It’s a pity how the coronavirus pandemic has become a global disaster, disrupting the way we live generally. As a result, we now have to follow strict isolation measures to stay healthy and to stop the spread of the virus. This isolation has led to shut down of many business activities thereby causing many people to go hungry. Especially those traders that don’t have an online shop.
I know a lot of people are simply waiting for the pandemic to be over so that they can go back to their businesses as usual. Quite fair, but who knows what’s next? I guess it’s time we started giving thoughts to these WHAT IFs;
Question 1. What if the COVID-19 does not go away anytime soon?
Question 2. What if activities never return to the way they were?
Question 3. What if your business wasn’t affected by the lockdown?
I could guess you like the third option. Well, who doesn’t?
To achieve that, quit being one of those pathetic people sitting and complaining of how bad things have gone, while others are still making cool millions.
Essentially, the best consideration right now should be what business to do.
Just stay with me until the end and I’ll walk you through what might eventually become your breakthrough. You never can tell.
The New Trend
We all know that one of the best recommendations by medical experts on how to stay healthy during the period of the pandemic is social distancing. We may refer to it as a strange practice, but we had already started engaging in social distancing for well over a decade through the use of products such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc. They all provide ways to help people communicate and transact without physical interaction, thus creating some level of social distancing. As such, they keep doing well or even better this period.
If I may ask, do you have plans on how to carry on with business during the lockdown? If not, that’s fine! Trust me, you’re not the only one who hasn’t yet puzzled it out. But it will only become a problem if you refuse to take necessary actions to survive in business.
Eventually, we may need to come to terms with the fact that there’ll likely be changes in the way we live or work. And we may never return to what we used to know as the norm.
This is why some sales experts now refer to e-commerce as the king in today’s business trend since it doesn’t require having a physical shop and also appears to be the best option for people to buy and sell tangible/intangible products without proximity.
Now let’s look at one major sector of business affected by the lockdown called trade (buying & selling). The formation has changed, that conventional sellers now find it nearly impossible to get to the buyers, and vice versa. However, trade has to continue as people certainly need to buy stuff such as food and other consumables to survive, and there need to be ways to go about that. This is simply why online trading has been recording more sales and gaining more awareness.
In a nutshell, e-commerce is one of the few businesses that is not affected negatively during the lockdown period, but rather, is experiencing higher transactions.
Having looked at these considerations, I guess it will be most interesting to focus our discussion on E-commerce.
The Business: E-commerce
Now let’s do a quick recap, for the benefit of those that may not be familiar with the term e-commerce. E-commerce (also known as electronic commerce) is the activity of buying or selling products and services online, or over the Internet.
Selling online can be essential across a wide range of physical products such as foodstuffs, household items, clothing, electronics, etc. And also intangible products such as e-books, e-training, software, etc.
According to statistics, in 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and is projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s go with the use of the term online store.
Benefits Of Having An Online Store
Having an online store has been profitable and still is, it’s just you who probably doesn’t know it. Most times when we hear of online stores, we often think about those big brands such as Jumia and Konga. You don’t need to build such a big brand to become successful or record huge sales. In reality, there’s a huge volume of online sales being fulfilled daily outside those big platforms.
Today, I’ve recorded a good number of testimonies from Nigerians who are very happy with the returns they get from their online store. I’m talking about housewives, students, traders, etc. And I’m excited that my team was able to help these people set up a viable business.
Five(5) benefits of an online store
- It exposes your products to a large audience: Having an online store can be a great way to reach a much wider audience targeted at any part of the world. Today, nearly everyone carries a smartphone which makes it easy to put your business on the face of anyone, location irrespective. So now it’s up to you to determine the level of exposure you want to give your business. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
- It is convenient for your customers: For many people, e-commerce has become their preferred way to buy products and services, as it allows them to shop right in the comfort of their homes. Now let’s be frank here, selling online is as well also convenient for the seller. And besides, it saves time.
- Collect your payment online: Collecting your payment online is quite easy! An online store provides multiple payment options such as bank deposits, card payment, and more. Having an online store even makes it possible to collect payment round the clock. It enables you to make sales even while you’re asleep. That sweet sound of a credit alert.
- Easy to inform your customers of new products or available products: E-commerce makes it easy to notify your customers whenever you have new products. It can also be used to attract new customers through the use of search engines such as Google and Bing.
- It’s cheap to own and easy to organize: As we all know, owning a brick and mortar store can be quite expensive. It usually requires expenses such as rent, furniture, light bill, etc. But, an online store does not need all that to get set up. An online store also provides complete automation of check-out, billing, inventory management, payments, and other types of operational costs, thereby reducing the number of employees required to run the store.
How it works
When your online store is all set up, making sales becomes fast, simple, and straight forward.
Three(3) simple steps required to fulfill an online sale.
- Add to cart: This is when customers look around your store and select items that he/she is interested in buying.
- Check out: This is similar to a customer visiting the counter to make a payment, as seen in physical stores.
- Delivery: After a customer has completed an order, it’s required for the seller to send the item(s) over.
Don’t even bother worrying about No. 3 (Delivery), it happens to be very easy to fulfill.
I guess you now see how easy it is to own an online store and collect payments online. That’s an e-commerce for you.
Let’s make this short and straight to the point. Having an online store simply requires;
According to Wikipedia, a website is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server.
Now don’t get intimidated by all these technical jargon – Here are the things you need to own an online store.
- A Domain name & Web server: A domain name is also known as a website address. And a web server is where all the business information and data will be stored. Just like a physical store that has an address and a building, a website has a domain name and web server, respectively.
- Professional website developer: A website such as e-commerce requires very proficient developers that can create a well-optimized and responsive online store. This is very important because it goes as far as determining the success of the business.
Developing an e-commerce website does not have a fixed cost. Charges are based on the size (number of products) and the functionalities.
To get a price on how much you need to get yours, click here to request a quote.
Important: When getting a website, it is advisable to use a professional digital agency such as BrandGeko as it will save you time and money.
BrandGeko is a digital agency that provides digital solutions to help businesses become well-structured for exponential growth through the industry’s best practices.
Examples of Businesses that require an online store
- Household items
- Cake making
- home care
- home/event decors
These are only a few of the many businesses that require an online store. You need an online store for sales of anything in general.
For further inquiry on this, you can call 07037485610 or fill the form below to talk to an expert.