Now that most businesses and ventures are integrated into the internet in whatever manner or form, business owners are starting to formulate the proper ethics concerning business and internet use. E-commerce might not be a foreign concept to many people, but its marriage to business sales is entirely new to this decade. As most old school and homegrown businesses start in people’s garages, tech-savvy businessmen are trying to start a business from nowhere. Everyone is trying to become a middleman. Even amidst a pandemic, the number of people registering their businesses has steadily increased through the years.
E-commerce forced its way into people’s homes because of the 2020 pandemic. As thousands of stores closed down, only deliveries were allowed by the local governments. Owners were forced to serve their clients and customers through deliveries or video conferencing, if possible.
On average, 4000 items are sold every minute on Amazon by small and medium-sized enterprises in the USA. With almost 1.9 million sellers on the site, you can estimate that many are either small or medium-sized businesses. The success of these small businesses with Amazon and other e-commerce websites is but a good sign that all is not lost when it comes to small businesses trying to make a living.
There is no denying that e-commerce will forever be attached to businesses, in general. How can you integrate e-commerce concepts for your startup business to thrive and be successful?
Customization and Personalization
What makes e-commerce unique is that it empowers both the seller and the buyer. Customization and personalization of the product of interest are now possible through the internet and e-commerce. By allowing your customers to request specific things to be added and customize and personalize the product to their liking, you give them more freedom. Personalized content according to the browser’s cookies will help you offer your potential customers the exact product they want. Repeat customers always look at product recommendations on websites. They likely ship another product with the original item they bought. It’s just basic consumer behavior.
Social Media and Marketing
Social media and marketing are inevitable elements to bring to the table when it comes to e-commerce. The integration of your business with e-commerce will always bear fruit that is social media. Most of the marketing for e-commerce rarely comes out in print, television, or radio. E-commerce utilizes the internet above all to do marketing. Marketing efforts are centralized in social media outlets and frequented websites like LinkedIn, YouTube, and Spotify.
Utilization of Services
The entire essence of the modern internet is based on the principle that everything is quick, easy, and convenient. Utilizing your product to become integrated with other services will make your customers return for more. For example, in flower shops, delivery is often not included. Most of the time, the shop asks a courier to deliver them for you. Integrating flower delivery services in your portfolio allows your customers to add a premium to have the flower shop itself deliver the item. A service that became integrated into the internet is the learners permit exam. Now, first-time drivers are allowed to take a course online to be able to get their permits. A drug testing service usually accompanies the service as a bundle or a next-step service.
Similar to physical businesses, e-commerce thrives on marketing through word of mouth. However, online “word of mouth” is easily quantifiable and often translates into actual business and product contact. Giving out incentives through the sharing of your product is a great way to make a specific product popular. It is effortless and convenient to let other people know your thoughts about a specific topic or object. Through social media, people are invoked to do and share more. Offering incentives to share a specific brand is an effortless way to market your product. Social sharing is key to maximize your e-commerce business.
Being responsive to product reviews and company reviews online is a great tenet to live by as an e-commerce business. People respond well to a company that can show that they actually care about their audience and their product. Actually integrating the comments people have with your product is a great way to retain your customers. It shows that you are friendly, you know your product well, and you are not above criticism.
Integrating e-commerce and business is never easy. Their principles are identical but not the same. Recognizing that these two are playing in different fields is key to combining them successfully.