For many businesses, having an online presence is critical to their success. It’s no secret that a website is a central piece of modern marketing, and what greets your customers should be useful and easy to navigate.
The same is true for e-commerce sites. Shoppers should be able to browse and buy with ease, trusting that a site will protect their transaction from beginning to end. Safely selling online is important, and businesses must protect their customer information. Customers want their financial and personal information to be secure, or they won’t participate in online commerce. What’s a business to do?
It’s easy to consider e-commerce as something that only “big” companies (like Amazon) do. However, more than a quarter of small businesses in the US are selling online. E-commerce isn’t just for companies selling widgets nationwide – numerous businesses seek to serve a much smaller market area, doing so through an online product database.
No matter the size of your business, offering safe and secure online transactions is critical for both your reputation and your bottom line. If you haven’t added an online store to your website, there are lots of great reasons to do so.
Reasons to Dive Into E-commerce
If you’ve been hesitant to add an online store to your business website, consider these statistics:
- Up to 85% of consumers research products online before purchase
- Nearly a third of consumers prefer the 24/7 availability of shopping online
- Roughly 80% of Americans have made an online purchase
It’s estimated that by 2040, up to 95% of all purchases in the United Kingdom will have an online component, ranging from research to actual purchase. Since the US often closely mirrors what happens in the UK, it would not be difficult to extend that statistic to the US.
Even if you serve a local market, your customers want the option of shopping your business online. Providing accurate, real-time information about your inventory and allowing customers to purchase online for delivery or pickup can give your business an edge over your competitors.
Giving Your Customers What They Expect
E-commerce can be challenging to get right. Your customers expect a seamless, secure experience when they shop online, and if your site doesn’t provide that, you could lose sales. Some of the qualities that online shoppers expect include:
- Easy site navigation, both on PC and mobile
- Accurate product information, including availability
- Secure payment processing
- Attentive customer service
- Free or flat rate shipping
- Fast shipping
- Easy returns
Customers expect these qualities in every e-commerce site, no matter if it’s a global powerhouse like Amazon or a local retailer. Fortunately, it’s possible for businesses of every size to provide a secure shopping experience.
Creating a Product Database
In order to start selling online, your business needs a product database. Essentially, this is your inventory in electronic form, electronically tracked from beginning to end.
A product database is critical to a self-sustaining e-commerce property. Without it, manual intervention will be required on a daily basis. This means for every transaction generated online, you must confirm inventory availability, manually process transactions, and generate shipping labels. Integrating a product database into your business website will make the entire process easier, both for you and for your customer.
If your business already tracks inventory electronically, Lieberman Technologies can integrate that database and pull that information onto your website for ease in e-commerce. If you don’t have an existing database, we can create one for your site. Once your site includes this database, the next step is to make online transactions safe and secure.
Making a Website Safe for Shopping
The security of transactions is paramount for customer trust and website safety. Fortunately, a secure transaction provider can make transaction security easy. These providers use a secure, encrypted process that protects customer information, whether the transaction takes place in person, online, or over the phone.
Lieberman Technologies works with secure transaction providers like Stripe and Authorize.net. Simple, secure digital payments on your site can make it easier for your customers to trust their interactions with you. The combination of an integrated database and secure transactions can help your business earn the confidence of online shoppers.
Are you ready to start safely selling online? Contact Lieberman Technologies to get started!