Do I Need E-commerce Functionality on My Website?

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by Nadia Saar

The short answer is yes. If you sell products or services, an e-commerce platform is an essential element to your online web presence. There’s more than 191.1 million online shoppers in the United States alone and over $703 billion being spent online shopping. Your business could be missing out on a great opportunity to meet the market head on.

E-commerce is convenient for your customers

Shopping online is convenient. It allows your customers to reach your product/services in the comfort of their own homes or while they are out and about running errands. As 43% of consumers are more likely to shop online, it’s time to consider joining the digital age. Going online makes a busy customer’s life easier around birthdays and holidays. Although many retailers saw great gains during the holidays of 2014, online retailers with functioning e-commerce platforms saw the most traffic and the highest revenue. Customers were able to buy quickly, compare products, and ship them right to their front door without grabbing their car keys.

What does that mean for your business? Consumers are looking for the fastest and cheapest way to find a product/service that will work for them. If I can shop your products and services online without having to leave the house, you’ve gained a loyal customer for life.

E-commerce is easier and cost effective

An e-commerce platform will also make your life as a small business owner easier. E-commerce gives you the ability to track orders, control your inventory, and create new products and deals more quickly. In a fast-paced world this is not only convenient, but essential to the success and growth of your business. As larger retailers continue to make more and more products available online, your business could lose out if it does nothing to head them off. We can yell, “buy local!” all we want, but if customers are not given a stress-free way to reach your products/services, no one will hear you.

E-commerce gives you a chance to grow and make more money

Speaking of growth, in a tough and forward moving economy, it can be difficult to invest a lot of money into a new brick and mortar when you’re looking to expand. A fully functional e-commerce platform allows you to grow without investing thousands of dollars into construction crews, new materials, and employees.

Instead, you can use those funds where you need it the most while still giving your business and brand a chance to compete with larger competitors. A valuable new resource for revenue and potential business await you and your small business online. With a mobile friendly and professionally maintained e-commerce platform, your business could grow exponentially.

Buy Now Buttons are simply not enough

Customers are more likely to purchase from your business and your website as an e-commerce platform legitimizes your business. Buy Now buttons, although quick, do not provide what a lot of customers are looking for before making a buying decision. Product titles, images, price, availability and an ‘add to cart’ button make a shopping experience more fluid and it gives your company a professional appeal. Multiple product images and different options give a customer more to consider rather than a tiny image with a simple button.

With all of the buying and shipping options readily available, and the ability to see quality photos of your products/services online, customers are less likely to bounce from your website.

Long story short- invest in a professional e-commerce functionality for your website. E-commerce platforms, whether for regular internet browsing or mobile apps are not going anywhere.

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