E-commerce is growing at an exponential rate, in fact, it is predicted that 2019 will see global e-commerce sales of 3,453 billion US dollars, a 21% increase from 2018. As a sales platform, e-commerce offers you a wealth of opportunities to grow your brand, reach wider audiences and hike up sales. We recently attended the E-commerce Africa Conference, which discussed the potential and challenges for e-commerce on the continent, and our takeaway is that e-commerce is poised to take off in Africa like never before. To show why you should take charge of this opportunity to best your competitors, we share with you 4 ways e-commerce can massively grow your business in 2019.
1) Increase Sales
Whether you are planning to start an e-commerce business or if you want to take your existing brick and mortar business digital, the potential for increased sales is boundless. First off, an e-commerce business lives on the net meaning it has the potential to reach thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of clients that would never have entered your physical store. Your e-commerce platform not only has the potential to spread your business across Namibia, but you can easily take your venture global, tapping into a fresh market you have yet to explore.
Your online store also creates the ability for you to design unique, fresh and innovative sales promotions that can spur a passive consumer into an active one. For instance, you can make timed sales events discounting products for a limited time, creating a sense of urgency for customers to make purchases quickly. E-commerce also gives you access to digital strategies like email marketing. It is really easy to build up an email database which you can use to increase sales by getting previous customers to return to your site through sales events.
E-commerce opens up your business to numerous other digital marketing strategies that can hike up sales, for example, an effective SEO strategy has the potential to increase web traffic to your e-commerce platform by more than 60% if you are ranked on the first search engine results page of Google. You can also implement pay per click strategies to run alongside your site and you can utilize social media platforms to further your brand’s reach for more sales.
Lastly, your e-commerce business never sleeps. Your sales are not dependent on the usual eight hour working day nor the potentially overbearing salesperson. Customers can enter your online store at their convenience any time of the day, which can add a passive income to your business while its physical doors are closed.
2) Lower Costs
Running an e-commerce business is significantly more cost effective. For starters, you will be eliminating the cost of renting a physical premises. You can also have a smaller team. No sales staff are needed and customer interaction can even be handled with an innovative Artificially Intelligent Chatbot (which Gartner predicts will handle 85% of all customer interactions by 2020) that can assist customers with their purchases once they visit your website
E-commerce businesses carry less financial burden. With lower start up fees and the ability to control supply more effectively, you can find your feet easily during the initial, potentially rocky start-up phase. Seeing as digital advertising strategies tend to be cheaper than the more traditional route, if you have a great online digital marketing strategy in place, you can create a buzz about your business without investing too much money.
As your business grows, you will want to develop your product and shape it towards the needs and wants of your customers. There is no simpler way to do this than with an e-commerce business. Every action made on your site creates data. With this information, you can easily track customers’ interest in products by the way they interact with your site. Businesses that adopt data driven marketing are six times more likely to be profitable year-over-year, because once you are able to analyse customer behavior more accurately, you can adapt your product range to match their wants. You can, for instance, start shipping to other countries, stock a greater range of sizes, adapt your availability according to seasons, and add preferred payment options.
4) Ease of Use
For many it is much easier to do their shopping online than it is to visit a physical store. If you think about it, a customer needs to leave their house, drive their car, park their car, enter the store, get hassled by potentially pushy sales staff, all before they can make a purchase. Given Namibia’s dispersed population, it is even more of a hassle for some to visit your brick and mortar store. These cumbersome steps can be eliminated and streamlined by your online premises.
Though we might not all be as trusting of technology, millennials and generation Xers are increasingly making their purchases online for the simple reason of convenience. If your e-commerce site is well designed with user experience in mind, many customers will forget about the nominal extra fees, like shipping, because of the ease with which they are able to make purchases.
It is predicted that e-commerce in Africa will generate $29 billion US dollars by 2022. We are here to help you get your fair share of this growing market. At V5 Digital, one of Windhoek, Namibia’s leading digital marketing agencies, we can take your business online and build the ideal e-commerce site for your business venture. Your journey with us doesn’t stop there, V5 Digital is your one-stop-shop for all things digital.
We will design your e-commerce site according to SEO best principles ensuring the right online traffic gets directed to your company and, with our comprehensive digital marketing strategies, we’ll make sure this traffic converts to sales. From artificially intelligent chatbots to pay per click ads, we’ll take your business to the power of digital. Contact us today to start your e-commerce journey.