With Ecommerce no small business has to be small anymore. Now you can buy products online and even customize those products all from the comfort of your own home. This opens a huge door for small businesses that we didn't have before.
Now, can always order printing or signs online on our website and we tell you in this week's blog what we love best about ecommerce and why it has changed our business for the better.
As a small business we constantly find that the reach of social media and the internet has improved our business tremendously, if only by exposure (we have been open since 1978). Before the dawn of the internet, it was hard for anyone to sell products on a national scale (except may be infomercials), so we had to stick with the basics: getting out there, making those calls and keeping our existing customers happy. Now, all that is still part of our daily business practice but what really makes a difference is the ability to sell our products online with ecommerce.
It is estimated that 35 to 50 percent of consumers now buy outside of their local areas. First, put plan in action: what products you are going to sell, on what platform (i.e., eBay, amazon, or on your own website), and a way to, of course, receive your payments. Now, a small business in the corner of the world that no one has heard of can now reach customers across seas and cultures. It is amazing to see how far the reach of your business can go.
Now don’t get us wrong, we still believe in those first business principles: that the local economy is really the one that matters (GO LOCAL Sonoma County) but it is fascinating to see how in demand our products are across the globe. And as small businesses, we are entrepreneurs and our spirit is always tugging us to grow, get bigger and better. Ecommerce allows exactly that.
Yet there are some things to consider when starting an ecommerce site besides the ones we listed above. First, have a plan, not just where you’re going to sell and what but how. Always factor in a marketing plan for your products (a lot of places like eBay, amazon and Craigslist already do the heavy lifting for you), but know what your customers want, put it at a fair price and they will come!
Realize that some months may be better than others and never over pay for your ecommerce site or platform, crunch the numbers to make sure that what you are doing is really worth it in the long run (hint, hint: profit over investment). Some sites are costly and it doesn’t always have to be that way.
The days of costly radio and TV advertising are over as we make way for the amazing platform that is ecommerce. We are along for the ride and although being a small business is something we say with pride, no small business has to be small in thought.