eCommerce for SMBs (small and medium businesses) is a concept that is gaining popularity due to the numerous benefits that are on offer. The industry is still considered to be in its nascent stage but is growing rapidly day by day. In this article, we will take a deeper look into eCommerce and how SMBs can benefit from it.
Traditionally, most businesses used to rely on brick-and-mortar stores for retail purposes. However, there was one major problem associated with this. Aspiring entrepreneurs often start with an extremely low budget, which would make it difficult for them to afford a space that could be used as a retail outlet.
Fortunately, the digital revolution has changed this scenario significantly. The advent of the internet has brought on a shift in the retail industry through the introduction of electronic commerce. Entrepreneurs no longer have to worry about the initial investment associated with launching a physical store because they can do the same virtually with a fraction of the money that they would usually spend.
According to a survey, 64% of small businesses claim to have significantly increased their revenues or sales after the introduction of an online store.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an even greater affinity for online shopping. This transformation encouraged many local businesses to adopt eCommerce into their business model despite an initial reluctance. This is because many of these shops are witnessing a drop in footfalls due to social distancing requirements. eCommerce provides them with the perfect opportunity to capitalize on their existing customer base despite a business continuity crisis.
What Exactly is eCommerce or Electronic Commerce?
Electronic commerce, commonly known as eCommerce is a burgeoning concept that involves the procedure of purchasing or trading a product, service, or data via online networks including the internet. The most popular forms of electronic commerce are B2B and B2C. The primary difference between these two forms of eCommerce can be understood through the transactions and interactions that occur in them. B2B eCommerce organizations facilitate transactions, communication, and interactions between business partners, while B2C eCommerce organizations focus on the end-user.
Benefits of eCommerce for SMBs
Now that we know what eCommerce is, let’s take a look into why SMBs should strive to adopt an eCommerce business model as soon as possible.
Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of eCommerce for SMBs listed below:
- Operational costs will be much lesser
- Higher revenue
- Easier to acquire new customers
- Effective word of mouth marketing
Operational Costs will be Much Lesser
When you launch an online store, you won’t need to spend even half as much money when compared to a traditional physical shop. This is because brick and mortar stores involve a number of investments like property purchase, renting, electricity, human resources, etc. On the other hand, online stores do not come with any kind of overhead costs. Even if you have to pay initially for web development services, the amount that you will spend on them won’t come anywhere close to what you would spend with a traditional store. This makes eCommerce an ideal option for SMBs that don’t want to invest huge amounts of money initially.
Since the business would not need to rely only on the number of footfalls experienced in-store. They can even sell their products to a much larger number of people all over the world. eCommerce does not impose any sort of geographical barriers. It only makes it easy for businesses to reach new audiences that they wouldn’t be able to interact with otherwise. This helps in driving conversions and sales. Additionally, online stores are open all the time and do not have any specific working hours. This round the clock availability allows shoppers to purchase products whenever they want, which in turn increases revenue to a very large extent.
Easier to Acquire New Customers
Traditional brick and mortar shops often depend on branding strategies and word of mouth for their marketing efforts. Although these methods have been in effect for a long time, they are outdated in today’s world. eCommerce provides businesses with the opportunity to provide services to customers in a digital medium for greater visibility. Techniques like search engine optimization have helped drive large amounts of traffic to online stores, resulting in more interested customers. By simply developing pages that can be indexed by search engine crawlers and paired with customers’ online search queries, small businesses can increase brand awareness to a large extent.
Effective Word of Mouth Marketing
Most of the time, it is difficult for small and medium businesses to capitalize on their loyal customers. Although these customers may promote the store in their own way, it is done on a very small scale. With online stores, customers can easily endorse your online stores by leaving reviews or testimonials on your website. This helps in establishing instant buyer trust, leading to much larger sales.
All said and done, eCommerce for SMBs is becoming increasingly popular each day. It is important for SMBs to consider opening their own online store to keep up with their customers’ needs and requirements. E-stores can help level the playing field for SMBs by giving them the opportunity to cater to customers from all over the world.
If you have any questions about how you can use eCommerce to empower your business. Feel free to reach out and we will be happy to help.