E-commerce is the cheapest way to trade!

E-Commerce is one of the most important aspects of the Internet. Under this umbrella we have websites with shopping carts, marketplaces and shopping comparison sites.

Ecommerce lets you sell without the restraint of time or location. A website can serve anywhere in the world. Cost per sale is reduced when you’re talking about e-commerce. No human interaction is needed, and errors are reduced as the customer provides all the information.

Customers can search for niche products in an instant, and if you are a seller of niche product, reaching out to the world can increase your sales volumes thus decreasing the cost of the item for you.

The customers experience can be streamlined, they will spend less time over order discrepancies and there’s an increased chance of cross selling as associated products are just a click away.

So why should a business use eBay?

Marketplaces are great for customer acquisition. A marketplace such as eBay will spread your branding across the web quicker than any pay per click scheme. Consequently, marketplaces have high velocities, great for brand new stock and finishing lines. They’re also great places to test ideas or products, you’ll quickly see whether a product is struggling to sell or flying off the shelves.

Protecting your bricks and mortar:

Many traditional companies are afraid of marketplaces and the fierce price wars between competitors. They fear damaging their brand, not being able to match online prices in their brick and mortar stores, and keeping up with the demand of a high volume marketplace. Fear is a great controller, and you must know your enemy. Many high street businesses trade under pseudonyms, giving them access to price conscious customers online, without damaging their high street stores.

As for prices, well the competition for the product types are already there. Many will browse brick and mortar stores muttering that they can get it cheaper on eBay. I know I do. You have to join the race, not shy away from it to stop your competitors winning. Big brands are more dilute when it comes to e-commerce. It’s smaller brands that come into their own online. Market to create a personal, emotional connection with your customers and build trust so that they choose to buy from you even when you are not the cheapest.

Protecting your brand

As with any new route to channel, you have charlatans to go with it! Is someone trading as you? Using your brand awareness to gain sales? Even if you’re not e-commerce active you need to make sure you regularly check your brand on the internet. Reputation is everything to a business and the anonymity of the internet makes it easy to impersonate a leading brand.

Advertising

Back in the days of the dot com boom all you needed was a website and the traffic was yours. But the giants like Google and Yahoo forced us to search their way and the fight for natural search was on! To fund their world domination these two titans have their own search marketing schemes or pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic using keywords. Large advertisers can spend thousands on pay per click advertising (probably wasting a lot of it due to bad management) Marketplaces are an active way to do this. For instance on eBay you are advertising as well as physically selling an item. The marketplace does the hard traffic acquisition work for you!

Elizabeth Kidson – Frooition Support