Small businesses who have been avoiding selling online take note; according to Forrester Research online spending on retail purchases by American consumers is projected to grow by 62 percent between now and 2016. If your business isn’t selling online there is still time to rectify the situation and you should. Consumers in America love the convenience afforded by online shopping from home and from their smartphones and tablets. If they can’t buy online from you they will buy from someone else.
“Ecommerce continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year, even during the economic downturn in America. We believe that one of the best investments small businesses can make is in technology,” said Terry Robinson, president of Sunovis Financial. “This is especially true for retail, restaurants, and doctors, but it really applies to all small businesses. As technology changes and evolves it is important to stay current with what your customers want.”
We understand small business owners are busy running their business and think there is no time in their hectic schedules for the ever changing landscape of online technology. The following rock solid ecommerce marketing tips will help to focus on what is most important for small business ecommerce in 2013.
1. "Mobile friendly" wins the day. With smartphone and tablet usage rising every year (and no end in sight), consumers are using these devices for shopping more and more. If you have a website, congratulations but if it isn’t mobile friendly you could be losing customers without knowing it. The answer is to use responsive web design so your website renders properly regardless of screen size. This allows every user, from the small smartphone user to the large desktop monitor user to see your website as it was meant to be.
2. Find and develop an edge. As a small business you already know that you can’t compete online just based on price. If you want to create a user experience that keeps your customers coming back repeatedly you need to have exceptional service and products. Determine what it is that sets you apart from your competition and build on that. Whether it’s your free shipping, your online chat facility, or your personalized customer service, make it the best in your niche. Whatever it is that makes your business unique, make sure that you make it unmistakable on your homepage.
3. If you haven’t done so already, start to build a database of loyal customers. Internet marketers are known for saying “the money is in the list” and that statement is just as true for online retail businesses. Offline or online, your best customer is a repeat customer. Keep your business foremost in their mind by connecting on a regular basis, either via email or through social media channels. Social media allows you to keep your customers informed and offer them specials at very low cost, use that to your advantage.