E-commerce remains a growth area because it meets the needs of buyers by allowing them to purchase the products they want when they need them from the comfort of their own home. The medium has grown even further in recent years thanks to mobile browsing. People can now make purchases on the move, giving them even more freedom to buy what they need.
Competition has grown substantially online, with the vast majority of businesses realising the kind of benefits and extra exposure having an e-commerce operation can offer. On the high street sellers can be excluded relatively easily, particularly if property prices and operating costs are high. Online these barriers are vastly reduced, so it is easier for smaller providers to compete. This creates value for consumers as they can browse for the cheapest products.
The level of competition means you need to make sure your site stands out. Price is one way to do this but it is also important to ensure that customers have a great experience. To do this you need an appealing, highly functional website equipped with features that consumers will appreciate, such as pictures of products and reviews. The buying experience should be fun, easy and secure.
One area where businesses can deliver value and gain an advantage over competitors is delivery. When people purchase online, they put trust in the business and their supply chain. Ensuring products are delivered quickly and handled carefully can provide a competitive edge. Customers will be turned off if orders take a long time to deliver and if they are not completely clear on when they can expect them.
Investing in the supply chain is important if you want to be successful online. These investments should be designed to help you speed up delivery times whilst also keeping the costs of each shipment to a minimum. If you can offer free shipping to customers, you should, because it is very high up the list of things that will motivate people to complete a purchase.
It is also important to give customers clear data about their orders. You should be keeping them informed of when an order is received and processed. They should also receive another reminder when it is dispatched with an estimate of the arrival date. The more accurate you can be with deliveries, the better.