E-commerce is definitely here to stay and in peak seasons such as this one, you need to know how best to utilise this tool within the digital retail marketplace.
Covid-19 skyrocketed the use of e-commerce, and in 2021 Statista shared that 57% of shoppers still planned to do their holiday shopping online, with only 43% heading in-store. The US National Retail Federation found that sales increased 14.1% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021 to a whopping $886.7 billion dollars. So, since these are the realities that we are working with, how can your small business capitalise on e-commerce during the holiday season?
How can you allow your e-commerce space for your business to be one that is a standout experience for your customers. According to Big Commerce, “Ecommerce share of the retail market remains high, and so too does the level of competition in the space. To become shoppers’ go-to for gifts, you need to make the shopping experience easy, flexible and include options that suit their needs. And a good time to start to do all of that is right now.”
Make it stress-free
A large part of shopping online is the convenience it offers. Therefore, there must be mechanisms built into your e-commerce platform that makes transactions easy, especially in this busy period. You must test your site speed; how smooth the check-out process is and how easy it is to find products.
M and R Marketing shared how to make e-commerce experiences seamless in their article titled How to Create a Stress-free Shopping Experience on Your eCommerce Website. They said, “Keep it short as possible, basic information only, show progress indicators, use field required indicators, offer rush processing and shipping, extend customer support during checkout and provide an opportunity to review and modify.”
Market Your E-commerce Option
E-commerce must also be in your holiday marketing strategy, and it would be wise to consider how you will drive traffic to your site. This can simply be done by email marketing about products with hyperlinks that lead them directly to product description and the option to purchase immediately. In addition to email marketing, you can incorporate video for social platforms that drive users to your site.
Also, jazz up your site with festivity. According to Paperturn Blog, “One of the easiest ways to boost your eCommerce marketing campaign is to dress up your site with seasonal graphics: twinkling lights, greenery, dancing snowmen, etc.”
Evaluate your third-party integration
Big Commerce reminds entrepreneurs to check their third-party integrations which are essentially those applications that allow online businesses to reduce human involvement in the process. They said, “Take a look at your third-party integrations. Are they up-to-date? Test them, make sure they can handle the load and then don’t add any others. Additional or last-minute app add-ons can break aspects of your flow or slow down your site.”
JBDC and E-Commerce
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) recognises the importance of e-commerce to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Therefore, as leaders within the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the organisation took the dive into its own e-commerce site through the Things Jamaican™ brand in 2020. Take a look at the local products being offered and the holiday specials at https://thingsjamaicanshopping.com/.
Additionally, Entrepreneur Weekly explored the topic of e-commerce in two of its earlier blogs addressing how to leverage it as well as sharing the journey of one of Jamaica’s e-commerce veterans. See links to read previous blog posts if you missed them: https://www.jbdc.net/the-world-of-e-commerce-for-the-entrepreneur/ and https://www.jbdc.net/leighton-campbell-e-commerce-general/.