Everyone’s doing e-commerce these days, from the guy selling his own tanned leather on Etsy to the woman hawking collectible posters on EBay. E-Commerce is a pretty broad term that encompasses all of this behavior, as well as the activities of larger businesses. And, these online shopping sites aren’t just about finding global buyers for your leftover inventory. Effective Toronto e-commerce website design is an essential addition to your local market.
What E-Commerce Website Design for Toronto Business Means
Regardless of the type of business you run, you are likely missing out on potential sales if you don’t have some form of e-commerce site available. Why? Because even if your customers come to you directly, they are doing their research online. Internet research is the fastest and easiest way for customers to compare products and services, and they know it. That means that if you don’t have at least an informational website up and running, you could be losing significant business.
Search engines are getting better and better at pinpointing local results for user search queries. That’s why even businesses with very specific geographic targets should make a focused effort on their online branding.
Picture this scenario: A potential customer is out running errands. While they’re out, they think it would be nice to get some ice cream, but they’re not familiar with the neighborhood. What does this person do? They pick up their phone and type “ice cream shop”, of course!
Now, let’s say the first result they get is for the ice cream shop that you own. Lo and behold—you’ve just snagged a customer you might have missed out on because you were savvy enough to put up an informational website with local SEO. But, let’s say you’re a forward-thinking ice cream shop owner. The even-savvier owner also has an e-commerce website.
Now, how can you sell ice cream online? Easy! Plenty of businesses have set up online ordering systems. The customer simply clicks your website; looks at the menu; and orders the desired ice cream. You probably don’t want to actually make a frozen treat until the customer arrives, but you can already have the order ready; the customer may have even paid online before arriving.
Admittedly, there may be other business better suited to e-commerce than an ice cream shop, but as you can see, the concept can be applied to nearly any time of business. With that in mind, let’s look at a few different ways you can use e-commerce for your business.
Types of E-Commerce Website Design
Supplementing Physical Sales—
If you’re in a retail business that primarily functions by having customers walk into your store for purchases, then you’re one of the best candidates for an e-commerce website. Many businesses are now selling extra inventory online. This practice doesn’t detract from your physical business; it actually boosts customer awareness and increases the likelihood that someone will visit your shop. You can supplement physical sales in two ways—either by offering exclusive inventory online or by offering a second option for purchasing existing inventory.
Typically, drop-ship websites are run by businesses that sell solely online and do not have a physical location. However, that doesn’t mean this kind of e-commerce site can’t work for your Toronto business. Drop-ship simply means that you do not hold the items in your inventory. Your website acts as the go between for the customer and the manufacturer/shipper. Basically, the customer goes to your website to find and pay for the item, and another company does all the work of providing and shipping the product. If you are a service provider, you could create a drop-ship site that complements your services. For instance, a lawn care company may offer fertilizer or grass seeds on their website.
Sale of Services—
You don’t have to have a product at all in order to benefit from e-commerce purchasing trends. The above-mentioned lawn care company could allow customers to pay for their lawn services online. Paying online for offline services is also a form of e-commerce.
Still not convinced that e-commerce is for you? The US Small Business Administration states that e-commerce sales rates are increasing faster than traditional sales. At Tenpoint Solutions, we’ll give you a unique shopping experience that caters specifically to your customers. Talk to our knowledgeable team today for more ideas on how e-commerce website design can work for you!