One of the best things about the business world is that there’s so much room for variety. Not all stores are small and local with niche market offerings—but not all stores are big box retailers that seem to offer a little bit of everything either.
As the Internet has become increasingly pervasive in our lives in the last decade, many “mom and pop” type stores probably thought they would eventually be pushed out of business. After all, they might think, who wants to leave the house to visit a small local store when one could just have something delivered to his doorstep after a few clicks of the mouse? The recent spike in mobile ecommerce and concepts like Cyber Monday (the online version of Black Friday) probably only drives home this concept.
We at The Belford Group propose that this doesn’t have to be true. Small, local stores can help themselves stay in business and even expand their business by offering ecommerce options on their websites.
Increase sales, be competitive
A company doesn’t have to be a big conglomerate like Amazon.com to be successful at ecommerce. Small, local stores have found ways to increase their sales, maintain their competiveness and even broaden their target audience by adding ecommerce features to their website.
There are several market audiences that could potentially appreciate the addition:
- Local, current customers who are joining the millions who prefer to conduct as much business online as possible
- Potential new customers who are searching online for goods or services.
- Non-local customers who might be visiting the town where the small shop is located, and they want the ability to purchase more once they get home.
There’s also something to be said for companies that show enough foresight to offer current, preferred shopping methods. It shows customers a willingness to respond to their needs and a desire to keep up with the times.
Different kinds of ecommerce options
There are many options when adding ecommerce or interactive features to a website.
We have a growing number of clients who have us create an ecommerce site for them, including (click on the photo to go to their site):
Being able to use e-commerce or having interactive functions on a company’s site doesn’t necessarily mean that having full ecommerce capabilities is required, or even appropriate. This is especially true if the company doesn’t offer specific products that can be shipped. What if the company is more service oriented rather than product oriented? Adding features such as payment options on the website can make a company’s site—and business more approachable and easier to use. This translates to more customers being willing to use those products or services.
Courtesy Care Cleaning and Restoration, for example, offers clients the ability to type in their work order from an invoice and pay online. Another example is North Hills Surgery Center, which gives patients the ability to make payments online.
The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget and any medium.
We’d love to learn more about what you do, and find ways to help you do more of it. Call us at 479-443-9945 to schedule a free consultation.