E-commerce provides your small business with the ability to reach an almost unlimited market. It’s the difference between selling lemonade on a street corner to the 25 cars that pass by daily and selling it to every thirsty traveler in the entire world.
Whether you’re just starting out peddling your wares on the Internet or you’re a pro at dot-comer, these new e-commerce trends for small businesses will help you reach a wider audience and improve your bottom line.
1. Make the Move to Mobile
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Mobile is the way to go. According to the Custora High-Growth E-Commerce Index, 40% of Black Friday shopping was done on a mobile device. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re losing out on sales. In 2014, a fully functional mobile website isn’t just an option … it’s mandatory.
2. Sayonara, SEO!
SEO has been the primary buzzword for small businesses for years, but it’s falling largely by the wayside in favor of creative, tailored content. Traditional SEO just doesn’t work as well as it used to, and the Google algorithms have begun placing less importance on keywords and more on “sharable” media such as blogs and videos, according to Fox Business.
3. Explore Your Payment Options
The need to offer a universal payment system can’t be ignored. Yahoo Business Advisor suggests that flashing MasterCard and Visa logos isn’t enough anymore. Customers want the ability to pay for their purchases with PayPal, Bill Me Later or even a personal checking account. The more people you satisfy, the more business you’ll garner.
4. Shipping Costs Are a Big Deal
Everyone wants the convenience of shopping online, but no one loves paying for shipping. While it’s probably not possible to offer free shipping on everything, it’s important to give the most competitive prices and offer “bundle discounts” for customers ordering more than one product. Shipping speed matters, too: Our instant-gratification society demands today’s purchases to arrive ASAP. Finding a happy medium between price and speed is crucial.
E-commerce certainly isn’t new for small businesses, but the trends are always changing. Keeping up with the needs and desires of your customers can help you stay ahead of your competition.