It is highly important to ramp up your digital presence now more than ever!
Starting a business once meant investing in a brick-and-mortar address that could persuade customers to walk through the door. However, with changing times and the emergence of the global pandemic in 2019, many businesses started investing in developing their e-commerce websites and marketplaces to continue their revenue.
Not just retailers and business owners, but even customers found solace in online shopping (because of the restrictions on visiting physical stores). While the forced lockdowns helped customers transition to online platforms, a greater demand for products, as a result, catalysed businesses to move toward eCommerce.
Many small to medium-sized businesses invested heavily in building a website to sell their products. Businesses with limited funds expanded their horizons and started selling their products on online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to survive. For many retailers, the pandemic brought an opportunity to develop an online offering of the products that sold well in stores. Bowens, a leading building materials and timber supplier in Victoria, launched its first e-commerce platform in December 2020. In the past, the hardware & building material supplying industries predominantly relied on in-store shopping to drive their businesses. But with a huge shift in Australian consumer behaviour driven by Covid-19, stores like Bowens focused on building an e-commerce website to make sales.
Benefits of having an eCommerce store
One of the most significant advantages of eCommerce is that it takes your business to people who are far away and unable to visit the store physically. By having an online store, you can sell your products or services to different locations from a single location. E-commerce is a growing part of not just retail, but the economy. Small businesses should look to selling online as not just an increase in revenue, but as a way to further connect with their audiences and expand their name.
Although building a website, setting up payment gateways, hiring a customer service team and investing in digital marketing seem like a lot of work, it can be done smoothly and in less time. With excellent automation and management tools available in the market, the process of setting up an online store has become easy.
Unlike physical shopping, online shopping can be done at any hour and from any device. For instance, if you’re a retailer selling products online, your products can be purchased by someone at midnight, and you’ll be able to ship the product in the morning or ask the customer to pick it up from your store using click & collect. Using e-commerce eliminates the limitation of ‘open hours’ as it remains open 24/7, letting shoppers shop at their convenience.
Adapting to e-commerce is not an instant effect. It’s a learning curve. You first set up an online store, invest in marketing, drive traffic to your store by introducing discounts and promotions and then monitor the traffic to understand user behaviour. It takes time to get it right but ensuring that you work with e-commerce is vital.