How important is ecommerce to your business?

Business owners can’t afford to ignore the benefits of selling online. With an ecommerce store, your business is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You don’t pay rent or the salaries of sales associates. You don’t have any geographical limitations that restrict your customer base; it can be done in any time zone and in any language. You can automate nearly every aspect of the business.

1. Understand that e-commerce transcends “products”
If you’re running a business based on services rather than physical products, you may not think folding e-commerce into your business is relevant. While the concept of e-commerce started with physical goods such as books, CDs, DVDs, software, apps, games and other goods, it can now be used to sell all types of professional services too.

2. Get social
Social media outlets are an essential supplement to e-commerce because they add interactivity and share-ability to the traditional buy/sell structure. People trust the recommendations their friends make them online more than they do other promotional strategies. You can even start building a social community through Facebook and Twitter before the product even launches, which will give the first customers a public venue to immediately start buzzing about the product and recommending it to friends. Let’s say you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes and a friend recommends a particular brand or model. When you finally make it to the shoe store, you will be more inclined to search for that brand — if you can remember the name of it. Social networks allow you to do the same, but with a wider reach and instant response.

3. Go mobile
Thanks to the explosion in popularity of smartphones and apps, mobile is becoming another valuable tool for business owners. The popularity of mobile should not be taken lightly by small businesses make sure you have a site that is responsive and can be seen on any device or even develop an app of your own.

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