How Can Small Businesses Take Advantage of E-Commerce?

These days, a large and growing number of people across the country are becoming less interested in going shopping in the traditional sense. Now, many may choose to do their shopping online as a means of being able to compare prices and options, and enjoy a little more convenience when doing so. For that reason, it’s probably going to be vital for small businesses to do more to streamline the e-commerce offerings they extend to their customers.


Perhaps the key area in this regard that small businesses in particular may be able to do more with their e-commerce services is by beefing up their mobile usability, according to a report from the Huffington Post. The reason for this is provided by a surprising statistic from the Black Friday of a little more than a month ago: 40 percent of all online shopping that day was done using mobile devices, and experts generally believe that this trend is only likely to continue to become more prevalent as consumers find greater ease in using smartphones and tablets more often in their daily lives. As such, companies that rise to meet that demand could end up seeing improvements to their bottom lines in a meaningful way.


In addition, it should be noted that companies large and small are now making greater efforts to market their products with online content, rather than traditional means, because it can help them to better engage customers in their local areas and beyond, the report said. In fact, it might be wise to do this because such efforts, if they are well-executed, can go a long way toward making a small business work not only in their immediate markets, but also on a potentially global level. That’s the kind of thing that can move companies into realms of success they might not have been able to achieve previously.


Find out what consumers want

Of course, companies can have great products or services to offer, but unless they’re delivering them in a way that is going to appeal to customers or clients, they might not ever gain the traction they need, the report said. For one thing, small businesses might want to look into the ways in which they can streamline the shipping process, because consumers like their packages to arrive quickly and for low or no cost. That might include the old industry standard: Free shipping on all orders of $50 or more. If that’s not financially feasible, experts recommend finding more creative ways in which packages can be sent so that even if it’s a few days later than the person would like, they may be delighted by something else.


These days, consumers also generally seem to enjoy having the ability to customize as many parts of the products or services they buy as they possibly can, the report said. The more options they have, the more likely they might be to patronize a small business, especially if they can feel like they’re being a little more hands-on than they might have been when making a similar purchase with a larger competitor.


Of course, none of these efforts are likely to be especially inexpensive, and as such, owners might want to take a little more time to make sure they can afford such undertakings. That might include examining all revenues and costs companies face, such as small business insurance expenditures. If it’s determined that a company is paying more than it might need to for general liability insurance, shopping around could help to reduce these issues, and save thousands of dollars a year.