e-commerceOnline shopping is becoming a major trend worldwide as businesses are looking for innovative ways to utilize Internet in order to access biggest marketplace in the world. Having in mind that electronic commerce emerged in big scale just about ten years ago, we saw a tremendous growth in this business sector in the last five years. The main reason for such rapid success is that together with the expansion of Internet worldwide, online shops benefit businesses as well as consumers. Among many advantages, shopping online enables customers to access huge variety of products and services rapidly whenever they have time as well as choose preferable payment method and compare prices from other online sellers. Selling products and services online can provide key benefits for small and big businesses, including cost-effective brand promotion, faster and efficient procurement process, in that way increasing the profitability and reducing costs. In the following, some of many possible advantages of electronic commerce for businesses will be discussed:

  • Lower overhead costs – although, online shop requires time and continuing financial resources, it is less costly to set up and operate than traditional physical shop. Having in mind that acquiring server space and domain name will be much cheaper than actual rent and maintenance of the shop, not to mention storage of products and staff costs. It’s also a lot of free eshop solutions like Prestashop, Magento, osCommerce
  • Increased availability for customers – the business can run 24/7, which allows you to reach all kinds of customers worldwide. Consequently, even smaller businesses can be strong competitors.
  • Increased automation and lower operational costs – online shop could be semi or fully automated, including automated sales, order and payment processing. This, in turns, can dramatically reduce your operational costs.
  • Expanded marketplace – your local business can become nationwide or even international with the right strategy and products, therefore, dramatically increasing your sales opportunities.
  • Reduced marketing costs – online promotion is less costly than conventional media channels. Moreover, it becomes more efficient, as you are able to reach specific customer group and utilize search engine optimization.
  • Increased flexibility – various operations, including updating of product base, product related data and creating special offers, can be done in shorter time and at lower cost.
  • Increased chances to be found by customers – your business will become more visible for customers, who earlier may have never noticed you. This can be improved by investments in search engine optimization and online marketing.
  • Greater possibilities for expansion and customer-profiling – expansion online will require significantly smaller amount of investment in comparison with physical expansion. Such expansion will be also supported by vast amount of available data, which can be gathered by tracking customer purchases. Consequently, such data will enable targeting specific customer groups and improve your offerings.

Having in mind the previously mentioned benefits, new start-ups as well as existing businesses should strongly consider the possibilities of utilizing online selling. E-commerce will be the most beneficial, if you have clearly defined products and services, fixed costs and prices of your offerings and optimal delivery times. Having in mind the current economic situation, selling online could be a key of success for many companies, no matter big or small.