eCommerce is becoming an effective alternative to traditional face-to-face business operations and may be the change you need to make for your business’ long term growth.

eCommerce refers to the buying and selling of products and services online, either with business to business transactions or business to consumer transactions, and is a tool for small businesses to stay competitive amidst online shopping trends. If you have the ability to catalogue your products and services online and ship them to businesses and consumers, making the switch to eCommerce may be a good investment for the business’ direction in the long term.

To successfully incorporate eCommerce into your business, you must first research the different types of eCommerce to determine which one suits your business best. There are three major classifications to consider:

  • Business to Business (B2B): providing products from one business to another (e.g. software, furniture and supply).
  • Business to Consumer (B2c): exclusively online retailers.
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C): consumers trade, buy and sell from each other in exchange for a small commission paid to your business.

After choosing which eCommerce model you’d like your business to adopt, you need to validate your products by performing market research. Establishing your niche and identifying who you are targeting will assist you in building your online marketing presence.

The next important step to incorporating eCommerce into your business is to finalise your eCommerce financial plan. As with any business venture, figure out your break-even point in unit sales and duration in both short term and long term. Decide how you want to invest your money into your transition into eCommerce (e.g. website design, software development, marketing) and project these expenses as well as your revenue. Having a budget to stick to will also help you maintain perspective and keep you grounded if things go wrong.

The last step is to execute your plans with a website. Build a website which is not only functional in selling your products, but also visually representative of your business. In the world of eCommerce, digital presentation is everything as you can no longer approach clients to face to face. Thus, make sure your brand is effectively reflected in your website design and interacts with your clients to reinforce online engagement.