lowered costs. Printed catalogs, physical mailing, and most customer service and transaction costs are eliminated by one simple automated online process.
- Add-on sales become easier, as ‘related’ and ‘suggested’ items can be offered intuitively and unobtrusively. Loyalty or buy-more-get-more programs can be built right in, which will drive higher value purchases.
- Customer engagement is never broken. You can offer more information and it can naturally funnel a customer into a sale, while actually doing a better job of keeping them engaged right through to the end of the transaction (and even beyond, with order updates or account perks!) The ability to compare prices and product details means customers feel in control and empowered during the shopping experience, and they’ll never be put off by a long line when it’s time to check out.
- Did we mention lowered costs? You don’t need as much retail display space for large items, your full product range, or more tills. You don’t need to train extra salespeople, get new point of sale equipment, or make bank runs at end of day. You can stay open 24/7 without rent or utilities.
- Your promotional power is exponentially multiplied. You can create links to your products within your updates, promotions, industry news and social media. Customers can share products and sale prices, and become ‘brand advocates’ for you. You can also share the same information yourself quickly, to a wide audience with no physical preparation. Sales no longer require item tagging or re-staging; they can be online almost instantly.
- Ease of implementation. You can have a shopping cart built and online in a matter of days. A crack web design and marketing team- kind of like ours!- can integrate a shopping cart into the website you already have, or redevelop a super shiny new one quickly to your exact specifications. We can even make a shopping cart for your Facebook page!
So how does E-commerce work with what I already have?
The real beauty of a well-executed e-commerce strategy is that it caps everything off – it’s sort of the cherry on top of your tasty online sundae. Let’s break down your delicious digital presence into bits and pieces to get a better understanding. Your website is the base layer of ice cream. It makes up the majority of your digital presence – it’s visually attractive, there’s enough content to fill you up, and it’s totally satisfying just as it is.
But it has the potential to be so much more…
If you’re delivering value and content above and beyond the basics, that’s your sauce.
Chocolate, strawberry, caramel; it’s all delightful. Things like an industry blog, helpful tips and tricks, or other content that will become a resource to your customers isn’t strictly necessary, but who ever said no to a little extra? (Not me. Thank goodness reading articles is kinder to the waistline.) By providing that additional value, you can elevate your brand and website while giving your potential clients a reason to keep coming back for more.
E-commerce is the perfect topping. You’ve made this awesomely appetizing website, and you’ve layered it with an interesting blog that gets people excited about what’s going on in your industry. I’m not going to turn down that bowl of chocolate-drizzled vanilla, but it just isn’t a sundae without sprinkles, or nuts, or fruit…or the ability to purchase product online! You’re taking something good and making it great. You’re taking that hunger for your products that builds as customers consume the info on your website and your original content, and you’re pulling the whole package together with excellent service and convenience. If your digital presence is working to full effect, people are going to want to get their hands on your product right away and you don’t want to miss out on those easy sales.
Are you craving a sweet shopping cart yet?
Give Original Ginger a call at 778.298.1966 or Toll Free at 1.855.298.8650. We can help you implement an easy, efficient and effective e-commerce strategy that will fit your needs perfectly. Keep an eye on our blog if you want to learn more; we’ll be sharing how a great cart and a unique online shopping experience can drive sales for your business. We also invite you to download our Guide to E-Commerce.
Imagine your E-commerce Website: beautiful, functional and effective
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Essential Guide to E-commerce
This guide walks you through all of the elements you need to consider when choosing an “out of the box” e-commerce solution so you can strike a perfect balance between design, function, customer experience and user experience.