eCommerce for Small Businesses

In the current economic climate small to big businesses look to accommodate to a market that is quickly changing. With more and more people having access to the Internet every year, e-commerce is more of a necessity than a trend.

Lately more and more big brands such as Calvin Klein, Ecko, Under Armour, Timberland etc. expanded their marketplace by opening stores on sites as eBay as they saw it as a great way to expand their reach to their customers.

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In UK 45,500 new businesses registered on eBay since the recession began in September 2008. The number of new businesses established in 2010 was almost 24,000, up 38% from the previous year. The total turnover (gross sales) exceeded 350 million pounds in 2010, and over 3,500 of them (8%) are turning over in excess of 100,000 pounds.

In this context more and more local businesses start seeing the benefits of selling online, on their own websites ,on eBay ,Amazon or other 3rd party sites. Relaying simply on walk-ins and local customers is simply no longer realistic in the actual world economy where millions of people search online for deals every day.

Having a store online for an established business is a great idea almost as much as a necessity but many will find it hard to make this venture profitable. Promoting and maintaining your store online can be challenging and quite expensive but selling on a 3rd party site resolves many of the issues .

One of the main benefits of selling your items thru these sites is the brand recognition as eBay or Amazon are well known all over the world. They also have integrated tools for managing inventory,customer service,shipping etc.

With thousands of products for sale online users have many options when looking to buy a product. Dealing thru these sites gives buyers the confidence to go thru with the transactions.

Setting up a store on eBay is a relative easy step but it can take some time to get it running at full speed and get some notable profits. The key is to have a lot of products up for sale, preferably from the same category, to be active thru new items posted every day, promotions, regular sales, maintaining a mailing list ,advertise on social networks or via search engines

When small businesses already have a website or a established local store with a Inventory Management System and decide to sell on EBay or Amazon there are quite a few sites enabling them to do that. One of the new ones is www.exportyourstore.com which enables business to run a store simultaneously on EBay ,Amazon and your own website.

EBay offers ProStores which gives sellers an easy way to create an online store with shopping cart integration and synchronize inventory between your eBay store and online store.

Amazon WebStore also provides an all-in one commerce solution for selling goods online.This tool enables you to not only sell your own products but you can easily add any products from Amazon to your own store and receive commission for generated sales .

It is easy to set up your own custom online store to host with your own domain via Amazon 1 click WebStore Builder.

On Amazon you can also set up a AmazonProMerchant account if you consistently sell more than 40 items per month as an individual seller and create your own Amazon Store.Amazon lets you add a logo and branding to your online store hosted on Amazon.com

Business must acknowledge that e-commerce is the future and sooner or later to keep up with the new trends will have to adhere to some form of online selling for their products. There’s many way’s to do it and opportunities are endless.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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