It’s no secret, e-commerce is big business and only getting bigger. While this has been known for quite some time, the COVID-19 global pandemic has provided further evidence of the important role e-commerce plays in your business.
Seemingly overnight, businesses that were capable of conducting sales online prospered and those who couldn’t suffered. Some businesses scrambled to get themselves online as quickly as possible while others folded altogether.
So, this begs the question: Why aren’t all businesses conducting [at least some of] their sales online?
Enabling E-Commerce Can Be A Challenge
For many, the short answer to excluding one\’s business from the world of e-commerce is cost. Of course, what’s considered expensive is a relative concept but, in general, the increased business gained from extending one’s catalog to a global, 24/7 virtual storefront should cover its costs in time. In most cases, it’s the mindset difference between spending money or investing money.
Costs aside, e-commerce can be a logistical challenge for some businesses. Selling online may mean physically storing higher quantities of inventory, shipping materials, computers, and the like.
Being appropriately staffed for the foot traffic of your brick and mortar store usually means you’re understaffed to additionally manage an online store and fulfill orders.
While the staffing issue may also fall under the expense concern, training and managing additional team members can bring its own headaches.
To top off this brief (and incomplete) list of challenges comes the construction and operation of the e-commerce website itself. Many businesses already have a non-transactional, informational website. And the memory of that development process, for some, was less than pleasant. To them, the idea of going through that process again can be intimidating, to say the least.
Options For Online Sales
There are many ways to go about conducting online sales for your business. Popular options, on a small scale, include selling individual items on Facebook Marketplace or in an auction format on eBay.
However, true online e-commerce entities prefer their own, exclusive website. While the advantages are endless, they include broad customization opportunities, a stronger control over their data, and protection from a third party platform’s intellectual property ownership and changing policies.
Another benefit of website ownership is the flexibility to integrate with your other business programs. While the e-commerce website is a piece—if not the core hub—of their business, it’s not the only tool the company relies on.
Many will find the need to integrate their e-commerce website with an ERP system, CRM platform, postage programs, and much more.
The Rise of Shopify
With popular solutions such as Magento (now Adobe Commerce) and Woocommerce, Shopify is not the only game in town. But, as e-commerce matured, they certainly did a good job evolving their platform to include more important and popular features. It’s this evolution that keeps their name coming up among entrepreneurs.
Shopify’s mobile-friendly functionality makes selling from smartphones and tablets a comfortable and accessible experience for customers.
Their inclusion of payment processing and a secure checkout gateway takes many steps out of the typically e-commerce development process.
Understanding the needs of hybrid businesses, those conducting sales online and in-person, they offer point-of-sale (POS) solutions that integrate with the website as well as an inventory solution to get you started. This is a great way to centralize your data.
As you begin to outgrow the inventory solution and require a more advanced toolset, you’ll appreciate how well Shopify integrates with cloud-based ERP solutions, like GoldFinch.
It’s integrations such as these that are a fan favorite when it comes to Shopify. These connections allow you to grow your business on a platform that will grow with you for quite some time.
And, even when your business gets to the point where it outgrows Shopify and you need to move to a platform like Saleforce Commerce Cloud, you can take solutions like GoldFinch ERP and others along with you. This reduces downtime and overall cost!
In Good Company
Some big brands, such as Mac Tools, Staples, Heinz, Jenny Craig, and more have found comfort planting their flags in the land of Shopify. While popularity certainly doesn’t guarantee a flawless endorsement, many find solace in knowing brands like these trust Shopify for the clearing of millions of dollars in annual sales.
Popularity often portends a strong support network, as is the case with Shopify. Even a cursory Google search reveals numerous outlets for common and even the most obscure support questions.
With powerful native tools, strong third-party integrations, and extensive support network, it’s easy to see why Shopify is so often praised. While these highlights represent just the tip of the feature iceberg, it’s no secret why Shopify is so hot among business owners these days.
To learn more about integrating e-commerce into your organization, Contact Us today!