At least ten clients have approached me so far this year, wanting to know if there is a point in creating an e-commerce website for their businesses in Kenya. Interestingly, these people were from diverse sectors, including pharmaceutical, fashion, furniture, electronics, and interior design.
You probably do not operate within these sectors but have been wondering the same. Should you pay a few thousand shillings to have an e-commerce website for promoting your products? Is an e-commerce website worth it for businesses in Kenya?
One of the floated arguments is that e-commerce websites involve much work while another was arguing that a Facebook page is enough for operating her business. These people eventually agreed to give an eCommerce website a trial and several months later, and they are glad they did. However, there are others who have launched eCommerce websites for their business only to gain a zero, or perhaps negative return on investment.
If you have a friend who has an eCommerce website, their experience running the website can be a key influential factor on whether you invest in one or not. People who have not had success with eCommerce websites almost always discourage their friends from having one.
These people will encourage you to sell your products through online platforms such as social networking platforms, B2C platforms like Jumia or Kilimall, or even listing websites such as Pigiame or Jiji. These are viable options. People make money selling on these platforms.
This is true especially when you’re selling few commodities or second-hand products.
Before making the choice of whether to have an e-commerce website for your website, it is important to ask yourself about the benefits of having an eCommerce website, especially depending on the kind of commodities you provide.
An e-commerce website comes with the following benefits
1. More people are making purchases online
Online shopping has become a normal routine in many people’s lives in this digital-centric world. And over 75% of people are shopping at least once a month online.
2. Ecommerce has better returns
If you deal with an array of products, you will probably agree that a drawback of listing your products with high-traffic websites like Jumia, Kilimall, Jiji, and PigiaMe is the high commission they charge for their services.
One of my clients was complaining that it is getting harder and harder to breakeven on the leading platform because of the high commission they charge on goods sold. The effect of this is felt in the returns where you may find yourself struggling.
The worst part is that the platforms are highly competitive and you do not have the advantage of pricing your goods as you wish or else you will not make any sale.
This is not always the case with an e-commerce website. They give you the advantage of selling your products at the price you wish because you own the site.
You get a better Exposure
It may sound obvious, but an e-commerce website provides the retailer with a broader exposure for his/her products. When you are on the internet, anyone can access you and your products. They can easily communicate with you and interact with your products. This is unlike a physical store where you are limited only to passers-by.
You start providing 24-hour service
Very few shops, including big retail shops such as supermarkets, are operated 24 hours straight. There is always a time limitation because people have to rest. However, e-commerce websites change weakness because your operations and products can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
Your customers can make orders at night, and you find them in the morning depending on the products you will be selling.
You can measure your performance
An e-commerce website makes it easy to know your numbers by measuring sales volume for your products. Measuring your business performance allows you to understand the best-selling products for more investments.
E-commerce complements your social media
An e-commerce website complements your social media marketing efforts. Facebook or Instagram pages for your business are suitable for displaying your products up to a certain point. You may not be in a position to provide all the information needed for your products or even close a sale.
However, you can always leave a link for your social media followers to follow and interact with more of your products.
Things become even better when you automate your website and social media such that products uploaded to your site can show on your social media timeline.
Ecommerce website has room to expand
An e-commerce website provides retailers with an ability to develop their product lines and categories. If you are only dealing with female clothing, an e-commerce website can enable you to sell more products without much hustle.
All you will need are images for your products, their descriptions, and you are good to go.
The expanding retail sector
Whether you are to sideline the above benefits, you cannot ignore the fact that the online retail industry is growing. The number of internet users has been increasing each day. By investing in an e-commerce website, you are positioning your business to be ready for the future. That way, you are able to create your base of customers.
A step closer to personalizing your services
An e-commerce website makes it easy for a seller to customize his/her services to customers. Ideally, an e-commerce website allows you to measure customer behaviours and develop their profile, which is very important for personalized marketing and remarketing.
In addition, you are able to collect customer information or contact details that are very handy for personalization.
Providing deals and discounts
Promotions are vital for driving more sales. There is probably no better way to offer genuine advertisements than through an e-commerce website. The website allows you to create coupon codes and discounts, for the present moment or in the future.
New clients through search engine optimization
An e-commerce website takes advantage of search engines such as Google to create new customers searching for products relating to your e-commerce store. All you need to is to make sure that your website is appropriately configured for the right keywords and SEO tools. This determines whether your products will appear on Google searches, which has an influence on sales.
Ecommerce is regarded as the holy grail of retail, and the above reasons are proof. However, you have to be sure to get an appealing, fast, responsive, and complementary e-commerce website form whichever developer you will contact. Getting a lousy e-commerce website can dash your hopes of making a sale online.
At Convenience Designs, we ensure that the e-commerce websites we provide to our clients are appropriately crafted and fitted with the necessary tools they need to launch successful e-commerce businesses.
Learn more about our e-commerce web solutions or contact us today.