eCommerce is not new. People have been trading through the internet since the mid-90s. But in the past few years, eCommerce has picked up momentum and is becoming quickly mainstream. Both local and global businesses in all types of industries are dedicating resources to building eCommerce platforms. It is no longer a privilege for a few businesses but a necessity if you want your business to stay afloat. Lacking an online presence will cost your business revenue.
Why eCommerce Is Very Important To Your Business
The Irish eCommerce industry is valued at €7 billion and is expected to grow by 8.6% by the end of 2021. According to the Irish Retail and Consumer Report 2019 by PwC, at least 20% of Irish consumers make online purchases every week. Whether you are running an SME or an established business, here are five reasons why an eCommerce website is a must-have;
1.An opportunity to grow your brand
Is there an easier and more affordable way to grow your brand than through eCommerce? Think about how online reviews, social media conversations, and customer testimonials on your website would place your brand in front of the whole world. It is way more effective than placing an ad in Prime Time. Even in the event of negative reviews, you can still make them work to the advantage of your brand. Basically, having an online presence allows you to control the narrative about your brand.
You can also establish your brand as an authority within your niche through high-quality, informative content. It will enable you to portray your brand as an industry thought leader.
2. Offers convenience
An eCommerce website allows you to run your business round the clock when the brick-and-mortar store is closed. Besides, people want to be able to shop on the go. Their schedules don’t allow them the luxury of walking through a physical store looking for one or two products. The flexibility and convenience of shopping through your website and have their purchases delivered to their doorstep will make your business preferred to the competition.
3. Increase your market reach
An eCommerce website will allow you to expand your market reach beyond your geographical location. Search engine optimisation and social media marketing will get your business in front of the whole world and increase your brand visibility. Even if you are just targeting visitors to your locality, you can make use of local SEO to let people who are new to your area find your business.
4. More effective marketing
Digital marketing has a better ROI compared to traditional marketing. How many people would you need on your marketing team to cover the whole of Dublin effectively? And how long would it take you? Not to mention that not many people would have the time for your marketing staff. Spending your marketing budget on digital marketing strategies such as pay-per-click advertising is still more effective than buying ad space in traditional media. You get to pay only for the results.
There are also marketing automation tools that allow you access to data and analytics that will revolutionise your marketing strategy and make them more efficient. You cannot have those with traditional marketing.
5. Enable you to save costs while scaling your business
Scaling a brick-and-mortar store will require additional staff and sometimes even moving into a larger location. But an eCommerce website will allow you to add more lines and products without changing your current business premises. Maybe all you will now need to invest in is a warehouse for storing the products. That is still cheaper than moving to a new location. You can also operate a 24-store on an eCommerce platform without having to budget for extra store employees.
Now that you know why you need to have an eCommerce website, which features should your website have? The five must-have features for a smart business website include;
- A perfect home page
- Media support
- SEO features
- Clear site navigation and architecture
- CRM integration
Having a website is not enough. Having a smart website is the surest way to generate leads and conversions online. Smart features such as chatbots will make it easier for customers to interact with your business and therefore increase lead generation and sales. But the world doesn’t end at developing a business website. You will need to periodically review and update the website to ensure that it serves your purpose optimally.
Reasons To Review And Update Your eCommerce Website
After a period of time, it is always important to redesign or restructure content, generate new photos and copy, implement new technologies, and refocus on your website services. Periodic reviews will help to keep your website updated and optimal for business functions. Here are the top four reasons for a periodic review of your eCommerce website;
1. Serve customers better
The primary goal of developing an eCommerce website is to serve your customers better. Your website should be customer-centric. Conducting periodic reviews will enable you to improve your service delivery. Most customers will compare your website to that of a competitor before making a purchasing decision. You need to stay ahead of the game and win the customer perception race. You can only do this through an updated website with the latest content.
2. Improve your search engine ranking
Search engines such as Google love new up-to-date content. New content will rank better than updated content. The more activity on your website, the better your Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) ranking is likely to be. Outdated content will make your SEO efforts futile.
3. Enhance website security
It is important to regularly renew your website security certificates to protect the integrity of your website. It also protects your web visitors. Conducting regular website audits will help you unmask vulnerabilities and take care of them before malicious characters attack. Website security is not a preserve for the more established brands only. Site integrity is important if you are to build your brand online.
4. Update your business focus
Over time, your business focus, services on offer, and target demographics are likely to change or improve. As your business grows, so will you need to keep visitors updated on the new developments. The content will need to be updated to be relevant.
How often should you perform a website audit and review? You can develop a periodic review cycle for your website. For example, you can do website reviews every quarter and audit whether your business processes have changed. But updates for new services or offerings should be implemented immediately the services are introduced. New updates and features should be informed by analytics and key data such as page visitors and document downloads,\ among others.
This is the only way to make your eCommerce website work for you and bring a return on investment. For smart website solutions that will take your business to the next level, get in touch with us.