A report on msn.com says that, over the past year, eCommerce has grown as pandemic-induced restrictions on personal movement created a boom in online retail across most sectors. More people are using the internet now. According to Datareportal, roughly 4.66 billion people around the world were using the internet at the start of 2021, making it close to 60% of the world’s total population. Latest data says that 319 million new users came online over the past twelve months.
Volume alone is not enough for you to build and launch an eCommerce business. Typically, eCommerce businesses are associated with convenience for consumers, a strong brand association as customers engage online with the business, and better cost-effectiveness through savings on physical rent, in-store staff, and utilities. Before you take the leap, you should ensure your business is ready for the transition. Businesses cannot rush into eCommerce just because it is in vogue. Careful thought and planning can help determine if eCommerce is best for you or if you need another solution for business building.
Here are three characteristics that can help determine the need for digital functionalities in a business and whether your business operations are ready for an eCommerce integration.
#1. Is the shift to eCommerce cost-effective?
Whether you want to completely shift to eCommerce, simply add capabilities, or build a business from scratch, there are costs involved. These include acquiring devices and internet connectivity that can support these devices. It is important to recognize that your internet connection must be rapid and reliable for success in eCommerce. Customers prefer timely and uninterrupted browsing, including speeds that support the entire process up to payment and check-out.
When considering hardware and software, remember to account for security costs along with devices and applications. Without security, your eCommerce business may start successfully, only to come crashing down in a matter of days or months. According to Statista, in 2020, more than 155.8 million individuals were affected by data exposure or accidental sharing of sensitive information due to inadequate information security. Not being able to assure safety of customer information can negatively impact the chances of business survival.
#2. Is the time right for a transition?
Assessing business readiness is vital to a successful eCommerce launch. Apart from the technical details, such as the appropriate eCommerce platform and website development tools, there is another important aspect of success Your eCommerce launch must be prepared for the increased workload of online orders and delivery requests, payment acceptance, receipts and invoicing processes. In addition, your plan should include communication needs between order-taking and order-fulfilment. Because there is minimal human interaction in a digital transaction, you may also need to set aside a forum to handle questions and inquiries, and even returns and refunds in case the need arises.
Ideally, businesses should take advantage of eCommerce professionals to help assess readiness in terms of infrastructure, resources, and technical capabilities. Professional insights can also help you make the relevant preparations for a successful eCommerce roll-out.
#3. Are you prepared to meet your consumers on their terms?
More shoppers have turned to eCommerce during the pandemic to conduct their purchases in a safe and secure manner. They are also looking for the convenience of paying online and getting products delivered to their doorstep. Consumers on eCommerce websites look for more information about products and services, including descriptions, demo snapshots, and short videos that can help them make the right decision. As the process takes off, business owners need to stay focused and not lose patience. At the beginning of eCommerce implementation, here is a chance that problems will increase and escalate. However, there are also unique learning challenges; as the business resolves issues one by one, it will pave the way for future growth and successes.
Partnering with eCommerce professionals can help your business start off right, as well as equip it with the ability to gear up for upcoming growth in terms of volume and demand.