It appears that a surprising amount of business does not have e-commerce. According to figures from the European Commission Digital Agenda report, only 14 % of British companies are selling their products online.
I (Grishma Patel) attended a keynote presentation by Mark Clisby about “Digital in the marketplace” at the Business Show. According to Clisby, in e2018, more than 90% of UK adults use the internet regularly, but a significantly low number of businesses still do not sell online.
We wanted to highlight why businesses should invest more in e-commerce.
E-commerce involves purchasing or selling of physical or virtual goods or services using the internets, it requires the transfer of money and data to realise the transaction.
The statistics show that more people are deciding to purchase online and forecast that this will continue to increase.
- In 2018, 78% of UK adults had bought goods or services online at least once (Office For National Statistics)
- 40% of purchases are made using only an online channel for searching and buying (UPS)
- Millennials now make 54% of their purchases online (UPS)
- 75% of British adults will be shopping online by 2021 (Statista)
Businesses are slow to sell online. E-Commerce offers enormous potential for companies to develop new markets and acquire new customers. Here are some opportunities that e-commerce provides:
- Access to new markets
E-commerce is a distribution channel which enables the business to develop in markets, prohibitive by cost or inaccessible with a physical presence. Companies that want to sell their product or service globally, then e-commerce is a cost-effective way to expand internationally and broaden the customer base.
- Low investment cost
Setting up an e-commerce site can save money because it costs much less than buying or renting a bricks-and-mortar store and employing.
For companies that already own their shops, online commerce is not an alternative, but a complement to offline sales.
- Selling and earnings 24/7
E-commerce, businesses can sell every day, and any time, your online store of products and services are accessible globally, which can significantly boost sales and revenues.
- E-commerce provides information about customers’ buying habits.
Business can use the data collected to improve the customer’s journey and deliver a high-quality buying experience. The business may adapt they offer and their communication to meet customers’ expectations. Data have a pivotal role to optimise and personalised offers such as promotion, loyalty program, or even research and suggest new products.
- Collect customers information to communicate with them
E-commerce enables the gathering of personal customers to contact details more easily like address, email and mobile number, allowing personalised SMS email marketing campaigns to nurture customers relationships.
For example, a UK based Business called Northern Industrial that has grown 40% of its revenue and broaden its global customer base after developing an e-commerce platform. Northern Industrial provides spare industrial electronic parts and repair services for manufacturers. David Leneha, director of business development, joined the company in 2007 and had the idea to sell old spares pieces online. Leneha found an e-commerce solution for just £20 per month. For more of this success story.
Few British businesses use e-commerce to sell. However, figures are showing that e-commerce will continue to develop in the future years. The company should seize opportunities offered by e-commerce to reach global markets and a broader customer base; it reduces the cost of transaction compared to a bricks-and-mortar store and tracks customers buying habits. The example of Northern Industrial, e-commerce can help grow your revenue and expand your business.