Do you run a physical business and are looking for effective ways to scale your sales and profitability? You possibly need to consider going the digital way by setting up an e-commerce store that allows you to sell your products and services online.
Whether you’re just starting out or running a well-established enterprise, e-commerce is the way to go in today’s competitive global market. We live in an era where consumers no longer hit the streets every day to buy items, but instead, want to enjoy the convenience of online shopping. This explains why many businesses are now focusing on setting up online stores with top e-commerce platforms like Shopify. This is in a bid to meet
Shopify, an industry leading e-commerce platform, offers a great starting place for businesses looking to build their customized online stores. Luckily, getting started on the platform is quite easy even for the average Internet user.
For starters, you only need to acquire a domain, a reliable Shopify email hosting service, and an appropriate theme and templates. Shopify also provides multiple functionalities not limited to organizing products, processing payments, tracking orders, and customizing your store.
So how can
E-commerce broadens your brand
E-commerce presents an ideal way to transform your business from the traditional store that your customers know into an innovative, highly sought-after brand. What’s more, this business model can be used to diversify what a brand offers and consequently boost sales.
Let’s take a look at Apple, for example. The tech giant started iTunes as an iPod marketing tactic but later grew massively to become the successful online store it is today. iTunes currently rakes in billions of pounds every year and is regarded highly as a vital part of the bigger Apple brand.
Through this example, it’s easy to see how broadening your range of products in an e-commerce store can bring you more customers and drive increased sales to your business.
Aunty Acid started back in 2012 as a daily comic that was published on Facebook. Created by Backland Studio in Liverpool, the fictional character became quickly popular thanks to her witty comments and colourful appearance. In six months she reached a following of 120,000 on the platform.
As with any other popular brand, Aunty Acid started expanding. On top of migrating to new social networks, they had the idea of creating a paid subscription program for exclusive content on their website. This would be on of their first revenue channels but not the last. After partnering with Printsome On Demand in 2018, Aunty Acid launched its official merchandise store.
Now, fans could purchase mugs, T-shirts and books with sayings from their witty aunt. Aunty Acid’s main business is creating content for their social media channels but thanks to their large following, they’ve been able to go from community building to generating sales.
Buying online is more convenient
An online store offers the convenience and flexibility that the modern day customers crave for. Users can visit your store at any time, no matter how busy their lives are. Put simply, implementing e-commerce means your business fits into your customers’ tight schedule, offering the products and services they want all day long. The convenience of an online store combined with a fast checkout process, order-tracking system, and reliable shipping is surely a winning combination for any business.
Expand your reach
With access and penetration of the Internet growing by the day, there is no reason why you should only limit your business to your local market. How about you set up an e-commerce shop and start exploiting the global market? Remember, you don’t necessarily have to use services like Shopify especially if you’re keen on creating personalized and unique digital shops. You can elect to set up a typical website in which you incorporate an online shop that resembles a Shopify-powered e-commerce site. All you only need is a usual CMS like WordPress, an e-commerce plugin like Woocommerce, and an appropriate theme. You’ll also need to get a fast and reliable hosting for your site – this epic list offers a great starting place.
Thanks to their ever-expanding social media efforts, Aunty Acid has been able to reach a global audience. Social media manager Raychel Backland comments how fans’ experience would be different depending on where they come from. For example, Asian followers would often comment on Aunty’s pink hair and her colourful outfits.
Note: Find out how you can get your very own online store up and running with Printsome On Demand.
Better targeting and more personalization
The surge of digital marketing has led to the development of different forms of software that help entrepreneurs gather, compile and analyze useful customer information that would otherwise be difficult to acquire through traditional ways. For example, it’s now easier to use data gathered by social media platforms and related tools to understand the browsing and buying trends of your targeted customers. Using this information, you can create personalized offers and recommend relevant products to your markets through your web store.
However, what’s even more rewarding about having a better understanding of your consumer market is that it helps to show your customers that you pay attention to their interests. And remember, the more a customer feels valued and cared for, the higher the chances of remaining loyal to your business.
Get a more accurate market analysis
Implementing e-commerce helps you gather a clearer insight into your market. Most of the software and tools used in running these stores collect useful customer data concerning behaviour and buying patterns of visitors. This information can prove valuable in understanding areas that need improvement in your business, when applying for investment, and in enhancing the overall customer experience.
Knowing the market as a whole places you in a better position to survive the competitive global market and grow your business.
Influences purchase decisions
When a customer is deciding on whether to make a purchase, they often start by searching online. Your e-commerce store serves as a showroom, where potential customers can research your products and read existing reviews.
For this reason, business owners need to showcase products at their best and compel customers into taking action (making a purchase). A well-designed web store with a searchable catalogue and excellent reviews can increase your sales significantly.
Boosts passive earnings
Implementing e-commerce does not necessarily restrict businesses to logistics such as opening hours and location. This means your store remains open to a global audience at any time of the day. If you’re looking to create a passive income stream where you no longer have to bank on extra opening hours or great salespeople to boost your revenue, then opening a web store is an idea worth considering. All you need is to develop a strong online presence and use effective digital strategies that help you understand your target audience better. This way, you can offer your client base innovative products and services and boost your sales.
Going back to Aunty Acid’s example, their main business model is the subscription fee that they sell on their main site. This takes most of the team’s time as it requires generating content for the monthly newsletter and other types of exclusive goodies.
The online store is a great way for them to generate passive earning as it requires little management. Thanks to their partnership with Printsome On Demand, the Aunty Acid team doesn’t need to take care of the logistics of shipping and printing because we do it for them. This way, they can spend their time creating new content and managing their social media channels.
Easily scale and grow
A key benefit of implementing e-commerce is that you can scale and optimize your business quite easily. You can also adjust your marketing strategy and inventory in accordance with business performance.
An online store allows you to develop your business in line with the existing consumer demand and customer requirements. You can add more offerings as the customer base expands or add online payment options or shipping methods without worrying about moving to a larger premise, as would be the case with a traditional store.
Aunty Acid reached 120,000 likes on their Facebook page during their first six months. This was a rapid growth for Backland Studio but it was still little when compared to what was to come. At the time of writing this blog post, Aunty Acid boasts a total of 11 million likes on the social network.
Now, a scaling at such speed would scare most businesses (and for good reason) because most can’t cope with it but if you find yourself a partner, then half of the work is already done. Printsome On Demand counts with high-capacity systems that can produce many garments at the same time. On top of that, we can ship to anywhere in the world.
Go global with e-commerce
The simple rules of operating a business require that an entrepreneur sets up his enterprise where his largest customer base dwells. Logically, this would mean setting up a shop at the central part of the city or a shopping mall as opposed to the backstreet.
This same concept applies to e-commerce businesses. Move your business from operating just locally and give it an online presence that opens it up to a broader audience.
Remember customers are more attracted to businesses that move and evolve with time. Do not risk losing your loyal customers – step up your business strategy and keep up with the expectations of your audience.
Implementing e-commerce offers businesses vital opportunities for growth, from diversifying their offerings to reaching wider markets. A well-developed web store will help drive more traffic, allows you to offer improved services to your customers, and ultimately increases your business sales. With a well-thought-out business strategy, great tools, and sound marketing skills, it’s easier than ever to run a successful e-commerce business that pays handsomely.
Text: Jasper Morris
Print on Demand in the UK
Here at Printsome, we’ve always supported creative endeavours which is why we’re proud to announce our brand new print on demand in Europe service.
Thanks to our five years of experience in the T-shirt fulfilment industry, we were able to design a platform catered towards the needs of artists and designers who want to start their own T-shirt line. Printsome’s Print on demand service has no minimum orders and can print any design with no colour limitations.
From the moment you connect your online shop with our Shopify T-shirt fulfillment platform, anyone can buy one of your designs. We deliver all over the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. T-shirt drop shipping has never been this easy.
Why worry about inventory or logistics when we can take care of that? We deal with the boring stuff so you have more time to do what you love. To find out more, simply visit our brand new website.