The digital age has created a transformative environment where humans have become increasingly dependent on the internet. From calling loved ones across continents to paying utility bills and applying for jobs, everything is done online these days. Shopping from the comfort of your homes has become more convenient and affordable for consumers. Also, the high penetration of smartphones has made the online shopping boom in the past few years and the pandemic has catapulted it to the next level.
Consequently, e-commerce has emerged as the biggest gainer in the past year and many brick-and-mortar businesses have made the transition to the medium. Thus, if you are planning to purchase a business for sale in Australia, you must understand the benefits of online selling for small entities. It will help you to make your venture prosperous in the new normal. Let us take a look at how it can help small businesses.
1. Acquire Customer Through Search Engines
Traditional selling requires marketing and branding products through radio spots, print ads, signage, point of sales material, email marketing, direct sales, etc. However, with online selling, the search engines help in driving traffic to the website. When the customer is looking for a product online, the search engine pairs the request with the information present online and provides all the results. The user then clicks on the links of websites thrown up by the search engine.
If your website ranks well for the keywords, you can acquire a massive customer base through Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Thus, you will be getting regular and recurring traffic from the search engine giants, which will boost the profits without spending anything on ads.
2. Capture A Bigger Market Share
There were 14.7 million internet users in the country in June 2018, and the number has been significantly growing. Most of the customers are opting for this comfortable shopping platform as their confidence has improved over the years. Although the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, many are still sceptical about returning to physical stores for shopping. All these developments have increased the number of online buyers and created wider markets for sellers.
Earlier, the small businesses had a limited audience in their geographical location. However, e-commerce allows them to reach to a huge base of target customers who are willing to purchase from them. Online selling is not bound by distance. Entrepreneurs can sell globally 24x7 using international shipping which enhances the market share. Thus, e-commerce can help in scaling up and increasing sales easily.
3. Lower Overheads
Running your business through a brick-and-mortar setup costs a lot more than running an online business. You must pay for a variety of expenses that increase the outgoings considerably, such as utilities, salaries to employees managing the store, lease, maintenance, etc. If you shift your business to the digital medium, you will realise that the operating costs are much lower.
You do not need a physical store in a highly visible location that has substantial rent. The warehouse is usually away from the hustle and bustle and can be leased at a lower rate. The higher margins earned from catering to a wider audience helps in paying for the expenses and generate an income. It makes sense to opt for this medium as it helps small businesses to reduce costs and sustain their entities.
4. Budget Promotions
It is easier to promote your e-commerce business through social media platforms that are way cheaper than traditional advertising channels. While the cost of TV commercials and print ads has gone through the roof, social media ads are still economical. Plus, you can make free of cost profiles and upload loads of content every day without having to pay anyone. All the blogs, videos, images, posts, infographics can get thousands of views and have the possibility of getting shared and becoming a viral trend that can increase brand visibility.
The social media platforms offer personalised interactions with customers that help in engagement and two-way communication. It can go a long way in retaining customers and turning them into loyal buyers.
5. Get Online Recommendations and Reviews
Although small businesses have to face competition from the big players in the online market, they are able to carve a niche through better quality and service. If a small business is offering a great product at an affordable price, it will automatically get recommended online by the customers. Word of mouth publicity works wonders in promoting a brand and positioning it as a market leader. The customer reviews and ratings given by users help in gaining the trust of potential buyers.
Most shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. Thus, marketers encourage their loyal customers to write recommendations that help in creating a positive and credible brand image. It becomes easier to deal with competition and make your presence felt online.
6. Tracking Inventory
With an e-commerce website, the entrepreneur is always aware of the level of stock available for selling and when it will get over. It helps in reducing wastage of perishable items and keeps the business owner on top of inventory management. The time of launching new products for consumption gets reduced as you can list them on the website and start selling without worrying about the new launch strategy.
The seller can track the shipment and know when the items will be delivered so that the information can be passed on to the consumers. Also, they do not have to present in the office to do so. All the tracking and management can be done from anywhere in the country.
7. Analysing Consumer Behaviour
The analytics of an e-commerce website allows the marketer to understand where the traffic is coming from, which products are being bought the most, when do customers spend more, etc. These insights help in analysing customer behaviour in a precise way and making informed decisions about changes in offerings and devising the marketing strategy. Thus, marketers are better equipped to match the expectations of the customers because they are aware of their needs and desires.
Conversely, traditional stores do not offer the opportunity to learn much about the customers. In addition, the analytics reports help the business owners to upgrade their website and focus on the items that are selling more.
With excellent margins and positive cash flow, e-commerce can benefit small businesses in a variety of ways during the social distancing period. If you plan to purchase a business for sale in Australia, you must think about making a digital transition to acquire more customers and spend less on marketing.