In a highly competitive market of online giants such as Amazon and eBay, small businesses need help to become successful. Despite this, 99.9% of US firms are classified as small businesses, allowing entrepreneurs to gain an advantage over their competitors by expanding their business online – an idea many small companies still need to achieve. Small businesses are classified as firms with fewer than 500 employees and average annual receipts ranging from $1 million to $40 million. With global retail sales predicted to reach 22% online by 2023, now is the perfect time for small businesses to capitalize on this growth and go digital.
This article is aimed at small business owners who want to leverage the power of the internet to realize their full potential.
Small Businesses Need an Ecommerce Component
In a digital-driven world, ecommerce is no longer a luxury; it’s an absolute necessity. Customers expect to be able to purchase their desired items without having to leave the house physically, and businesses that are unable to provide this service will find themselves at an immediate disadvantage. Despite the effort required to establish an online presence, the benefits of ecommerce make the investment well worthwhile.
Customer buying analytics
As an online retailer, I can use online tools to learn all kinds of valuable data about my customers, including:
- Page views – how often a customer visits a particular page in my store. This helps me understand which pages are popular and which are not.
- Average time spent shopping – how much time does a customer spend shopping in my store? This helps me understand how engaged customers are with my content and products.
- Clicks on particular products or offers – how often does a customer click on a specific product or offer? This gives me insight into which products and offers receive the most attention.
- Bounce rate – what percentage of customers enter my online store but leave immediately without visiting other pages on my store? This helps me identify areas of improvement to make sure customers stay engaged.
- Shopping cart abandonment statistics – how often does a customer drop out of the purchase process? This tells me what could discourage customers from completing purchases and how I can improve that.
- Products frequently purchased together – what products do customers most often purchase simultaneously? This helps me understand customer buying patterns and create targeted promos or sales around those trends.
These details can play a significant role in how I operate my business. With this insight, I can make informed decisions that improve my bottom line.
Search Engine Traffic
Considering that most shoppers conduct digital research on search engines such as Google before purchasing, having a digital footprint can be highly beneficial. Even though it is possible to create an impressive web presence without an ecommerce business, entering the ecommerce sector can help draw attention that would otherwise not be achievable.
According to research conducted by Marketing Signals, however, 90% of ecommerce startups fail within the first 120 days due to poor search engine optimization.
Given that factors such as page load speed, pertinent keywords, mobile compatibility, and store structure all factor into SEO ranking, optimizing your store is no easy feat. Fortunately, quite a few ecommerce platforms have in-built SEO tools to help simplify the process. For instance, Shopiroller provides various SEO resources, including optimized URLs, unique URLs, microdata, a content delivery network, 301 redirects, and URL rewrites.
Furthermore, features like category pages, product landing pages, and product descriptions are practical for search engine optimization. Through your ecommerce store, shoppers researching their options and those interested in buying online can be enticed.
Automated Marketing Engine
Marketing strategies have evolved from physical ads in newspapers or shop windows to online advertising. Your ecommerce platform can be a powerful tool to generate automated marketing campaigns and drive traffic to increase sales.
Consumers no longer need to travel to the online store and pay cash; they can click on the ad and make their purchases quickly. Additionally, email marketing can be used to reach customers with other items that interest them. Ignoring these possibilities could have a significant impact on an online business.
Improved Customer Experience
Creating an online store allows customers to purchase products anytime, anywhere. It also enables businesses to enhance their sales channels by providing a more robust Omnichannel shopping experience.
To ensure that customers feel comfortable buying from your online store, you can use augmented and virtual try-ons, try-on-at-home offers flexible return policies to build trust. This way, customers can have a similarly enjoyable shopping experience online as they would in-store.
Better Mobile Usability
Only some people like visiting a physical store to check out your products. With mobile commerce becoming increasingly popular, not offering an ecommerce platform that provides an excellent mobile experience or a dedicated mobile app can leave you behind in the competition.
Research shows that as smartphones have become more and more accessible, mobile commerce is growing. Statista predicts that by 2025, mobile commerce sales will account for over 10% of total US retail sales, an increase of 7% since 2018.
This trend is only likely to rise as smartphones continue to become more and more commonplace. To remain competitive in the market, setting up a suitable ecommerce platform can help you get ahead.
With the increasing trend in mobile usage, businesses must pay attention to desktop devices. On average, conversion rates are higher for desktops than smartphones; however, customers still expect a great mobile experience, so companies must provide this.
3 Types of Ecommerce Solutions
Before jumping in, research the different types of ecommerce software available to find the one that best suits your needs. Operating an ecommerce store isn’t a single solution; it’s a broad category with several variations. Do your homework and make the right choice for your business.
The concept of open source refers to the source code that constructs a store. This kind of infrastructure is available and accessible to all, allowing for the generation of an ecommerce platform. The advantages of going open-source include the following:
- Independence from any single supplier.
- Easy incorporation with existing frameworks.
- The capacity to customize platforms.
Nevertheless, open source has drawbacks, such as requiring more security measures, difficulties in hosting, and potentially higher IT costs.
SaaS (Software-as-a-Service): Software-as-a-Service is commonly mistaken for cloud software. Much like cloud software, SaaS products are hosted on a server maintained by someone other than the business. However, SaaS software is more like renting technology than owning it, which means you get a lot more for your money in terms of ecommerce options.
With the help of a reliable SaaS provider, businesses can lay down the groundwork for an efficient store without any difficulty and guarantee professional assistance. The cost may vary, but the rewards gained in terms of ROI should be substantial.
Headless commerce is an unorthodox strategy that separates the backend, which deals with the technical aspects of ecommerce, from the frontend layer, which customers interact with when online shopping. This system is advantageous when you want to adapt your product presentation but keep the mechanics of selling products the same.
Despite its flexibility, headless commerce can be expensive and complex, leading small businesses to opt for open-source or SaaS solutions instead.
Things to Consider When Selecting Your Small Business Ecommerce Platform
When considering the different types of ecommerce platforms available, it is essential to consider the strengths and weaknesses associated with each option. For instance, DIY templates are often seen as a cost-effective way to create an online shop front.
Still, they may only be able to provide some of the functionality an individual business desires. On the other hand, forming a partnership with one of the primary industry players can bring access to advanced features and capabilities but may require more investment. It is crucial to consider which platform will best suit the needs of your business before making a decision.
Price, Cost, And Additional Fees
Price is often a significant factor for small businesses when selecting an ecommerce platform. However, it’s essential also to consider additional costs which may be incurred. These hidden fees include domain names, store maintenance, security and PCI compliance, store themes, plugins or add-ons, hosting, and credit card processing.
To ensure you select the best platform for your business, take advantage of free trials. This will provide insight into the features included in the monthly rate, which ones you need for your business, and which ones can be included. Doing this will help narrow down your options and save time and money.
It is essential for businesses running an online store to take extra steps to protect customers’ sensitive data, such as addresses and payment information. While some ecommerce platforms come with SSL certificates, more than they may be needed for total security.
It could require investing in additional software or infrastructure to ensure PCI compliance, avoiding fines, loss of customer trust, and other fraud-related financial consequences. To provide peace of mind to customers and business owners alike, Shopiroller stores come with Level 1 PCI compliance to guarantee the store’s security. This allows businesses to spend less time worrying about security and focusing more on building their company.
Credit cards are a significant part of retail, but accepting credit card payments often comes with hidden costs. For instance, Shopify has a payment provider called Shopify Payments, which merchants can use for transactions. However, if they choose to accept payments from third-party providers, Shopify will charge an additional fee of up to 2% of each sale. Over time, these fees can add up.
When selecting an ecommerce platform, it’s essential to look for one that offers flexible payment options and minimal to no transaction fees. Shopiroller is a great example, providing many payment gateways, including point-of-sale (POS) systems, mobile wallets, and money transfers. This way, merchants can save on costs while still giving customers a choice to pay with their preferred method.
A generic and free theme is an ideal choice when starting your business. But over time, it is recommended to build your brand with a customized store design that reflects the personality of your business. Depending on your platform, some may require payment for access to advanced themes or external help from web designers. To minimize such overhead costs, look for a platform that offers a variety of free themes to enable you to design your store more freely.
One of the most annoying things for online customers is finding a product they love, only to discover that it’s out of stock. Therefore, if you are running an ecommerce store, your inventory is your lifeblood, so an effective inventory management system is essential.
Inventory management involves tracking a company’s goods in stock, including ordering, storing, restocking, and forecasting.
As your business grows and you add more items to your catalog, managing your inventory will become increasingly complex. So make sure that the ecommerce platform you choose provides the necessary functions to keep up with your growing store.
If you own a small business and want to take it to the next level, having access to analytics is essential. Analytics will allow you to measure customer behavior and preferences over time to tailor your marketing initiatives better. While some ecommerce platforms offer comprehensive analytics, others may provide limited or no resources — which can be costly to your business.
Try using an ecommerce platform with customer analytics tools to monitor visits and activity on your store and identify which products are performing best or worst.
This way, you’ll be able to gain insight into what is impacting your business the most and make necessary changes to serve customers better.
Customizing your store with the Shopiroller Stencil and Akamai Image Manager will enable you to create a unique look for your ecommerce store that truly reflects your brand. In addition, big commerce’s native SEO capabilities can help boost organic traffic to your store, allowing you to reach more customers.
Shopping cart solutions such as PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay are all integrated into big commerce’s partner networks to give small businesses the flexibility of choosing their preferred payment gateway. Furthermore, merchants can look for different custom elements and features in big commerce’s app marketplace that will help expand their online presence. All these features make it easier to succeed with an ecommerce store powered by Shopiroller.
To prosper in the world of online sales, customers have to be aware of your presence. Although it is feasible to complete tasks independently, like managing customer relationships and optimizing for SEO, crafting email messages, and arranging promos through a third party, several ecommerce platforms can do this for you. Success can be simplified by utilizing successful digital marketing strategies and the correct ecommerce marketing tools, thus saving time and yielding profits.
For example, Shopiroller stores provide a comprehensive selection of third-party applications and native marketing features. When setting up your Shopiroller storefront, you’ll gain access to the following tools:
Customer loyalty programs will reward customers for their purchases and encourage them to continue buying from your store.
Abandoned cart saver – This feature will help to capture lost sales by sending reminder emails to shoppers who have left items in their carts but still need to complete checkout.
Customer Groups: You can create custom groups to target specific audiences with tailored promotions.
Built-in blog: Keep customers informed about new products and upcoming promotions with a blog already integrated into your store.
Social sharing: Allow customers to spread the word about your products by enabling them to share content from your store on social media platforms easily.
Email marketing: Automatically send emails to customers based on specific criteria, like their purchase history or activity in your store.
You can also explore other ecommerce marketing tools such as retargeting, analytics and reporting, product recommendations, and more.
By taking advantage of these solutions, you can maximize your results while minimizing the effort needed to stay ahead in the online sales game. With Shopiroller, you can access all the features and tools you need to succeed. Take advantage of its extensive range of third-party applications and native marketing features. With a powerful combination of both, you can drive more customers, boost sales and increase profits quickly.
Extensive Application Marketplace
When looking for an ecommerce platform, it’s essential to ensure that it offers a comprehensive application marketplace that can meet all your varying needs. This could include integrating existing content management systems, highlighting rating features, and adding “buy buttons” to social media channels. Depending on the platform, some of these applications, add-ons, and plugins may not be included in the base package, so it’s essential to factor that into your budget.
Ease of Use
Above all else, an ecommerce platform should be easy to use. The more complex a store is to manage, the more likely it is that steps in your process will be overlooked. Consider platforms that prioritize simplicity when setting up and managing your store.
Setting up an ecommerce store involves numerous steps, from registering a domain name to managing payment processing. A good platform should ensure that everything gets noticed during the setup process.
Centralized Channel Management
Managing an ecommerce store should be straightforward, and organizing and overseeing all channels in one place is essential for staying organized.
Product and SKU Management
If your store has numerous products with numerous SKUs, you must find a platform that makes inventory management as easy as possible. Look for features like uploading CSV files, which can make tracking stock levels a breeze.
Most businesses have ambitious growth plans, and it’s essential that your ecommerce platform can accommodate this. Consider platforms offering unlimited products, overseas expansion capabilities, additional payment gateways, or extra video and image content. There’s no point in having a venue that can’t grow with you, so consider scalability when deciding.
Ecommerce Platforms For Small Business Owners
- Shopiroller: Shopiroller is an ecommerce platform specifically designed for small businesses. It’s easy to use and comes with features such as product management, payment gateway integration, and analytics. It also integrates with a wide range of third-party services, making it easy to extend the functionality of your store. Shopiroller is also an affordable option for small businesses looking to get up and running quickly without breaking the bank.
- BigCommerce: This is another popular ecommerce platform designed to help small business owners create a successful online store. It boasts various features, including advanced search capabilities, customer segmentation, payment processing options, and more. It also integrates with third-party services like Amazon and eBay, making reaching a more comprehensive range of customers easy.
- WooCommerce: WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that lets small business owners easily set up an online store within minutes. It’s highly customizable and comes packed with features such as product galleries, checkout pages, payment gateways, and more. It has many free and paid extensions to help you create the perfect store for your business.
- Shopify: Shopify is a great ecommerce platform for small business owners looking to create and launch their online store. With its intuitive interface, extensive app marketplace, and a wide range of features, it’s easy to create an attractive, highly functional store that customers will love. It also includes built-in payment processing, analytics, and marketing tools, making it a great all-in-one solution for small businesses.
- Magnolia Boutique
Magnolia Boutique is an online clothing store for young women in the United States. After struggling to sell using their previous platform, they switched to Shopiroller. With Shopiroller’s easy-to-use interface and integrated payment gateways, the team could set up their store and start making sales quickly. In the first month, they saw a 30% increase in orders, with double-digit growth for the following months.
- Party Supply Co
Party Supply Co is an online party supply store based in the UK. After struggling to keep up with demand, they switched to Shopiroller. With Shopiroller’s scalability and product management features, the team was able to increase their inventory and start stocking more items quickly. In the first month, they saw a 50% increase in orders, with double-digit growth for the following months.
A recent survey of Shopiroller users found that 89% reported increased customer satisfaction, and 97% reported higher sales after switching to Shopiroller.
Shopiroller is an excellent option for small business owners looking to create and launch their online store. With its intuitive interface, a wide range of features, and integrations with third-party services, it’s easy to see why many businesses have chosen Shopiroller as their preferred ecommerce platform.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: How User-Friendly Is Shopiroller?
A: Shopiroller is designed to be highly user-friendly, with an intuitive interface and easy-to-use product management feature that make it simple to set up and manage your store.
Q: Does Shopiroller Have Any Payment Gateways?
A: Yes, Shopiroller includes several built-in payment gateways, making it easy to accept payments from customers.
Q: Does Shopiroller Offer Any Analytics And Marketing Tools?
A: Yes, Shopiroller includes powerful analytics and marketing tools that make it easy to track your store’s performance and optimize your marketing campaigns.
Q: Is Shopiroller Suitable For Businesses Of All Sizes?
A: Yes, Shopiroller suits businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. Its scalability and wide range of features make it an excellent option for any business.
Q: Is Shopiroller Secure?
A: Yes, Shopiroller takes security seriously and has implemented several layers of protection to ensure the safety of your store. All payments are processed securely, and sensitive customer data is encrypted.
In conclusion, is an excellent choice for small business owners looking to create and launch their online store. With its intuitive interface, a wide range of features, and integrations with third-party services, Shopiroller makes creating a successful online store easy. The impressive case studies and survey results further prove that Shopiroller is the right ecommerce platform for businesses of all sizes. Try Shopiroller today to give your business the competitive edge it needs!