Even before a global pandemic forced millions of U.S. consumers to take their shopping activities online, e-commerce had clearly become a force to be reckoned with in the modern marketplace. In fact, with online sales of physical goods nearing $350 billion in the United States in 2019 alone, the e-commerce wave had already grown so large that business owners ignored it at their own peril, and the coronavirus has only served to make it even more prominent.
Think about it: Even if today’s consumers end up shopping in person at a store, most perform at least some measure of online research before making major purchase decisions. And as steadily growing online sales figures demonstrate, the convenience of buying online and having goods delivered to the home is becoming harder for modern consumers to resist.
Fortunately for business owners looking to take their brick-and-mortar sales online, an array of web-based tools is available to help them catch the e-commerce wave. And even tech novices can harness them as many of the resources are so simple to use that no advanced technical knowledge is needed to put them to work.
Consider these five intuitive online tools that business owners can utilize to open their sales to the masses via the World Wide Web, then power revenue growth:
- Shopify: Offering everything business owners need to build and launch an e-store from scratch, Shopify powers the online retail presences of more than a million businesses worldwide. With it, entrepreneurs can build an online store, market their offerings, accept payments for products, manage their shipments and even build a mobile app for their business, all without the need for advanced technical skills.
- Facebook Ads: With almost 3 billion monthly active users located in nearly every internet-connected corner of the globe, Facebook is by far the most popular social network on the planet. And offering a wide range of ways to focus on the specific consumer segments business owners want to attract, Facebook Ads is a great way for sellers to reach their target audience. The platform allows advertisers to deliver targeted marketing messages based on location, demographics, behavior, interests and connections, and since it provides for advertising budgets as low as $1 a day, even the smallest of businesses can use the tool to boost their reach.
- MailChimp: For business owners looking to build customer loyalty and promote repeat business, the MailChimp marketing automation/email marketing platform is a powerful resource. It provides all the tools businesses need to automate their marketing messages, so they reach customers at just the right times, whether that is just after a purchase, when they are launching a new product or promotion, after shoppers have left items in their virtual cart, or for any other consumer touchpoint or marketing milestone. MailChimp can also help support smart business-growth strategies with insights, analytics and expert guidance.
- Google Ads: Because it helps businesses reach potential customers just when they are looking for their solutions, paid search is among the most powerful tools in the marketing arsenal. And with Google boasting a whopping 75 percent of search market share, Google Ads is a great way to lure in high-value website and e-store visits. Accommodating nearly any advertising budget and allowing marketers to target consumers based on such things as keywords, demographics, geographic locations and search interests, this powerful tool can attract potential customers to both e-stores and brick-and-mortar locations.
- ShopFluency: Once an e-store is established and its marketing platforms are in place, harnessing analytics can help businesses boost their online revenues by focusing on the right consumer groups with their messaging efforts. And to support this goal, ShopFluency takes customer data and enriches it with demographic information, providing business owners with fact-based customer profiles and clear definitions of their best customers. This allows the businesses to target customers more efficiently. The results: increased conversions and a lowered cost per acquisition.
Need blazing-fast internet speeds to support all of your business-critical online activities? Explore FTC’s business internet plans with speeds up to 1 Gig available. And when you need local, expert IT assistance for your business, help is nearby and easy to reach without the expense of a full-time IT staff. Visit FTC IT Solutions for professional IT help in a number of tech-related areas, including Managed IT, Cybersecurity, Hosted Services, Point-of-Sale and Hardware Sales.