Lets take a look at the basics of commerce, what is commerce? I define it quite simply as buying and selling, yes, you could get into more detail but lets keep it basic. So, if commerce is buying and selling, e-commerce is e-buying and e-selling, right? The letter e is just short for e-lectronic, meaning, computerized. So, e-commerce is basically electronic, or computerized buying and selling, right? You would probably be buying your inventory over the phone anyway, right? In fact, I bet that most vendors have websites where you can order!
I know, you are wondering where I am headed with this. Lets assume that you have a retail business that that sells t-shirts, your brick and mortor store is located in the mall, where you pay an extraordinarilly high amount of rent, but have thousands of people walking past your store every day, you would have to sell a ton of shirts to pay the rent, right?
Now, since the objective is to sell t-shirts, how can you sell more and make that rent less of a headache? Easy, open a second store, one with practically zero overhead, that would make your profit margin go up quite a bit, wouldn’t it?
To do this, there are many options, but unless you are a big corporation, one that spends way too much for everything and then gets bailed out by the Feds, you need an affordable option. Yes, setting up and marketing an e-commerce website can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be, if you use a WordPress CMS site, with an e-commerce plugin, and then use PayPal, or Google Checkout to get paid.
If you have a store at the mall, you already take credit cards, and are used to paying the discount points, and setting that up with a regular shopping cart could be the better option, but, just for this example, PayPal is not a bad thing.
Yes, there are still a lot of people that are afraid the boogie man will get them if they buy something online, but their numbers are getting smaller, and many, if not most people buy on the Internet regularly.
Back to our store at the mall, the goal is to sell more, so we have built a website and set it all up, how do we market it? Simple, just add your web address to your regular ads! Maybe put a sign up, with your website URL, so that the thousands that just walk past your store can see it. Many of these people walking by, or seeing your ad in the paper, are potential website e-commerce customers! So, by adding this second store, you can potentially increase your sales, what, two fold? No, the number can grow exponentially. How many people see your ads, but don’t have time to go to the mall? The same word of mouth that can bring them into your store, can bring them to your website!