Why is E-commerce so Important for Small Businesses?
Unless enterprises have enabled their customers to conduct business online within a fully integrated digital platform then they are operating less efficiently than e-commerce enabled competitors and ignoring massive signals that this is the way customers want to conduct business. The amount of on-line activity is increasing at a mind-blowing pace and a significant part of this online activity is shopping.Everybody is looking to save time, whether it's a business and all the employees that make up that business, or individual end users. E-commerce is a way consumers and businesses have found they can save time. This trend is not going to reverse - in fact it's more likely to continue to accelerate. Businesses that have not established e-commerce platforms and already started the process to drive traffic to their websites are running out of time.
Redefining the value chain in the eyes of the customer
E-commerce is far more than a mere shopping cart for facilitating on-line transactions - the cart is no more than the final component of a fully integrated digital system.
So - What's the Problem?
Almost every business enterprise knows e-commerce is important but not all businesses really understand e-commerce is more than just a shopping cart. Even for those that do understand and have deployed fully integrated digital systems then, unless they have also developed a sophisticated strategy to drive traffic to their website, they will fail to fully leverage their investment. There are nearly one billion web sites already established on the internet and simply deploying a shopping cart on a website will not succeed because no one will ever find it.
Developing traffic to a site and then getting that traffic to conduct business is not easy and is the fundamental challenge that small businesses face. E-commerce and website traffic go hand-in-hand and one without the other is not e-commerce.
A fully integrated digital platform enables a business to be more competitive while also meeting the needs of the consumer. If businesses choose not to deploy these capabilities then it is only a matter of time before they go out of business - firstly, because they are less efficient than competition and secondly, because they are not providing the platform to do business that customers are increasingly adopting.
Download our Information Technology scorecard to see just what's involved with deploying a system fit for e-commerce and for efficient 21st century business. It's not as difficult or expensive as you may think!