The importance of having your business online in the era of digital marketing
E-commerce takes down geographical and temporal barriers as well as intermediaries when reaching our final customer
In this blog we have talked about several digital marketing strategies to improve the positioning of your brand in the online environment. Working on social media, planning your digital transition, creating interesting contents… And yet, we have never approached a main debate: do we need our business operate online? Moreover: to which extent do we need an e-commerce? Let’s think of which type of purchases we make online: fashion products, leisure, electronics, but also supermarket products, drugstores and, if we have a company, we surely may find providers offering their products and services online.
Not everyone can be wrong, right? E-commerce is a fundamental tool in our digital marketing strategy. These are some of the advantages of having our business operating online.
1.- Direct contact with the customer
The internet is the most direct communication channel with our potential clients. Without intermediaries, only the net. It doesn’t matter whether you produce clothing, distribute food products or sell stamps for collectors. The opening of an e-commerce will allow you to maintain a connection with your customer from the very first contact to the delivery of the product and the post-sale service, either through your website, your social networks or your e-mail.
This is not a minor issue. In sectors like the food industry or the commodities’, the intervention of a middle-man can increase the price of products up to a 500% rate.
2.- Imagination in the creation of offers
By-passing intermediaries also gives us an absolute control over the product and its commercialisation. What does this freedom imply? That we can resort to our imagination in order to attract new customers through interesting offers. And not only with the price, of which we won’t have any control if we are not the producers.
The internet is full of offers with product packs, end-of-season discounts, short-time period bargains… The only limit is our imagination and the technological possibilities. It entirely depends on us to make a good use of the freedom that the internet yields in order to reach new audiences that would otherwise have stayed in the dark.
3.- Get to know your clients
It is of great value for any business to know the customers to whom they try to sell their products. Having this information would give them an advantage when trying to offer the best adapted services to their clients’ needs, and the internet gives us the chance of accessing this data. We have at our disposal tools that allow us to create favourite product lists, as well as to calculate the average purchase expense. We can basically get to know them better, their preferences and their consuming habits, before presenting them an offer. Thanks to platforms such as Hubspot or SalesForce, we can even store our clients’ lists in one single place, manage opportunities and communication strategies, as well as to gather all the necessary tools for a more efficient collaboration between the marketing and the sales departments within the same platform.
All this information will be of great use in order to create a database allowing us to “target” our own clientele, segment it and thus, reaching better sales rates.
4.- Take down geographical barriers
If we have a physical store, we can often hope to just lift the blind and expect passer-by’s to come in and buy. There is no doubt this is a close and satisfying strategy, but e-commerce allows you to increase your client base ad infinitum. Now, for this purpose, you must make sure that you count on a good delivery service company that can spread your products around the globe.
Internationality is not a void mantra in e-commerce. International sales represent 41% of online commerce, with a 35.2% of orders being made from abroad. But let’s not fool ourselves: translating your website, sitting and waiting for results is not going to be enough. You’ll have to do some research on the markets you want to operate in as well as on the potential competitors, and you’ll have to find a good exporter for your products. However, the results are surely worth the effort.
If reading this entry wasn’t enough for you to conclude that you need to open your own online business, check out the following table displaying some of the main tools to develop one. Transferring your marketing knowledge into the digital world is vital to adapt to the current times. Making the most of the opportunities that the internet has to offer must be a key objective for your brand managers.
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