Ebusiness has completely changed the way we buy. You’ve probably experienced some advantages of ebusiness as a consumer, but if you’re thinking about starting your own online business, you might be asking, “What are the benefits of ebusiness?”
Here are five advantages of having an ebusiness:
1. Removes location and availability restrictions
The internet reaches across the world and spans all time zones. That means that when businesses take their operations online, they have the same capabilities. With a physical store, customers are limited by how close the store is and its hours of operation. Ebusinesses, on the other hand, are accessible from any area with internet access and open 24 hours a day. Additionally, with mcommerce on the rise, ebusiness has yet another advantage: being accessible to anyone with a mobile device. Customers are only limited by their mobile network coverage, which goes practically everywhere.
2. Reduces time and money spent
With bills for rent, electricity, telephones and general office upkeep, expenses for physical locations can start to pile up. By taking your business online, you reduce or eliminate a lot of these overhead costs. Plus, things get a lot easier from a logistical standpoint, since one person can do the work of several people. Take mass communicating with customers, for example. Sending a bulk email to a list of customers is easier than sending out 100 direct mailings (paper, postage, staff, etc.). In addition to customer-facing processes, inside processes also become friendlier on the pocketbook when going online. For example, transaction costs are lessened, since there’s no need to hire a cashier when shopping cart software lets customers check out themselves. And if that’s not enough, ebusiness marketing is often more affordable too, as online advertising tends to cost less than traditional marketing channels.
3. Expedites customer service
When customers contact you, they want answers fast. Thanks to email and live chat software, ebusinesses have no trouble fulfilling that need. Plus, these flexible forms of customer service can extend past a physical store’s hours of operation. Ebusinesses also offer the convenience of delivering products straight to a customer’s front door, no braving of traffic needed.
4. Shows you how to improve
When it comes to learning more about your customers, a physical store is no match for an ebusiness. With tools like Google Analytics, it’s much easier to access information on your sales and customers, at no extra cost. Want to know how a product has fared over the past three months? What about how many returning customers you’ve had? Unless you’re doing some extreme record-keeping, you don’t have easy access to this kind of data with a brick and mortar store. This data gives insight into your customers’ buying behaviors and interests, which is invaluable to improving your business.
5. Keeps your business relevant
The internet is a big part of our lives, and isn’t showing signs of leaving anytime soon. Opening an ebusiness keeps you in touch with what’s current: it levels the playing field and gives you the resources needed to compete in today’s increasingly digital marketplace. For example, having an online presence on social media websites is a big part of getting your name out there. To stay relevant, businesses need to consistently post content on these outlets that interest their consumers. What’s more relevant than the latest online sale or contest?
When it comes to ebusiness, both the consumer and the business reap the benefits. Being online makes a business convenient, accessible, affordable and better equipped to help its customers, and when businesses are focused on benefiting their customers, everyone wins.
-Stacie Leonard, Volusion