The BBC reported on the findings of a British Retail Consortium Survey1 which showed that a record level of online shopping in the December 2013 Christmas period. Internet purchases grew by over 19% over the same period in the previous year, with one in five of all non food items being purchased online over the Christmas period. In fact online sales were so amazing in December 2013 that Amazon reported selling 426 items per second on the first day of the month alone, making the virtual tills ring!
E-commerce can be used at different stages in the procurement of products and services, from flagging up interest to actual purchase. E-commerce is also fostering increasingly sophisticated technology. A recent Guardian Greenslade Blog2 describes how newspapers could generate product sales through e-commerce, an example being the image of a Bayern Munich player “overlaid with a Kiosked module offering ways to buy a replica Bayern kit.”
Increased sales, improved logistics, lower costs and stronger customer relationships can all be generated by a successful e-commerce site:
- Costs of sales and order processing can be significantly lowered. E-commerce can provide an efficient sales and sales support function 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The e-commerce function takes no holidays or sick leave and has no expenses requiring scrutiny and approval. Also, existing sales and marketing employees can be released for higher level functions.
- E-commerce can offer companies scalability and flexibility in their sales function, reducing overheads for business premises, retail outlets or showrooms.
- Customer service provided can be of exceptional quality. For instance, well planned automated messaging of customers giving the online tracking of order status can significantly build customer confidence and loyalty. After sales support supplying technical information, new product news and other data can be equally effective.
- An exceptionally wide range of products can be offered and information made available online about product ranges and capabilities can be incredibly extensive. This would have been impossible under traditional mail order provision. Imagine trying to stuff an Amazon paper catalogue through a letterbox!
- Guiding customers to other products and services they may find of interest increases the likelihood of further purchases as well as potentially adding value to the customer’s brand knowledge and user experience.
BBI Brandboost designs bespoke e-commerce sites using a range of dedicated software programmes - Zen Cart, Magento, OS Commerce, DNN and WooCommerce. Projects include design and build through to the setting up third party payment gateways (the end-to-end e-commerce process).
We have also taken over and fixed technical problems on existing sites that a client’s current e-commerce site designer was unable to rectify and devised SEO strategies to help customers find and land on the site. After all, even with e-commerce sales; location, location, location is vital to success!
Contact BBI Brandboost on 01494 452600, by email or through the Live Chat function on our website to discuss strategies for building a successful e-commerce presence for your company.
- “Record online sales over Christmas, says BRC”
- “Newspaper publishers use e-commerce technology on website photos”
By Andrew Libra
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