eCommerce Store considerations for my Small Business
Everyone has experienced eCommerce (e stands for electronic) in some form over the last many years, especially through the pandemic. eCommerce allows businesses of all sizes to sell their products and services on the internet to their customers and facilitate the payment and in some cases the delivery or pick up (click and collect) of the same goods and services. A lot of tech companies have been established to provide eCommerce Store solutions to businesses in return for a monthly subscription fee and often a percentage of the sales. We discuss different eCommerce store capabilities and some of the down sides of available solutions here.
What capabilities can I expect from an eCommerce Store?
Going digital normally means the business must select an eCommerce store if they want to sell products or services. For most small businesses, simplicity to setup and simplicity to maintain is often the first consideration. This is because most small business owners have no IT skills. The good news here is that eCommerce stores are getting simpler and simpler to setup and there are lots of solutions which will also manage (called hosting) your store/website for you.
The next consideration is how easy is it to upload your product and/or services catalogue (think of it as your menu). As this is something which is done a lot by businesses, requirements are for a simple to use bulk upload with a simple to use template. Businesses also like their store to have a storefront or theme that is relevant to their business. For example, Coffee Shops want coffee related themes, whereas Gyms are looking for a storefront related to health or exercise. Again, the good news here is that most eCommerce store solutions offer the ability to select different themes and customize your store.
Customers of eCommerce stores require a friendly store where products are organized logically in categories and have a good search function, so they are easy to find. Consumers are visual so they will require good descriptions and clear and appealing photos of the products and services. As we are all on our mobile phones, eCommerce stores must be mobile friendly. Customers like to be able to add products to wish lists for later consideration and to shopping carts so they can make a final checkout by paying with their preferred method i.e., credit card, bank or Paypal for example. Of course, businesses want to turn those wish lists and shopping carts into sales so good reporting is critical to businesses to highlight their top selling, lowest selling products and abandoned carts.
Where do traditional eCommerce Stores fail small businesses?
There are few important ways that traditional eCommerce solutions fail small business and should not be overlooked.
The first point is costs. eCommerce store solutions typically come with a low monthly subscription, but what they don’t highlight is the percentage of sales they take by forcing the business to take their digital payment solutions. For example, many of these eCommerce solutions take 2% of sales on top of credit card charges. A business that has $100,000 in sales annually will pay the eCommerce store $2,000 annually or $166 per month. Ouch !!
The next point most eCommerce solutions lack is flexibility. Customers want to interact with your Business in many different channels like web, an app, other eCommerce platforms or through messaging. These eCommerce solutions mandate you use their store and don’t allow you to bring an existing store you may have or using existing digital payments. Think vendor lock in and it’s not easy to get out when the costs start to rise.
Oh, and by the way they do not including reporting in their basic plans and that requires and upgrade to their advanced plan – more $$.
The final issue is that it’s very difficult for Customers to find your store through Google or to get customers to download your app. Of course, if you are an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ninja and have a lot of money to pay for search optimization (page 1 on google), google or Facebook ads to get people to your site.
eCommerce through Messaging Apps for Small Business?
At Message My Customer we enable Messenger Apps for Business and provide an eCommerce store solution that does not take a percentage of your sales and allows you to bring an existing store or digital payments enabling omni channel engagement with your customers. We do not want to lock you in. We do not just provide an eCommerce Store, we also provide Customer Relationship Management, Loyalty, and Digital Payments. For service industry we also enable Appointment bookings and handover to Customer Support, all without ever leaving the Messaging App. Every Business is provided a local Mobile Number (separate from their business number) that can be advertised on the Facebook business account or online such as Google business. We also provide Businesses with QR code(s) that make it simple for your customers to engage through a Messenger App with your Business.
Sounds Interesting – Get in touch now.
We would love to chat with you about how your business could benefit from OMNI channel messaging and WhatsApp business platform. Get in touch with us at email@example.com and we will schedule a call.
So go ahead and join the conversation by taking advantage of the 23 hours that consumers spend per week on their Messaging Apps and use that to grow your Business.