According to a Nielsen Global Online Survey, approximately 85 percent of people with Internet access have bought something online, and Web-based retail giants such as Amazon® and eBay® pull in literally millions of dollars a day. To say the least, e-commerce is a booming industry. It is not so much a question of who has purchased online lately, so much as it is a question of who hasn’t—but the more important question might be, “How can I get in on profits like that?”
More money is always a good thing, and it goes without saying that turning higher profits should be a primary goal of small and growing businesses. By establishing an e-commerce presence online, your business can benefit in ways you might not have considered.
1. A wider client base
When you sell on the Web, you are no longer bound by geography to a local market. If your small business offers a product that won’t spoil in a shipping box, you simply need to take your business online to benefit from a multiplied customer base. With an online store, people all over the world have access to your goods and services—extending your reach far beyond the four walls of your brick-and-mortar storefront and into the living rooms of millions of e-commerce consumers. And, because it only takes one person to maintain a small online store, the ratio of exposure to returns is astronomical.
2. Earn money while you sleep
An online store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, never calls out sick, and never closes for Thanksgiving. Even if the lights are out at your physical location, your website is still very much open for business. You might wake up one morning and find hundreds of dollars in sales tallied the night before. Now that’s what I call a sleeper hit!
3. A store in your pocket
As a techie, I can never stress this point enough: mobile technology is the next frontier. Computers are getting smaller, phones are getting smarter, and thanks to Google®, even your sunglasses can browse the Web. When you establish a retail presence online, anyone, anywhere can look you up and see what you have to offer. Everyone and their mother owns a Web-capable smartphone. This means they can pull up your store and give you their money while on the go!
4. Survey says…
With a little clever designing, you can designate a space for satisfied customers to leave feedback and reviews of your products. While you hope no one has a bad experience with your product, if you stand by your items and conduct your business honestly, the rave reviews will pour in. And positive reviews—online for all potential buyers to see—are just about the best sales pitch you can ask for.
Bio: Erik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+.