E-commerce? You’ve probably heard the phrase. You’ve more than likely used it to purchase products. But what is it, and how can it benefit your organisation?

What is e-commerce?

To put it simply, e-commerce is business conducted online. In other words, it allows you to sell your products or services electronically, via the internet.

Five reasons to give your business an e-commerce website

1. Access huge online sales market
The internet has drastically changed the way we think about things and the way we do things. One area of our daily lives that has altered more than most is the way we shop. Online sales now account for over 10% of all retail transactions in the UK, with that number projected to rise to 23% by 2016. By that point, e-commerce retail will have reached a value of £221bn per year.

The reasons are obvious. Consumers enjoy the convenience of being able to buy products or services at the click of a button, with the luxury of home-delivery. They can shop at their desks, using their tablets or whilst browsing on their smartphones. The experience is quick and easy.

With online sales due to increase at a rate of 11% over the next three years, and sales via mobile devices also rapidly rising (accounting for over 20% of online sales), e-commerce websites are becoming an extremely powerful way for organisations to access an ever-expanding market.

2. Widen your customer reach
With more and more consumers making use of internet shopping – not only in Ireland and the UK – but across Europe and around the world, a massive potential customer base has opened up. You no longer have to aim your products at a small local market. With geographical limitations not a concern, taking your business online will allow you to reach international buyers.

Statistics show that 72% of internet users in Western Europe and North America will buy goods or services online in 2013. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to overtake this figure in 2014. A truly global market is waiting at your fingertips.

Whether you run a small or big business, e-commerce will help open your products and services to a whole new world. Higher potential profit for your business awaits.

3. Sell your products around the clock
One of the biggest benefits of selling online is that your business is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can quite literally earn revenue while you sleep. You can also make profits during holiday periods. Being able to make money every hour of the day is a massive advantage for businesses, and e-commerce allows you to do it.

It also means that you will be able to sell products from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you happen to be based on any given day. This level of flexibility will help you stay at the forefront of your market and ensure your sales and profits show healthy increases.

4. Showcase your business
E-commerce websites bring a further advantage in that they can act as a showcase for a company’s brand. Your webiste should serve as a catalogue for all your products, but without the costs of printing, packaging and postage. A visually pleasing, easy-to-use website will help customers remain on your site to make further sales, or visit at a later date. It will also afford you the opportunity to provide details about special offers and seasonal campaigns.

An e-commerce website is your new shop window and you can dress it however you want.

5. Gain a social edge
Social media has become an integral part of how e-commerce works because it allows interactivity between the consumer and the products or services they purchase. It enables those same consumers to share their purchases with friends and family in a dynamic and creative fashion. For example, when someone buys one of your products online they can automatically add a Facebook or Twitter post to all their friends and followers.

Studies have shown that people are more likely to trust recommendations made by their friends online than they do other advertising strategies.

An e-commerce site will also enable your customers to review and rate products, and send this information to their friends instantly. They might tweet about one of your special offers or like your business’s Facebook page, which links to your website. All the while you are reaching customers you might not have reached before.

We can provide you with a fully-customised e-commerce website that suits YOUR business!

Having outlined the benefits of e-commerce and how it can help to increase the profits of your business, it is clear that you could lose customers by not having an online presence. But fear not, Impakt is here to help. No matter if your business is small or big, local or national, we can design and develop an affordable, fully-customised, e-commerce website that suits your specific business needs.

Our e-commerce websites offer the following:

Content management, allowing you to add, edit and update products
Fully hosted shopping cart (accepting credit card and PayPal payments)
Secure payment facility
Global currency payment methods
Order status tracking and notification emails
Gift certificate and discount code functionality
Customer data capture
Customer review facility
Automatic integration with social media outlets (e.g. Facebook and Twitter)

If you are interested in speaking to us about getting a brand new e-commerce website, or would like further information on how it would help your business… please get in touch!