Present day e-commerce
E-commerce sites have been around since the dawn of the internet. But more recently they have become the literal lifeline for many small businesses who have been forced to close their brick and mortar business in the wake of the Corona Virus Pandemic. Many of these businesses either did not make the time to set up an ecommerce store or did not see the importance of having one until COVID 19 hit. They have now found themselves scrambling to get their online business and presence up and running.
Suddenly there has been a mad dash to get e-commerce sites added to websites or worst still build a website and add Shopify, Esty or WooCommerce. Those businesses that once did not find the time or the inclination to set up e-commerce stores, have now realised that they are (and have always been) a must for their businesses to survive. It has become the must have business tool for any business that provides a product or service that can be downloaded, provided virtually or sent in the post.
What is e-commerce
The simple explanation is that e-commerce applies to any product or service that is bought and sold on the internet. According to Oberlo, ecommerce is the fastest growing retail market in the world and is projected to hit $4.1 trillion in sales in 2020. This is mainly due to the growth and increased day to day usage of the smart mobile phone. E-commerce sites have huge benefits as they are not restricted by the location of either the business or the customer and this gives them access to a global market as opposed to just their local one. It also allows the smallest of businesses a chance to get a piece of the pie and be successful in the ecommerce world.
Downloadable and e-Courses
Do not think that e-commerce is only valuable and applicable to businesses selling actual physical products such as clothing or jewellery for example. It is also hugely valuable to those businesses that provide e-courses or downloadable services. Despite there being no physical product, these kinds of businesses are hugely successful.
Why Divi WooCommerce
There are so many choices to make when setting up your e-commerce site. What website platform? What theme? What payment options? Paid or free versions? And the list goes on. Here at Coding Cottage we love the Divi theme and the logical choice for us when setting up an e-commerce site for our clients is WooCommerce. Both systems integrate well together and are straightforward and intuitive to set up.
WooCommerce is an open source platform and is free to set up and use. As you grow your site you may need to purchase some of the premium plugins to have a more bespoke offering, but a start-up site can build a customized e-commerce shop without too many overheads.
Should I set up an e-commerce site?
If you sell any sort of physical or downloadable product the answer will always be yes especially in the new more distanced world, we find ourselves living in.
The aim when starting a business is for it to grow and be successful and to do this you need to reach your ideal client wherever they may be. They may be at the end of your street, 200 miles away or even in another country. But with an e-commerce site your business has no limits and with the right marketing and SEO optimisation you can reach these ideal clients wherever they may be with your own site and generate more sales than in a traditional brick and mortar store.
COVID 19 has forced many businesses to shut their doors or they are struggling to survive. This has meant that they have had to pivot their business and the e-commerce model has provided many that would otherwise have perished with a lifeline. Many small businesses have thrived using this model and have reached markets that were unheard of just 10 years ago. The development of seamless payment integration systems, smart phones, and social media sites such as Instagram have helped many budding entrepreneurs to set up their own online stores.
The future? Is online shopping the new normal?
The recent pandemic, lockdown, and the forced closure of many in person businesses would suggest that online shopping is here to stay. It offers people the chance to purchase their favourite brands and goods without ever leaving the comfort and safety of their own home. It has also provided the opportunity for small speciality brands to thrive and get their products in front of a global market. This has gone a long way to prove that shopping with a small business can mean a more personalized and better standard of goods and services.
If you are still to join the millions of businesses trading online then get in touch today and let us talk you through your options and show you that it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to set up your e-commerce solution.