Whether you’re setting up your company from scratch or you’re an already established company, taking your business online is a good way to expand your business.
E-commerce refers to any type of business conducted electronically. These transactions are further categorised based on the parties involved.
Business to Business (B2B) refers to online transactions conducted between parties both classified as business, such as between manufacturers and retailers.
Business to Consumer (B2C) occurs when business sell their goods or services directly to consumers. Popular examples in South Africa include Takealot, and Spree.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C) are less popular transactions, but occur when consumers sell their goods to other consumers, Gumtree is one such site.
Overall e-commerce has become increasingly popular in South Africa. While e-commerce has only contributed around 1% to the retail industry each year, online retailer Spree has predicted this figure will increase to 4% by 2020.
Online shopping provides many advantages for consumers. Not only are they are able to browse for goods and services at any hour of the day, but purchases can be instantaneous (tickets for concerts and airlines can be done at the press of a button).
Furthermore with international shipping, consumers can search for products globally. As a business this means a wider target audience. However this is not without its disadvantages. Depending on where a business is shipping from delivery can be anything from same day delivery or take a few weeks. Consumers are also unable to see or touch products before purchasing it.
Regardless of the disadvantages, e-commerce can still be a lucrative business for those wishing to get involved. Ready to start your business? Here’s a few things you should consider.
Establish A Secure Payment System
According to Effective Measure’s 2017 E-commerce Report, 66% of South African consumers prefer to pay using either their credit or debit card. When customers enter their banking details onto your site, they trust you to ensure their details remain protected. One way to do this is to make use of a secure online payment gateway such as PayFast or i-Pay. These payment solutions allow for the easy and instant transfer of money between seller (you) and the buyer.
Create A Shopping Cart
If you establish a site to sell products online make sure you have a ‘shopping cart’ feature. When customers click on products they want to purchase these go into a cart. The cart or basket is often represented by a trolley icon. It allows consumers to later add or remove items as they progress through the site. When they’re satisfied with their items, they’ll proceed to checkout where they can pay for their items.
Write engaging copy
Carefully consider how you’re going to describe your products. Use a conversational tone which appeals to consumers’ way of life. Consider also how consumers would search for a product. The use of voice-integrated search is on the rise, with consumers asking ‘Siri’ or ‘Google Now’ for suggestions. Sites which match users descriptions are more likely to show up first in these searches.
Pay Attention To The Users Experience
At the foremost is how consumers navigate your website. Ensure that your website is not only attractive, but easy to use. If a consumer struggles to find items, they’ll leave your site and won’t return.
Have A Social Media Presence
How you interact with consumers on social media is equally important. Having a social media presence not only provides you with a place to market your goods, but also a way to deal with any issues customers may have. Include good reviews from satisfied customers by sharing your Twitter or Facebook streams on your site. This boosts confidence in potential consumers.
Ready to take your business online? Contact us here.
While you’re at, you might also want to consider incorporating a chatbot feature onto your site or on your Facebook page. Here’s exactly how it would benefit you.