Most small businesses are’t fully utilizing the Internet
Commerce, the act of buying and selling, has been around for thousands of years. Yet e-commerce, the act of buying and selling on the Internet, has been around just 25 years.
The first true e-commerce transaction happened in 1994, and since then online shopping has skyrocketed to an estimated $526 billon industry in the U.S. alone. Online commerce isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, 96% of Americans now shop online.
Most companies have taken to the Internet to market their products or services, yet small businesses have largely lagged behind. E-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet still 46% of all American small businesses do not have a website.
Consumer website expectations are growing
While there are several reasons and barriers that may exist for small businesses to build an online presence, the consumer expectation for small businesses to have a website is growing.
Consumers have been increasingly reliant on the Internet to learn about products and services they want to purchase. A study by Google revealed that 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same, and 18% of local mobile searches led to a sale within a day.
Small businesses are acknowledging the need for an online presence
A recent study by Redshift Research commissioned by GoDaddy of very small business owners (5 workers or less) reveals that 55% of small businesses without a website intend create one within the next two years.
A shift toward an online presence could have a major impact on small business growth, operations and one’s ability to reach beyond a local customer base.
However, many businesses reported feeling that their operation was simply too small to warrant a website (35% of respondents). Others cited a lack of technical expertise (21%) or the costs of starting a website (20%).
Small business barriers to selling online
For very small business owners, building, managing, and maintaining their own website can be daunting. The whole process can seem overwhelming.
Though there are several do-it-yourself website options, many of them still require some the technical tasks of building a webpage and storefront. Playing the role of IT Manager while busy running their business is often enough to stop most very small businesses from even starting.
Finding the right web developer that has the right web skills, along with being trustworthy and reliable often comes with a higher price tag. Additionally, once the site is built there are often on-going costs related to the maintenance and upkeep of the website.
Selling online with ShopWhereILive.com can alleviate all of these barriers
At ShopWhereILive.com it is our mission to make it easy for small business owners to sell together online.
Not too small
With a marketplace website, there’s no business that is “too small” to sell online. Whether a business has one product or one hundred, they can create their very own shop that is branded with just their information, logos, and descriptions. The benefit of a marketplace is that they’ll be selling online with other local businesses, taking advantage of each others’ customer base.
Not too technical
We’ve helped many business owners who have never sold online before, sell their products and services online. We’ve taught them about product descriptions, online photos, and shipping settings. We’ve taught them about keywords and SEO and how to add where/how to add that to their products and photos. We’ve helped them manage their orders and encouraged them with best practices.
If a business has ever posted anything to social media or Craigslist, they will be able to utilize our website for selling online. Additionally, our team supports them, their shops, and provides customer service to customers.
Not too expensive
Our fees for selling online are simple and straightforward. We charge only a small monthly subscription, and take no commission on orders (standard credit card processing rates apply). Additionally, if a business is a member of their local chamber of commerce, they’ll have a reduced rate for selling on the website. Learn how it works.
We’re encouraged by helping business owners get new customers and online sales from both inside and outside of their local area, as well as helping to bring in new local customers into their shops. It doesn’t have to be hard to sell online. Contact us to see how we can help.