A few years ago, the only way to buy books was by going to the bookstores; purchasing clothes meant a trip to the malls, trading of stocks happened through brokers only. Not anymore! Today businesses are coming to our doorstep and that’s why the concept of marketing has totally shifted to customer experience (but that’s a discussion for another time). A number of companies and large warehouses have successfully managed to put an electronic outlet to traditional businesses.
The advent of the Internet has brought about a dramatic growth in the volume of online transactions all over the world. These business activities include electronic fund transfer (EFT), supply chain management, e-Marketing, online marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI) and automated data management among others (Vladimir, 2003). The current dot com era has witnessed a lot of changes arising from the growth in information and communication technology (ICT). The ICT has remained the dominant factor and platform for business transactions. The platforms offered for commercial transactions include the Internet (i-Commerce), the web (web-Commerce), the mobile devices (m- Commerce) and all are collectively referred to as electronic commerce (e-Commerce).
Over the years the amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily with widespread Internet usage. The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems and a host of others.
I really do sympathize with my grammar usage as I would try to make it as simple as I can but you and I know statistics isn’t friendly. Indeed, from 2010 to 2013, total U.S. retail ecommerce sales increased from $167.3 billion to $263.3 billion. Last year, that number jumped up to $304.1 billion, and trends suggest 2015 will top off somewhere around $347.3 billion. In Nigeria According to Anthony Bushu, Director of Global Marketing and Business Development for MMIT, Nigeria’s internet subscriber base rose from 48.2 million in June 2013 to 67.4 million in June 2014. This represents a density of 40%, placing the country above the African average of around 16%, also the then Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, has said that Nigeria’s e-commerce market has a potential worth of $10 billion with about 300,000 online orders currently being made on a daily basis.
However a report in 2013 by www.itnewsafrica.com stated that a research by Cisco Systems in November 2012 estimated that global ecommerce would increase 13.5% annually over the next 3 years and reach an estimated $1.4 trillion in 2015.
A recent study conducted in Nigeria by Ipsos, a global market research company, on behalf of PayPal, stated that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is leading the way in e-commerce growth, with 65% of the country’s 50 million internet users having at one time or the other shopped online. Whilst those who have not shopped online, making up the remaining 24% of the country’s total internet users expect to do so in the future. While e-commerce across the rest of the world is growing at 16.8%, Africa’s e-commerce space is growing at a rate of 25.8% – making it the fastest growing in the world and obviously placing Nigeria at the fore front. As estimated by McKinsey & Company, Nigeria’s internet access market is set to witness a huge boost, as the federal government has set the target of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2018.
Accepting pacnetservices.com view, another likely factor contributing to e-commerce augmentation is Nigeria’s rapidly growing population. According to The Guardian, the number of inhabitants is projected to surpass that of the U.S. by 2050. Since 2010, its population has jumped nearly 6 percent to just less than 169 million as of 2012.
Was this really necessary? Yes it IS as we need to understand the viability of ecommerce business for potential e-businessmen. While the ecommerce economy is poised for significant growth in the coming months and years, you can only expect to see results if you approach it in the right way. This means following this particularly identified tips necessary for growing your ecommerce investments as under listed.
7 Tips to Make Your Ecommerce Business Totally Successful
1. Be Patient with the launch
This is really important, because when your emotions are high and you feel you have one of the best products ever, you get hasty to launch a website. Sadly, this is one of the biggest mistakes unsuccessful ecommerce entrepreneurs make. Customers are very opinionated and your first impression on them really matters as you would rarely get a second chance. In fact you only get one shot at launching your website and you can’t mess this up. Although it’s okay to purchase your domain name and throw up some sort of “Coming Soon” page, you should avoid the big reveal until you’ve laid some substantial ground work (SEO, content marketing, social media, paid advertising, etc.).
2. Create a solid User Experience and User Interface
As earlier stated, customers are the new King of every business and they know this too. So, since it’s no secret that the biggest shortcoming of ecommerce businesses is the inability to let their customers touch, feel, smell, and see (firsthand) products before making a decision and there’s currently no solution for solving this problem, you can compensate for this deficiency in other areas of the business. Some of the best tips include offering appropriate pricing, giving free shipping and making the checkout process easy with simplified shopping carts.
3. Deploy a Social Media Wall
With a social media hub you can now aggregate, curate and display live real time social media content in line with your business activities and marketing campaign, you share fun, relevant updates to your follower base, through your social media hub. There are plenty of advantages to such social media walls. Users can now connect their experience to a product or a brand. Companies can now deliver a unique shopping experience. It’s a win-win for all. Taking advantage of such social media hubs would be to run social contests motivating shoppers to use social media to win such contest and you can then capture the social content and display it through social walls. Another strategy is to target certain products with specific #hashtags. By using targeted #hashtags users are requested to post social content (tweets, posts, images). This helps create social buzz around your product and also provides social proof. They are fun ways to build positive awareness for your business and get people in the door. Rather than looking like just another company, you can make yourself look like the dynamic local business that is giving its customers something. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
If you wondering what social media means then go to twitter.com, facebook.com, linkedin.com, Google+, Instagram.com. You don’t need to be in all the social media only select the ones that can be of advantage to your business. Your aim here is to engage potential customers and increase your followership through engaging contents.
4. Work closely with social.
Social media is the heartbeat of your business, as it gives you an uninterrupted glance into the lives of your customers. While it’s perfectly fine to have a social-media manager, it’s pertinent that you’re involved with it, nobody knows your business like you do so it is essential you work closely with it especially when engagement with your customers are on the high. You would also need to incorporate social elements. The idea to include social elements on your ecommerce sites is to increase trust, followership and create specific leads or user behaviors. Things like product reviews and testimonials follow buttons and even social login options all help the conversion funnel.
5. Go mobile.
Terragon Group study in 2014 shows 63% of Nigerian internet users had bought at least one item online, 60% of these buyers claimed to have used their mobile phones for these purchases, 86% of the respondents to the Terragon Group study claim to carry out research about an item before making a purchase, 80% pointed at mobile as their major platform for research. Mobile is the first and major point of access for all internet activities. Nigeria is the largest mobile market in Africa and the 10th largest in the world. 71 million Nigerians access Internet via mobile phones according to statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
“Tablets will play an increasingly important role as worldwide consumer spending via mobile jumps from $204 billion in 2014 to $626 billion in 2018…” says Bill Siwicki of Internet Retailer references Goldman Sachs, if you aren’t building ecommerce businesses with mobile in mind, you may be irrelevant in three to five years, it is therefore essential that your ecommerce is mobile optimized.
6. Utilize SEO Marketing
As the ecommerce economy experiences rapid growth, more and more businesses will be entering this increasingly crowded space. That means it will be more important than ever to stay on top of SEO in order to stand out from the competition. Target your market, identify your business keywords and develop proper contents in relation to those keywords. Ecommerce business require a large audience and a continuous stream of customers, hence a need to create a digital marketing campaign and Search Engine Marketing, so connecting with a skilled SEO and digital marketing agency to help you stay on top and remain competitive in the long run. You can connect with our experts at email@example.com
7. Test Your Activities.
Before, during and after you launch of any ecommerce business, you should invest in testing and analytics. Think like the customer and figure out what is working, what’s not, and the why behind those answers. Look at some of the best A/B testing tools and keep collecting information and data unless you plan on launching a single site and stepping away (most entrepreneurs are tempted to keep trying), it’s critical that you collect customer information and build databases to aid future launches.
Several developed nations of the world have plunged into ecommerce in order to improve their economic activities. In fact ecommerce is now seen as one of the areas developed nations are now gaining competitive advantage over developing nations like Nigeria. Any nation that refuses to join this global trend cannot be a significant player in the global economy that will be driven by high powered e-Technology in the foreseeable future. Related post It is important to ensure that your brick and mortar business have a potential of becoming an ecommerce business and never stop evolving, remember technology, trends and customer tastes will change, and so must you if you want to succeed in such a variable market.
These 7 Tips are sure to help you .