What is E-commerce?
E-commerce is simply the transfer of money through an electronic network, namely the internet. E-commerce can include buying and selling goods, like Amazon.com, or the transfer of money, like Venmo and Pay-pal. E-commerce has slowly become a staple in the economy, becoming over a 3rd of total US retail sales in 2015. Many larger companies are making the switch to support e-commerce to compete with online retailers. But a lot of smaller businesses are slow to adopt the internet for their business.
What Are the Pros of E-Commerce?
The short and straightforward answer: it has the potential to bring you more business. A staggering amount of consumers conduct online research of a product before they purchase. Enabling e-commerce will allow you to beat a lot of competitors to the punch since potential customers are already online. Statistically speaking, the younger generation of consumers are more likely to purchase online. By enabling e-commerce, they might share your site on social media. But not only will you bring in younger customers, but you’ll also bring in customers who may not be able to visit your store in person. By purchasing online and shipping, businesses can connect to customers all over the world.
OK, But What Are the Cons?
While e-commerce revenue is snowballing in popularity, it’s not without its critics. The biggest disadvantage to e-commerce is that it takes away the personal touch from their business. In mature generations, a personal touch can go a long way; an earnest car salesperson will almost drive a decision as much as the car itself for many. Another concern many have of the internet is identity fraud. Putting private and secure information on a new website might drive some away, especially if the user is unfamiliar with technology in general.
While these concerns are not unfounded, they might be worth thinking twice before shunning e-commerce altogether. While e-commerce does lack the personal touch of a salesperson, it is not meant to replace them. In a lot of smaller businesses, e-commerce and instore sales complement each other to cast a wider net, so to speak. That way, you’ll get customers who want a personal relationship with your store, and the ones who want a quick and convenient purchase while on the go.
Is E-Commerce Right for Your Business?
This varies depending on what your business model is and how you primarily interact with customers, but in general, we believe that E-Commerce can complement almost any business. Although we do not believe that E-Commerce will be the death of retail, we do think that modern businesses need to learn to embrace and adapt this new technology in order to remain competitive.
If you are interested in learning more about E-Commerce, you can give Smart Tech Studios a call today (517-580-4662) or get in contact using the form below.