At this point in the 21st century, daily life can no longer be conceived without eCommerce for both businesses and consumers. What was initially seen with some suspicion for security reasons in the process of sending payment transactions, today represents a key tool for the operation and expansion of the business. Jose Duarte, an entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, discusses the benefits companies can gain by having a virtual presence.
Many benefits can be attributed to the day-to-day eCommerce that is perfected and strengthened. Purchasing goods and services online allows you to exchange more information than when you buy by visiting a store. It is also backed by delivery and payment services that are usually very efficient. Explains Duarte, “Beyond the geographical realm, our business extends anywhere in the world, as well. Costs can be greatly reduced, especially in terms of premises, salaries and services. Digital marketing offers endless possibilities for promotion and advertising, interaction with the public, customer loyalty and brand positioning.”
Consumers have also adopted this modality by being favored by a number of advantages, including ease of accessing the information you need to decide to buy or recommend, compare brands and prices, all just a click away. In addition, they have a greater freedom to buy, with no schedules, from any device and quickly. Transactions are substantially more secure; a technological process that has been perfected over time and that has given solidity and reliability to the whole system.
ECommerce will continue to advance and evolve according to new technological applications and consumer demands. Everything suggests that it will remain for a long time a piece of first order in the business world.
Depending on your product or service, globalization could be key to your revenue. But even if you think your business needs to stay local, global expansion could allow you to expand into new facets. For example, if your business is primarily service-based, you may want to supplement your local offering with products that people can buy online.
Adding an online component to your existing business doesn’t need to be a high-risk investment, and in fact, in most cases, it would be a much better option than opening another store. “Digital advertising is cheap compared to other traditional channels and can be easily adjusted to suit different budgets,” adds Duarte. “You can use a combination of traditional and digital to market your entire operation or even switch to digital and save a lot of money. Email is just one example of a digital tool that remains a cost-effective and easy way to send information to segmented markets.”
You might consider integrating something like a chatbot into your social media and customer service activities instead of having live help. You can also hire a virtual assistant abroad or a marketing specialist if you’re looking for people who take care of customer service or other activities 24 hours a day.
Better guidance and more customization are two of the most important eCommerce benefits. Digital sales and marketing models, such as those that use eCommerce, allow you to collect, synthesize, and use customer information more easily than traditional channels. This is especially true when considering customer retention activities, such as loyalty programs, as you can essentially more carefully track purchasing habits, offering the opportunity to direct marketing and promotion efforts more accurately.
To this end, you will also find that there are greater opportunities to customize your promotions and other offers, as you have data about your customers automatically integrated into the system. If you know how Amazon “recommends” items you think you like, you can also segment and customize to your order cart’s specific location or dropout rates.
Another benefit of eCommerce is that you can easily optimize and scale your budget according to all other aspects of the business. For example, if you’re running Facebook ads, you can easily adjust them according to your purchase behavior. Even if you find some drops, that is, if your offers tend to be seasonal, you can adjust your marketing and inventory according to these changes as well.
Online shopping is a more comfortable experience for many. The customer does not need to leave the comfort of their own home, but can also avoid traffic, park and pressure sellers trying to offer more or interrupt their conversation with a friend. “When an online store is well configured, the ease of searching, browsing and ordering can easily exceed the additional shipping cost,” asserts Duarte.