The Benefits of Using E-Commerce in Business

With the rapid influx of small businesses and entrepreneurs entering the market, it is essential for business owners to maintain a competitive edge in order to preserve their economic resilience as a going concern.

 

This can be accomplished through inter alia, staying relevant and up to date in an ever-changing technologically advanced arena.

One of the newest advancements in online business is the concept of E-Commerce which involves the buying and selling of goods or services on the internet using online payment systems.The use of E-Commerce platforms has not only become the norm for major brands and companies but has proven to be a profitable initiative globally in the MSME sector for numerous reasons shared in this article.

Traditionally, entrepreneurs would seek to obtain a ‘brick and mortar’ establishment to conduct their business while utilising social media only to market their products in an endeavour to encourage persons to visit their location. However, this has its drawbacks as customers who could not reach the firm within its working hours would be left disappointed and the business would inevitably lose scores of potential customers. E-Commerce effectively reduces the possibility for this loss on both sides and adds value to both business owners and consumers alike.

By utilising an E-Commerce website, businesses become 24-hour firms which are easily accessible to the public via the internet. Not only does this broaden the brand from simply ‘brick and mortar’ to having a simultaneous online presence but also makes the company easily scalable. In other words, business owners can grow their operations and extend their product lines without the need to travel the costly route of expanding a physical location. This is also extremely beneficial to consumers as they would not only have the convenient option to shop from the comfort of their homes but they would also be privy to all products offered by the company at their leisure which would not be possible in a physical setting. This creates a huge competitive advantage for businesses over others refusing to implement such a platform as E-Commerce websites rapidly become the preferred method of shopping for consumers.

Contrastingly, in some instances, entrepreneurs may opt not to have a physical establishment at all, conducting all of their business transactions online. This would significantly decrease the amount of venture capital required to commence a business operation while still allowing for appreciable revenue to be made. Therefore, the possibility for easier start-up opportunities and by extension employment opportunities is multiplied.

Another advantage of having an E-Commerce platform would be that it increases the brand’s reach. Due to universal access to the world wide web, international consumers would be able to discover, view and buy products sold by companies in other parts of the world. As a result of this game changer, a company’s brand may grow regionally and internationally without a need for physical branches being present in each country.

From a marketing perspective, E-Commerce platforms generate major opportunities for increasing sales. This is because business owners can easily give extensive information and details on a product for customer perusal, target specific social media audiences with promotions and effectively persuade consumers to purchase an item by automatically directing them to the online check out point. This prevents customers from changing their minds at a later date by allowing them to purchase products when they are inclined to do so.

Additionally, E-Commerce platforms open the door for extraordinary customer satisfaction as it eliminates the possibility for poor customer service by representatives in a physical firm and allows consumers to leave product reviews, queries and feedback anonymously. The use of E-Commerce websites can also aid in the lowering of product prices as recurring expenses incurred by a physical establishment such as store management, inventory, shop rent and salary costs would not be suffered by an online firm. With these fixed and variable costs being significantly reduced, owners would be more readily able to offer products at cheaper prices.

Finally, business owners can benefit from analytical data reports available from utilising an E-Commerce platform. Information gained from these reports would assist the owner in making crucial decisions pertaining to inter alia product line discontinuation, mass production and marketing strategies based on consumer buying patterns.