The New Way We Christmas Shop
Shopping online–whether that be on a computer, tablet or mobile phone–has become a part of how many of us tackle our gift lists. Especially with the shortened shopping season this year (only 26 days due to the late Thanksgiving date), convenience counts. Today’s shoppers want an easy, fast and personalized experience, and e-commerce hits all those marks. Here’s how you can take advantage of this booming business.
Basics of e-commerce
The term e-commerce (which means electronic commercial transactions) was invented in 1979 but joined popular vocabulary in the early 90’s with the accessibility of the internet. Amazon launched its first mobile commerce site in 2001, bringing the idea of shopping without having to go to a physical shop to the masses. Since then, e-commerce sales have skyrocketed, particularly on mobile devices like smartphones. According to Statista, an online portal for statistics, there are projected to be 230 million online shoppers in the U.S. by 2021, “positioning the United States as one of the leading e-commerce markets”. Clearly, e-commerce is here to stay.
For business owners, e-commerce provides another avenue to service customers. Even if you have a traditional brick and mortar store, offering your customers a site on which to shop can boost your sales and increase your reach tremendously.
Benefits of buying and selling online
An e-commerce site offers a lot of perks to both the buyer and the seller. For the business owner, selling products electronically provides nationwide, even global, access to customers.
Shoppers looking for exactly what you sell can find you with a simple browser search, even if they’re hundreds of miles away. Highly-niche audiences can be targeted through demographics like interests. Digital marketing also allows business owners to remarket, or “follow” interested shoppers who haven’t made a purchase yet, with relevant ads.
An online shop is also cost effective for the business owner; an e-commerce site is open 24/7, provides up-to-date information about products and inventory and requires little overhead beyond hosting fees. Data tracking is made easier with online purchasing, too; you can easily see which products sell most quickly, what advertising content is most effective and what time of day the most sales occur, for example. Lastly, e-commerce pairs nicely with other SEO endeavors you may already be doing; connect potential customers to your brand through social media posts, e-blasts and blogs.
For shoppers, the #1 benefit e-commerce provides is convenience. Browsing online allows customers to shop from the comfort of their own homes at any time of day. Who doesn’t like to tackle their to-do list in sweatpants? Shoppers can compare prices between retailers, read reviews from other customers and easily save items in their cart for a later time. Electronic stores also allow customers to avoid the crowds. Black Friday has become notorious for long lines; many shoppers choose to stay home and shop online instead. This year’s Cyber Monday (characterized by promotions and deals on e-commerce sites) had a total of $9.2 billion in sales!
E-commerce also allows customers to tackle last-minute shopping, particularly with companies that offer one or two-day shipping. Time is our most precious commodity, so savvy business owners can capitalize on that with electronic shops.
Our Recent e-commerce Work
One of the many services we provide at Duneland Media is e-commerce site development. Clients who want to sell their products online can come to us for site creation, hosting and management. Some recent e-commerce we’ve done includes the wholesale industrial textile manufacturer Mauritzon. Their site, which features hundreds of products, provides login information so customers can see specific tiered pricing. Custom Dosing, a compounding pharmacy, is another recent e-commerce client. We added functionality to their site for direct purchase of cbdMD products. Most recently, our developers have been working on the To Go online ordering menu for Kelsey’s Steakhouse. As you can see, the e-commerce opportunities are diverse and exciting.
If you’re looking to implement e-commerce, streamline your existing e-commerce website or extend your reach, connect with Duneland Media today.