When Small Business Meets eCommerce: How Small Businesses Succeed in the Digital Marketplace
Here's a news flash for you:
People make money on the Internet. I know, unbelievable, right? The thing is that people often assume that the only companies that make money through eCommerce are the large companies with hundreds of employees and call centers in India. In truth, there are a lot of successful smaller operators in the eCommerce market; you could even make an argument that the Internet levels the playing field to a certain degree.
Benefits of eCommerce
Noobpreneur.com lists some of the benefits that eCommerce provides to any business, big or small. Some being, accessibility, not only to customers but also to suppliers and associates; advertising, the ability to reward loyal customers; communication and reducing cost while increasing overall effectiveness. The big guys all take advantage of these benefits, there's no reason a "Mom and Pop" store can't do the same.
The cornerstone of most of these benefits is efficiency. Owners can make sales and have information available to customers 24/7 without having to pay the staffing or ancillary costs of keeping your business open late. Also, you can advertise to worldwide markets or to very specific target demographics for a fraction of traditional marketing expenses. Even better, that marketing can give you feedback--it is generally easy to get data on how many people responded to a particular ad campaign, so you can fine-tune your efforts.
Of course, creating a web presence and using eCommerce involves a lot more than just choosing a domain name and waiting for the customers to show up. The website www.ecommerceforbeginners.com contains a number of tips for effectively launching an eCommerce campaign. The website strongly encourages the creation of a blog, since it can establish you as an expert in your industry and encourage people to return to your website. It is encouraged that you use an email newsletter to stay in contact with your potential customers, thus allowing you to keep them informed of new products and services, and offer them specials and coupons.
Social media is one of the most important aspects of an eCommerce plan. Any business, no matter how small, could create that piece of advertising that gets shared heavily over social media and go viral, bringing in millions of potential customers. Think of all the stupid things you get sent on your Facebook or Twitter account--how many of them have a product or brand attached to them? That's cheap advertising and if you pass it on to somebody else, that's more cheap advertising. All of this can be started with a well-placed "tweet" or "like" that starts from a company's social media account.
There is a gold mine of profit to be made from eCommerce, and it's not just reserved for the biggest companies in the world. Any company, no matter how small, can claim a domain name and take steps to establish a strong web presence. Using the web can increase the efficiency of your advertising and your operations, something that can make a small business compete effectively with larger businesses.
About the Author:
Zach Buckley is a freelance writer who is interested in exploring the intersection of culture, science and education. He lives in the Midwest and enjoys music, literature and good food.