Today all organizations, from the most modern to the most traditional, must have at least a Web presence. Like it or not, the Internet is a fact of life for competitive business in the future. But Businesses of all sizes are told that any company not investing in ecommerce will be left behind. Is this true? Just because an organization adopts ecommerce technology does not insure success. I create shopping cart software for a living, so the following information may surprise you.
I’ve worked with a number of companies that simply are not in a position to sell products on the Internet, even with the most basic of shopping carts. For whatever reasons, from technical know-how to the ability to ship certain types of products, some businesses may find that using the Internet to drive traffic to the bricks and mortar store is a better solution than trying to sell products online. A meat-packing facility, pet food store, car dealer or tree nursery are examples. The relative lack of tactile and social interaction during an online purchase is a major challenge facing e-tailers. So even though Internet sales are growing faster than offline sales, ecommerce still accounts for less than offline sales. But if ecommerce can increase your total sales by 10 or 20 percent, it may still be a critical factor in making your business profitable.
A mixed strategy that allows people to find you on the web, get information about products, and print coupons that can be used in your store may be the right approach for your company. Or maybe selling just gift cards online, or perhaps only one or two key items will work best on your website. You can also sell products on eBay and Amazon without having a shopping cart on your website. Or perhaps you do need a full-blown shopping cart to sell the hundreds of unique products that you offer.
The most important reason for businesses to have an online presence is to cultivate relationships with consumers. As a result, you may not even need a website, if you have a strong enough presence in various online channels like Facebook, YouTube, and coupon sites. The reality is that every business is different. Which of these strategies is most effective and which of them can be more profitable for your business? In order to determine what is the most effective web strategy for your company, I recommend having a professional website evaluation done for your company. If you already have a website, this provides a good starting point, but a current website is not necessary to create an evaluation for your business. Typically a comprehensive manual evaluation (done by people, not just software) will range from $100 to $500 or more. However, for the month of October, WebStoresLtd.com is offering this service free of charge to readers of this article. Call 877-924-1414 for details.