Only a small proportion of UK SMEs do. The others could be missing out on the many e-commerce advantages. It’s clearly the way of the future and, unless they make the jump, they will be left behind.
Benefits of Online Selling
If you sell products, by adding online selling to your physical store activities, you will suddenly open the door to a much wider customer base, and you can keep on selling through every 24 hours. An online shop never closes.
This can also apply if you provide services. It can be a new way to take enquiries and there may be items, such as advice and guidance papers that can be ordered and provided online. It could take your business into new and lucrative directions.
Compared to having a physical store or office, an e-commerce website puts no strain on your finances. There’s no rent to pay, and utility costs are minuscule. Your only investment will be in webhosting and maintenance.
When you get recommendations via social media, most people would not be able to physically get to you. If you sell online, this is never a problem. Offer an excellent product with brilliant service to wow your customers, and social media can bring you masses of online business.
Order processing and data capture will happen automatically on a website. It’s also easy to track online sales and monitor buying trends so that you can respond accordingly and match what you offer to what the consumers want.
Having both an online and a physical business can be a big help with marketing. People can do online research that will bring them through your doors when they go out to shop. You can make the links between the two sides of your business obvious with, for example, a competition flyer handed out at the checkout which has to be completed at the website. On the other hand, the website could communicate special offers in store or offer a discount voucher to be used there.
Making it Easy
If you are put off by the prospect of taking online payments and organising shipping, a little research will show you various readymade options that will do it all for you for a small monthly payment and transaction percentage fee. Some offer free advice on selling and marketing.
The one job you will have is to write compelling product descriptions, but if you can’t manage that you can outsource it to an expert copywriter. Why not ask your outsourced bookkeepers if their experience covers e-commerce clients? You could pick up some tips from them.