"Wondering whether to jump into ecommerce? Here's what you need to know..."
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to take the next step and start selling online, you might find the amount of information out there a little overwhelming. At Thrive, we’ve helped countless small-to-medium sized businesses increase their visibility, sales, and long-term prospects by embracing ecommerce. So, we think we’re the people to steer you in the right direction. There are really just three questions you have to answer...
1. Should you go online?
The major strategic hurdle all business owners face when they make a big decision is also the most straightforward: does this move make sense ? In the case of ecommerce, most businesses that sit down and think about it come to the same conclusion: yes, this is something we have to do if we want to survive, thrive, and grow. The reasons for this are obvious... the internet is fast becoming the world’s major sales channel. According to Statista, the UK’s ecommerce market will reach £80.6 billion this year, with almost 60 million people shopping online. This market is growing every year – but that’s not because millions more consumers are appearing and deciding they only shop via ecommerce... every retail pound spent online is a retail pound that would once have been spent on the high street. So, for most businesses, the relevant question is not whether they want access to this huge and growing market, but rather, how much longer they can afford to ignore it.
2. Can you go online?
Assuming a business should do something, the next question to ask is whether they can. If you had a crystal ball in 1990 and realised the value of going online, you might have struggled. You would have had to employ a coder to create a completely bespoke online sales portal for the website you’ve already paid for. You would have had to figure out how to provide shoppers with secure payments and dealt with all the shipping. You would have had to figure out how to get your website indexed in Google and put in front of customers. And none of this would have come cheap. Luckily, the process is much easier today. In 2021, almost any business can make the jump to ecommerce quickly, cheaply, and easily. Rather than a huge budget or technical wizardry, the only things a business owner who wants to embrace ecommerce needs are passion, motivation, and optimism. If you have those three qualities, ecommerce is well within your grasp.
3. How do you go online?
In almost all cases, small to medium sized businesses should and can embrace ecommerce... but the crucial next step is the one that often leaves business owners scratching their heads... how do you do it? The answer depends on exactly what you want. Even a teenager in his bedroom can open an account as an Amazon or eBay seller and find a market. But most established small-to-medium sized enterprises will usually want a more professional set up – and, usually, they will need a more professional set-up to make the most of ecommerce. A professional ecommerce website will usually be made in three steps: first, you need to pick the right ecommerce platform provider; second, you need to build the website on their platform, customising a variety of options like checkout preferences, product listings, and shipping options (some of this may require coding); and third, you need to provide the content (that is, design it visually, write the words, and source pictures or other assets). Some businesses can do this on their own – but the vast majority benefit from an expert’s help.
If you’re struggling to figure out how ecommerce works, whether it’s right for your business, and how you can go about making the most of it, get in touch with Thrive. We can set you up with a professional ecommerce website on the world’s leading platform, and it will probably take less time and money than you expect. We can also give you full training in how to easily run your new site, and we work with clients on an on-going basis, providing help and support whenever necessary. Call us on 01675 446101 to learn more.