Why ecommerce for small business strategy is integral
In an increasingly digital world, even small business owners can’t discount the importance of having a strong ecommerce presence.
Ecommerce (short for Electronic Commerce), has become a standard shopping practice across all industry types. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports the continued growth of ecommerce sales year-over-year with ecommerce making up 13.9% of all retail sales currently. Businesses of all sizes have begun to offer online options, with some moving to a completely digital storefront and others crafting a hybrid shopping experience for their customers. Regardless of size or industry, ecommerce is an important part of a successful business strategy.
How ecommerce helps small business owners
Customers expect convenient online shopping options, and with this trend ever increasing, having no ecommerce experience means you’re missing out. There are 2.5 million online retailers in the U.S. alone, the majority of which are small businesses. Ecommerce provides your company with a unique opportunity not only to serve those in your area who want to use online shopping options, but it also caters to customers outside your physical vicinity. By bringing part of your business online, you are opening the doors to growth potentials simply not possible with just a brick-and-mortar model.
Building ecommerce into your small business operations
If you are going to include ecommerce as part of your business plan, it will require some extra attention and care to be successful. Consider the time, knowledge and resources it will take to create this new commerce channel before you begin, such as:
Including an ecommerce strategy in your business plan doesn’t mean you have to demote focus on your brick-and-mortar; in fact, the two can work in harmony with each other with the right systems in place.
When adding online shopping options to your business’ landscape, you want to do so with intention to avoid any future headaches around data-consolidation or inventory management. This means either finding a solution that will integrate with your existing systems or upgrading to a cloud-based point-of-sale system with online functionality. Most modern POS (point-of-sale) software will offer both in-store register options as well as an online shopping portal. This way, no matter how or where you sell something, it will be measured against the same inventory counts, avoiding overselling.
Here are some features to consider when choosing a small business ecommerce-ready POS platform:
Creating a small-business ecommerce strategy
An ecommerce shopping option puts your business in a good place for dealing with competition and conversion, but just having an online store won’t deliver results. You need to utilize this new platform strategically to see growth. An ecommerce plan will also help you understand your new market. Here are some topics your small business ecommerce strategy should cover:
Ecommerce for small business strategy: What’s next?
With an ecommerce small business plan in place, you can follow through on the objectives and goals laid out in your small business ecommerce strategy. Refer back to this small business strategy as your ecommerce plan rolls out and revisit your goals often.
A thoughtful small business ecommerce strategy will allow you to apply the right amount of focus towards ecommerce without sacrificing the quality of the business at your physical location, and the right tools will make it all that easier.
Learn more about the ecommerce-ready POS options available through U.S. Bank.