Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has presented huge challenges to both our personal and working lives, it has also unlocked a number of unique opportunities. E-commerce businesses are amongst those that have thrived during this period with more people turning to online retailers than ever before. In fact, a recent study by Growth Intelligence found that more than 85,000 businesses in the UK had launched online stores or joined online marketplaces between March and July this year – the highest number of new e-commerce offerings ever recorded over a four-month period.
Businesses who have invested in their digital presence have been able to take advantage of the growing demand for online shopping and in turn create a business model that is better placed to survive this period. Regardless of what the future holds, it’s clear that the online era is here to stay.
However, growing or building an e-commerce business is about so much more than simply having an online presence. With more competition than ever before, customers are looking for the best and most convenient online shopping experiences. Here we look at three simple things your e-commerce business should be investing in to boost your bottom line.
Ways to grow your e-commerce business
1. Multi-channel marketing
Multi-channel marketing is all about utilising a range of online and offline marketing channels in order to target and engage with your desired customers. It doesn’t mean marketing everywhere, but instead focusing on the channels that work for your industry and audience. Examples of the marketing channels you might look to target include social media, newsletters, PPC, SEO and influencer marketing.
Research shows that it takes much more than just one touchpoint or interaction before buyers make a purchase decision. Effective multi-channel marketing is all about understanding the buyer’s journey, and which platforms you can use to target each of the touchpoints a customer will go through.
2. Competitive delivery options
Retail giant Amazon has completely changed the way we shop with the introduction of its Prime delivery service. Since offering customers unlimited free next day delivery, shoppers around the world have come to expect the same service from every business they shop with.
We’re not suggesting that you should try to compete with Amazon, but it is important to look at the service your competitors are offering, and make sure you can either match or beat it. This means looking closely at the time and cost of the delivery service you offer, as well as things like the returns process.
3. Optimising your website for mobile
A recent study by Smart Insights found that a huge 52% of internet users aged between 16-64 purchased a product online via a mobile phone and 67% had used a shopping app on a mobile phone or tablet.
Despite many studies showing similar trends, surprisingly mobile is still often overlooked when it comes to website optimisation and the customer journey. Investing in a well-designed website that can be easily used and accessed by both desktop and mobile users will be key for converting sales.
How to fund your investments
Due to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, now is a time when many businesses are reducing budgets and tightening spend. With Capify’s business finance, e-commerce businesses can invest in their capabilities now and take advantage of the opportunity to grow their business.
We’ve worked with SME’s across the UK for more than 10 years and we know that for a small business, flexibility is key. Through a Capify e-commerce business loan, you can raise between £5,000 and £500,000 and chose to pay it back in either small daily or weekly payments. Our finance is also unsecured, meaning you’ll maintain 100% control of your business.
Once approved, you’re free to use your business loan for any business purpose, whether that’s purchasing stock, managing cash flow or investing in marketing and technology. To find out more about how a Capify e-commerce loan works, click here.