Ecommerce, a nickname for electronic commercial transactions, has changed the way that most everyone shops. In fact, it is suggested that by 2021, 2.14 billion users will purchase items online–a large number that is only continuing to increase. Due to this, it is necessary for a business to integrate ecommerce not only into their vocabularies, but also their general practices.
The ability to shop and purchase items online has changed the way a business functions in many ways. One of the beauties of ecommerce is the fact that nearly any business can take advantage of its benefits no matter the product or service they sell. Whether a business identifies as a bakery or a clothing store, ecommerce is an option regardless of the nature of the business.
For instance, shopping for a wedding dress or options for a bridal party in a conventional store is incredibly time-consuming, and more importantly, not always an option for those with busy schedules or those who reside in rural areas. Online wedding shops, such as JJ’s House, make it possible for a consumer to search among countless options in order to find what they’re searching for. When a business chooses to integrate ecommerce into their practice, they are creating new ways for customers to pay for items.
They are also creating an opportunity to reach the 60% of people who are shopping online. This is an overwhelming percentage that is important for companies to take advantage of. By not integrating e-commerce into their physical business, they are drastically decreasing the amount of reach that would be available to them if they were to incorporate an online store presence.
Additionally, more customers means the chance to generate repeat transactions per customer. In fact, in a survey of 6,000 people, 47% preferred to repeat their purchase online. Therefore, they are not only creating a larger customer base by being more available to others with their online presence, they are creating the opportunity to nearly double their sales by way of repeat transactions per their already existing client base.
Along with an increase in customer base and repeat purchases, ecommerce allows for an increase in referrals and online reviews. In fact, according to Forbes, online reviews are the single most important thing to attract new customers to a business. Online reviews are somewhat akin to an in-person referral. These reviews create an opportunity for potential customers to feel as though they are receiving shopping advice from a friend.
This creates a sense of a human to human interaction, as opposed to a web to human interaction. By creating this type of experience, potential buyers are able to relate to those who have already purchased, compare their style to another’s, and even view personal pictures that other buyers have posted. This creates a “real” element to an online shopping experience.
Due to the fact that customer relationships are important when building rapport, another benefit of ecommerce is the ability to keep an eye on a customer’s buying habit. This is important because it allows a business to keep track of frequently viewed items, items that have been added to a shopping cart, and items that have been purchased. This is a tool that businesses can take advantage of by suggesting additional items that might appeal to the online customer.
Even further, a simple email follow-up can be easily implemented where past-viewed items, suggested items, or items abandoned in the customer’s cart are sent to the consumer in a tailored email specific to them. This creates an increased customer experience which can also increase brand loyalty.
Along with the importance of customer relationships, e-commerce creates a sense of competence and reputability. If an online store is partnered with big credit card brands such as: Visa, American Express, Discover, or PayPal, this creates a customer realization of a business’s legitimacy. Along with legitimacy, this creates an experience that makes it much easier for a customer to complete a checkout.
If an online store has an option to integrate a payment transaction system, such as PayPal or another online payment method that securely stores a customer’s payment information, this increases the speed of a checkout. In fact, according to PayPal, 54% more of consumers are willing to purchase from an online store when that store offers PayPal and 59% of users have abandoned their cart upon coming to the realization that an online business does not accept PayPal.
Therefore, by creating an online store, it becomes a completely different experience as opposed to a brick and mortar, physical. We know that 60% of people shop online as opposed to visiting a store in person. By allowing a customer to have the experience that they want, easy accessibility, options to gather other’s opinions, all based off of a trust, it’s absolutely no wonder as to why ecommerce is so incredibly important to a thriving business.