As a service-based business, you can take advantage of the numerous benefits that e-commerce can offer. With cost reduction, increased flexibility, diverse payment solutions and expanded customer reach, you can take your business to new heights in the digital landscape. Whether you are a lawyer, accountant, consultant, architect or any other service provider, your business can thrive online.
How Can Your Business Benefit from eCommerce?
Your business can thrive in the digital landscape by harnessing the power of eCommerce with the following advantages: cost reduction, enhanced flexibility, expanded customer reach, and e-commerce payment systems.
Reduced Associated Costs
E-commerce provides businesses with a significant advantage, namely cost reduction. Running a physical store necessitates substantial upfront expenses such as rent, repairs, store design, inventory, and workforce. Even after investing in these services, stock, maintenance, and workforce, sellers may not achieve their desired profits and return on investment.
However, with an e-commerce store, sellers can significantly reduce costs. An e-commerce store is affordable and requires less investment when compared to a brick-and-mortar store. As a result, this is a great opportunity for individuals and small-scale sellers who want to earn an income but don’t have the required start-up capital.
Offer Customers Flexibility and Convenience
In a world of convenience, after-hours appointment booking should be seamless. Offering online booking and payment lets customers easily schedule, research, and pay, preventing them from looking elsewhere due to delays.
Furthermore, e-commerce thrives on flexibility, offering 24/7 accessibility to products and services and fostering customer loyalty through free shipping, fast delivery, deals, and subscription advantages. Additionally, customers share their reviews on the products they buy, which can help sellers in two ways. Firstly, positive reviews can build trust in the store and attract more buyers. Secondly, it allows sellers to identify their best-selling items.
Reach More Customers
E-commerce is an excellent way for merchants to expand their reach beyond local markets and reach a global audience. It allows businesses to break free from geographical limitations and tap into international customer bases. This expanded reach is further enhanced by personalized marketing capabilities, which enable businesses to offer tailored product recommendations and promotions based on customer behaviour.
In addition, the 24/7 availability of e-commerce platforms ensures that potential customers can shop at their convenience, which increases the likelihood of sales. E-commerce also allows businesses to showcase a wider range of products and precisely target niche markets, providing them with tools to cater to diverse customer preferences effectively. Overall, e-commerce is a powerful tool that businesses can use to reach and engage with a broader and more diverse customer base.
Several Payment Solutions for Professional Services
When developing an e-commerce website, adding all possible payment solutions might be overwhelming. However, offering only one payment option limits your potential customer base. According to the 2019 Payment Methods Report, buyers tend to abandon shopping carts due to unexpected shipping costs (55%) and a lengthy checkout process (26%). Moreover, 6% of buyers abandon shopping carts because of insufficient payment alternatives.
Hostgator reports that the top payment methods include Apple Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, American Express, Stripe, Square, Visa, and Masterpass. This means sellers no longer must miss out on potential sales due to limited e-commerce payment systems.
5 Things to Consider Before Launching an E-commerce Platform
- Website Security
As an e-commerce business, ensuring the safety of your website is critical. No internet user would want to catch a bug while browsing the web, and a data privacy breach could put your business at risk. Lead contact information can be stolen and sold, and you could also permanently lose essential data.
Moreover, an unsecured website can harm your reputation on Google and other search engines. Google now flags websites without an SSL certificate and HTTPS protocol, which are more than mere recommendations. Without these components, users won’t be able to visit your site, and your business could lose potential orders if your certificate has expired.
- Optimize Your E-commerce Website
According to research by Think with Google, if a page takes up to five seconds to load, the probability of visitors bouncing increases by 90%. Therefore, optimizing and ensuring your site is in top-performance condition is crucial.
The main objective of SEO is to improve your sales by ranking your website higher in search engines. This is achieved through various strategies and techniques, including adding keywords to your site’s content and meta information to pages, titles, descriptions, and images.
- Customer Registrations and Data
Registering on an e-commerce website can bring benefits such as saving shopping history and delivery address. However, some users prefer a guest checkout form or a one-click-buy feature. If getting a sale is more important than collecting personal data, consider adding a guest checkout feature to your e-commerce site. You can also remind shoppers of your site address by adding it to the order packaging or at the end of the message with the shipment number.
A registration form is not the only option available. You can also ask users to sign in with social media or fill out a minimal form with their name, email, and phone number. Either way, you can auto-generate an account and email them the login details.
- Mobile Version
As per the 2022 Pew Research, 76% of Americans use their mobile device for online transactions. Even though mobile apps are preferred for online shopping, having an e-commerce interface that can easily adapt to the mobile web can lead to better conversion rates.
As the usage of mobile devices increases each year, it is wise to allocate resources towards the development of responsive design. This includes incorporating adaptable typography, image sizes, and mobile-specific features like hidden menus. It is important to ensure that the mobile site is optimized down to the product descriptions.
- Social Proof
Including customer feedback on your site is crucial to build trust and credibility among potential buyers. With 93% of customers relying on online reviews to make purchase decisions, presenting a professional and polished image of your brand is imperative.
How To Get Started with E-Commerce
Starting an online store doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here’s a brief guide on how to get started. Picking the Perfect Hosting Platform for Your E-commerce. There are a few options when looking for an e-commerce platform to host your online store. Shopify is a popular choice, with over a million online stores using it. It also integrates with most website builders and customer insights tools like Hojtar. If you already have a WordPress site, the WordPress plugin WooCommerce is a solid option. It’s important to decide how you want to conduct your business before deciding.
Picking the Right Path for Website Development
Creating an online store through e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace is easy and efficient. However, if you have bigger plans for your business, such as starting a company blog, then it would be best to create a website that can host your online shop. Fortunately, website builders are available that allow you to create websites without the need for coding knowledge. It’s also important to note that you may need to pay for web hosting, which means renting space on a hosting provider’s server, so your website has a place to live. However, some website builders offer this service as part of their package, and it can be quite affordable.