Today, our mobile phones run our lives for us. You can split fares electronically for Uber rides, share locations of maps to make finding friends easier, sync calendars between a multitude of apps to avoid scheduling classes, and much more. Cards can now be attached to wireless sim cards to avoid carrying our little pieces of plastic with us. The world is becoming more and more centred on these small examples of modern computing power.
Nothing highlights this quite like the rise of e-commerce. In 2014, e-commerce sales accounted for 13.5% of total sales in the UK. This rose to 15.2% in 2015, and then onto 16.8% in 2016. Which such market share and strong growth, e-commerce is something that businesses simply cannot afford to overlook any more.
Due to the rise of the internet and mobile platforms, the market value for e-commerce has seen an incredible upsurge over the last decade, with future projections showing it to increase even more over the coming years. This is due to the fact that it is convenient and accessible, areas that small businesses have traditionally struggled in. By allowing more small businesses to succeed, there is more demand for e-commerce platforms and business, feeding the cycle.
What to Take into Account When Considering an E-commerce Platform
Does it make sense? – Is it possible to sell your product or service online? Are you able to fully appreciate what a customer is after when they land on your website? If the answer to either of these is no, then take a second before implementing an e-commerce platform. A potential customer has to be able to be 100% happy with their purchase as soon as the transaction is completed online. It’s possible to use e-commerce for services that require follow ups, but this can complicate the payment process and has potential to end up with unhappy customers.
Can I sell it in 3 clicks? – Google has a principle that all information should be able to be accessed – or products sold – in 3 clicks or less. While this has recently fallen out of favour as a definitive rule, the principle holds true: make it easy for people to spend money on your site. If using an e-commerce platform is going to complicate the selling process and draw it out, customers are going to turn away, resulting in a drop in income for your business.
Is it responsive? – With people accessing the web from a variety of different devices, websites and e-commerce platforms must be designed in a way that will allow them to work properly whether they are accessed from a phone or a computer. No one is willing awkwardly scroll through a desktop website that isn’t responsive for mobile devices; they will simply find another website that is. Considering it takes little effort to make modern sites response for cross-platform use, losing out on conversion due to unresponsive sites is just ridiculous.
Am I using the right host? – Similar to the above point, the general public do not want to wait around for your website to load. If each page takes 10 seconds to load and they have to search through several different pages (see point 2) to get to their intended target, they will simply leave and buy from a competitor. Make sure that your hosting is up to scratch; fast load downs and minimal downtime directly correlate to higher sales.