If this article was being written a few years ago, we would be advocating the use of e-Commerce to gain access to a global market and to grow your business to a new height. In short, we would have been trying to convince you that e-Commerce is good for your business. In 2013, everyone from one-man operations to multimillion dollar organizations know that e-Commerce is absolutely essential to survive in the market today. However, how to turn e-Commerce into an asset is still a million-dollar question.

First of all, you have to determine what role e-Commerce will play in your business. Is your business solely an online business and depends completely on online transactions? Is it a brick and mortar store that’s doing just fine but you wish to broaden your horizons by going online? Do you have the resources to deliver on the promises you make online? Large organizations with greater resources can afford to dedicate whole departments to create and execute their e-Commerce strategies, but a small enterprise may not have that luxury. Most entrepreneurs go for DIY options, buy ready-to-install shopping carts, and have to manage their website along with their business. For them, e-Commerce can be a blessing if done correctly.

SMEs can benefit from the following tips:

  1. Have a User Friendly Interface The interface doesn’t have to be the most innovative or most advanced, but it should be neat, clean and easy to use. You customers should be able to browse your web easily. Browsing through products and placing orders should be easy. When building your website, go for interfaces that cater to smartphone users, tablet users, and laptop and PC users alike. You can also get custom web applications that can help you cover the smartphone market.
  2. Offer Incentives Buying products and/or services from your website should carry some incentive for your target market. Offer special packages and discounts to encourage repeat business online.
  3. Deliver on Your Promise sit is important for SMEs to only promise what they can deliver. If you own a small pizzeria and are offering home deliveries in your neighborhood, do not make claims such as “free home delivery”. Instead, specifically mention the name of the suburb/neighborhood where the deliveries are applicable. Do not put this information in fine print; mention it clearly where the users can see them.

It is easy to pretend to be a big-time company on your website, but if you do not have the resources to back your promises, you will end up with disgruntled customers and bad online reviews. Last but not the least; you have to incorporate e-Commerce in all your marketing strategies. You can put URLs and QR Codes on product packaging and brochures to encourage people to visit your e-Commerce website. You can also use your video advertisements to market your website.

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