A lot has changed in the last few decades – from the way we communicate and interact to how we shop – things are not the same as they used to be. Digitisation has changed most of how we live our lives these days. It is not necessary to physically go out to the market to shop for stuff you need in your day-to-day lives. We can sit at home and order pretty much anything from the cool confines of our homes.
Thanks to the e-commerce platforms, you can now shop from wherever you want and buy what you desire.
E-commerce has been a growing vertical for quite some time now. Many brands, big and small, have added digital platforms to serve their online customers. This has made e-commerce an extremely competitive vertical.
That is why if you are thinking of taking your business online, you are in the right place. Let us, therefore, take you through why your business needs an online platform, how to transition to your e-commerce solution, and why an e-commerce solution needs to be secure.
Digital buying is on the rise
Digital buying is on the rise for quite some time now. However, the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated many consumers to switch to digital modes of buying to keep themselves safe. The lockdown in many countries forced the consumers to form new habits, and the pattern is likely to continue even after the pandemic subsides.
With the brick-and-mortar shops closed for business, sales took a severe beating during the pandemic. Though the restrictions have eased, digital habits will have a long-lasting impact on physical retail sales, which is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels any time soon.
The device that will benefit the most from the growth in e-commerce sales is mobile. By 2024, m-commerce will account for one-fifth of total retail sales.
How to transition to your e-commerce solution?
The number of digital buyers is increasing at a rapid pace.
In today’s times, if you don’t have an online presence, you are missing big time on opportunities. Hence, if you want to sell online, it is crucial to know how to move in the right direction.
Here is what you will need to transition your business online:
You should have a decent website
Without a doubt, you need a decent website to start your online journey. Though you can sell your products on Amazon and Facebook, it is always a good idea to have a website of your own if you are planning to make inroads in the online arena. Your website will be the face of your organisation; hence, it is crucial to have a great site.
Your website has to do a lot of hard work – it needs to display the products, tempt potential customers to browse your site, and provide all the relevant information your customers might need to buy the product; hence, you need to focus more on your website.
You also need a reliable hosting provider. When selecting a hosting provider, make sure the vendor you opt for can handle a large amount of traffic. You cannot afford to lose your customers because of hosting issues.
While you are on your website, make sure you focus a bit on its design. You need to ensure that your website is easy to use and reflects your brand’s image. It is also crucial to make your website mobile-friendly as many people these days use their mobiles to shop.
You need shopping cart software
To make sure that your customers complete their purchases, you must have shopping cart software. With shopping cart software in place, your customers can add items to their cart. Once your customers add items to their cart, they can process their transactions.
You have a lot many options to choose from for your shopping cart software. But make sure the one you choose is easy to install on your website. It is also crucial to select one that your customers can use easily. The software should also accept multiple payment types.
Select the shopping cart software very carefully. It is an important decision to make because it plays a crucial role in your online journey.
You also need inventory management software
Inventory management is a crucial aspect of the e-commerce business. You need to know when you run out of stock so that your customers have a smooth experience on your site. Inventory management software helps you track your inventory across your store and website.
There are a few features that you need to consider when selecting inventory management software. Find out if there is any limit on the number of products you can manage with the software. You also need to check how well it syncs with your website and your storefront. After all, it is difficult to manage two programs. Also, check out the reporting features it offers. Find out if you will get information in advance about your inventory.
Also, you need customer relationship management software
Managing customers is extremely crucial in the e-commerce business. With customer relationship management software, you can store all the information about your customers like their name, address, phone number, email IDs, and purchase history in one place. These are crucial and invaluable information that can facilitate new sales. A CRM system helps you to know what your customers want and when they need it. When you know your customers well, it helps you to fine-tune your marketing efforts. And, a CRM system helps you on that front.
Don’t forget social media
Irrespective of how great your website looks; you need to spread the word around so that people start coming to your website. That is where you need to tap social media correctly. Make sure you have an account on all the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You can leverage these platforms to promote your online store so that people start coming to your site. But it is difficult to manage social media accounts single-handedly. You can use social media management tools that allow you to schedule your posts in advance, manage multiple accounts from one place, and track all your customer’s interactions.
Do opt for split testing
When you opt for split testing, you know what will work for you and things that won’t have a great impact on your business. In split testing, you create two almost similar versions of your website and display one of them to each visitor randomly. You can find out which page is performing better. Split testing helps you to make the right decisions.
An e-commerce solution needs to be secure
Security is an important aspect of the e-commerce business. When someone comes to shop on your e-commerce platform, they put in a lot of personal details on the site. And, unless you offer foolproof security, your customer’s data is at risk. With data theft on the rise, it is crucial to keep your customer’s data safe from the prying eyes.
Besides financial implications, a data breach can harm your reputation in a big way. Your loyal customers will stop buying from your site if they have had a bad experience in the past. Hence, if you are thinking of taking your business online, you need to put in place all the security measures that help keep your customer’s data safe and secure from the prying eyes,
That is why an e-commerce solution needs to be secure.
Digitisation has a big role to play in an economy these days. E-commerce and other facets of the digital economy have two main factors, namely digital data and digital platforms. Digital data is a new economic resource to create value. That is why it is crucial to control data strategically because it helps transform them into digital intelligence.
E-commerce businesses can also benefit a lot from data. E-commerce businesses can offer better services to their customers if they properly use the data they collect from them.
In developed countries, the majority of the population now shops online. However, that is not the case in developing countries. With limited digital preparedness, many developing countries lag in online commerce.
To boost trust among online consumers, it is crucial to strengthen the protection of users. It is also important to strengthen cybersecurity infrastructure. On the supply end, the problems that are creating bottlenecks include SMEs’ lack of familiarity with e-commerce and the constant transport and logistics challenges. If you don’t take the necessary precautions to protect the users, the e-commerce business can suffer a lot.
The loopholes in the local ecosystem and low technological capability make it difficult for digital platforms to do well in developing countries. That is why they have to adopt a slew of business-model innovations to meet their bottom line.
Digital platforms might need someone who can act as an intermediary to facilitate data entry, collect cash payments on delivery, run a call centre to meet the calling needs, etc.
Many a time, digital platforms need to create physical supply-chain and logistics services like distribution channels, warehouses, payment points, delivery vehicles, and drivers. Often, they also have to invest in IT infrastructure, management, and business skills.
If you do the e-commerce business the right way, you can grow exponentially as an organisation. But to do the business properly, you need the right platform. Unless you get the right e-commerce platform, it is tough to make a mark in the online arena.
If you plan to start your e-commerce store, you should contact vStacks Software Solutions, Dubai. We are a software development organisation, and we know what it takes to develop an e-commerce platform. We can not only build the platform for your online business, but we can host it and give it the right thrust it needs to reach your target audience as we also specialise in digital marketing.