Are you a local retailer looking to get into the world of eCommerce?  
Well, look no further. 

So What is it?

Ecommerce allows businesses, small and large, to diversify their incoming revenue streams from customers. As time progresses, we will continue to see consumers migrating towards purchasing online for the sake of convenience, price, and the ability to research products in real-time. Having an online store relinquishes the restrictions of set business hours and allows consumers to purchase your products and services 24/7 365 days a year.  An online purchasing platform reduces the hurdles that consumers face when visiting a store. There is no need to fuss with getting ready, or making the commute through traffic. When their intent to purchase is present, they simply open their laptops or phones and they are on their way.

 Once a consumer clicks and lands on your webpage, the first 3 seconds are pivotal. 38% of people will leave a website if they find the layout unattractive. Therefore, having a website with a clean layout that is fast and user friendly is key. That’s where we come in. Our talented web and graphics teams can create the online store that you envision for your business. In turn, driving further brand awareness and traffic to your website. 

Economic Uncertainty

Due to the recent events associated with the (COVID-19) global pandemic, we have seen a number of local and national businesses being forced to close until further notice. Fortunately for many national businesses, they already have a large online presence that allows them to continue serving their customers via eCommerce and is subsequently facilitating employment for their workers. However, many small and medium businesses do not have an eCommerce platform that allows their customers to continue supporting them during these uncertain times. With establishments closed and social distancing in place, where some companies had previously seen a small percentage of their overall revenue coming from online shopping, companies are now having to rely on up to 100% of their revenue streams coming from eCommerce. 

In addition, in light of the recent events, more people than ever are working from home and spending more time inside. This, in turn, results in an influx of consumers turning to online stores as a means to continue making purchases. Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands will increase more than 24%, reaching $18 billion in the U.S. in 2020, despite “mounting challenges” created by the pandemic. Being able to speak to and serve your customers online during these uncertain times is paramount. 

As consumers who previously were not privy to purchasing products/services online become more comfortable and familiar with eCommerce as a means to making their purchases, it is highly likely that their intent to purchase online will continue as businesses once again open their brick and mortar locations. Further strengthening the importance of having an online website presence, now, and in the future.

Why Your Business Needs To Be Online

21.55%  of the world’s population is buying online (Sleeknote). To put things in perspective, that’s over 1.5 billion people! Implementing eCommerce into your business model will provide a wealth of new detailed reporting and insights on consumer purchasing habits. Thus, allowing you to evaluate and interpret data in a way that may have not been previously available to you through in-store purchases. Having an eCommerce platform for your business not only makes you discoverable online to your existing customers but also exposes your business to the millions purchasing online in your consumer segments. This is a huge group of consumers that otherwise would not have heard about you and subsequently would not have been able to make a purchase from you. Once you are discoverable online, your business has the potential to grow exponentially. Yay! 

Leveraging technology and software on your online store can result in higher revenue streams. Offering “other items you may like based on this product” is a great way to navigate users to various avenues of their website, increasing time spent on your website and the possibility of a consumer adding additional items to their shopping cart based on said suggestion.  According to Accenture, 63 percent of shoppers appreciate having additional items suggested to them, with a majority willing to share personal information in exchange for discounts or loyalty points (UPS).

Having customer information enables you to build an email marketing list comprised of every person who has visited your site, given you their email address and subscribed to your mailing list. You can leverage this collected data and create specific promotional offers and discounts increasing your opportunity to build a loyal online customer base. 30% of consumers say they would rather buy from a website they’ve bought from previously than from an unfamiliar store (Sleeknote). Once you’ve initiated a relationship with a customer online and have secured your first purchase with them, there’s a good chance that they’ll be coming back for more!  


Who Is Shopping Online & How They Are Shopping

Demographics:

eCommerce is a $65-billion industry. 80% of Canadians shopped online in 2019, with 32% planning on shopping even more in the future. In the first month of 2020 alone, retail eCommerce revenue in Canada exceeded $1.66 billion. So who exactly is spending their time and money online? The short answer, everyone. The highest percentage of online shopping is done by those aged 53-72 (37%), followed by Millenials at 28%, and GenXers at 25%. The latter two age groups, however, are more often considered HYPER+ shoppers, meaning they make 25 or more online purchases per year (Able Sense).

Men spend 68% more online than women (KPMG). 40% of US males aged 18-34 say they would ‘ideally buy everything online’, compared to 33% of females in the same age bracket (Smart Insights, 2020). It goes without saying that regardless of your target demographic, online is the place to be. 

Medium:

It’s no surprise that as our time spent on mobile devices increases, the numbers associated with consumers shopping online will also increase. eCommerce sales revenue from mobile devices in Canada in 2018 was over $18 billion. According to eMarketer, 30 percent of e-commerce in Canada this year will come from mobile devices. In-store customers who research an item while shopping are 40 percent more likely to end up making a purchase (UPS, 2020). Therefore, having detailed product content readily available to customers online can be an essential component for in-store purchases. With that being said, it’s imperative that your eCommerce site is mobile friendly & fast. The more time that a user spends waiting for a website or a page to load, the more likely they are to bounce.

Digital Advertising for eCommerce

So you have just launched your eCommerce website, that’s great! Now it’s time to let people know that you’re online, and where and how they can find you. That’s where digital advertising comes in. Based on your advertising objectives we can recommend which type of campaign you should run. Whether it be via display, social media, search, video, native, email marketing, or even a combination of the six.  We can create a campaign that drives awareness and increases traffic to your online store. Resulting in greater purchases and a higher ROI for your business. 

For example, by running a brand awareness campaign on social media, you are able to drive online consumers directly to your webpage or your product page to take advantage of impulse purchasing. According to Disruptive Advertising, 75% of Instagram users have taken an action, such as visiting a website, after viewing an Instagram advertising post. Reinforcing the importance of being present on social media platforms.

Let Your eCommerce Business Take Shape

It’s evident that having an eCommerce website is the way of the future, in fact, it’s already arrived. Consumers want to be able to search your company, click on your website, and browse your inventory within seconds. A purchase intention that simply cannot be instantaneously fulfilled by brick and mortar locations. As we continue to see a trend towards a world with a heavier emphasis on online culture, we believe it’s important for you to be where your customers are to better serve and engage with them.  It’s time to put yourself in front of your customers and be a part of the space where they are spending an increased amount of their time and hard-earned dollars: online.

 We understand how difficult and time consuming it can be to segue your business into the eCommerce world. That’s why we’re here to do the leg work for you. To learn more about how we can make your business successful in the eCommerce industry, drop us an email at hello@harvardmedia.com.  We are here to take your business to the next level.