Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ecommerce: The Next Necessity?

Terrapin Art & Design Ecommerce WebsiteThe small business world and its customers are constantly changing, so you are always changing. Your company has kept up with the trends and changes in how customers pay for products and services.  From cash-only to checks to credit cards - you've adapted your business & systems accordingly.

Everything came down to a business decision. Is the money there? Is the timing right? Will this keep my existing customers happy AND bring in new ones? The new question - is adding ecommerce capabilities to your website the next necessity?

Ecommerce is a product of economic and tech evolution

Beyond Ebay & Amazon
Ecommerce is a product of economic and tech evolution. In most minds, ecommerce = Ebay and Amazon. As these companies boomed, people started trusting their credit card information to the web. With their popularity, Ebay and Amazon blazed the trail for any product based company to sell online.

Consumer acceptance has now opened the door for service-based companies to add online payments to their repertoire.  Gym memberships, insurance instalments, account / bill payments, donations; now you can accept payments for any service with an ecommerce system.

Keeping Up with Convenience

Keeping Up with Convenience
Our need for convenience set off the ecommerce boom. This accessibility brings benefits to both your company and customer. Ecommerce takes the sales & customer service pressure off your business. The customer in turn controls the buying & payment process on their terms. It’s a win-win:

·         Your win: A crucial selling tool and added revenue.
·         Your customers’ win: Getting what they need, when they need it, on THEIR time.

US consumers will spend an average of $1,472 per year online

The Consumer Has Spoken
The trend is clear and the statistics are staggering: US consumers will spend an average of $1,472 per year online between now and 2016. Ecommerce has done nothing but grow in recent years: 

·         In 2011, the total tally of US online receipts hit $202 billion
·         It climbed to $226 billion in 2012
·         Ecomm spending projects to spike another 45% to $327 billion in 2016
·         In 2012, total worldwide ecommerce spending reached $1 TRILLION 

Is Ecommerce right for your business?

Is Ecommerce right for your business?
There is no better time than right now to weigh your options.  Start by researching ecommerce systems that are specific to your industry.  Look at your competitors' websites to see if they have incorporated online purchasing or payments.  Print up an Accounts Receivables report to see if ecommerce can help streamline the payment process.  Get input from employees & customers.  Ultimately if you determine that now is NOT the right time for ecommerce, it's something that should stay on your radar to be re-evaluated every couple of years if not more frequently.