BUSINESS TECH | Questions entrepreneurs should consider before selling online


E-commerce is becoming a norm for consumers in the Philippines. Is your business ready for it? editors

E-commerce is becoming a norm for consumers in the Philippines. Is your business ready for it?

Consider this: According to We Are Social’s Digital in 2018 study, 56% of internet users in the country visit an online retail store as part of their surfing routine, while 39% have purchased a product or service online. With increased mobile data penetration, 25% of internet users have already bought something using their smartphone.

With the challenging traffic situation in the metro, more Pinoys may be inclined to purchase products online due to its convenience. Businesses are taking notice.

According to the 2017 Gig Economy Survey conducted by GoDaddy, the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, entrepreneurs mentioned e-commerce tools as one of the digital platforms they highly consider for their venture.

Even with readily available online tools, not all businesses may be ready for e-commerce. Here are four questions business owners can ask themselves before embracing the online marketplace.

Is your brand already established online?

For a business looking to add an e-commerce offering, it is helpful to already have a presence online.

“A strong online presence adds credibility to a business as it shares information and even customer testimonials—which greatly influences people to consider a product. Think word of mouth amplified even more,” said Roger Chen, GoDaddy’s senior vice president for Asia Pacific Region.

Filipino consumer behavior in fact, is greatly influenced by web searches. According to We Are Social, 54% of internet users search online for a product or service before buying—making a strong web-presence a must for any business.

How big is your inventory?

The beauty of selling online is that it opens businesses to a wider customer base. However, that also means having enough product for people to purchase. Customers who shop on the internet do not like to be disappointed when items they would like to purchase are out of stock.

A venture that wishes to offer e-commerce needs to accurately forecast inventory and have back-up suppliers, if necessary, to be able to deliver should demands increase. Otherwise, the risk of alienating customers is high if your supply cannot meet demand.

How will customers get your product?

How customers get their purchases is key to help keep them coming back to an e-commerce site. Meet-ups is often still the preferred method of most Filipino entrepreneurs which may well turn off potential buyers, especially if they live far from the pick-up point. Businesses need to have shipping options to make it easy for customers to receive what they bought online. Remember that it is often convenience that drives people to make internet-based purchases.

Do you have the right online platform?

Having an online store that easily integrates payment options, inventory, and information is crucial to business success.

“An e-commerce site makes it easy for your customers to buy and learn more about your product. Convenience is key, so the site needs to be mobile-friendly, as today that is often the way customers access the internet,” said Chen.

From domain names to mobile-friendly websites to online store solutions, GoDaddy offers tools for businesses to build a strong online presence and get started with e-commerce. GoDaddy also has locally based customer care support available 24/7 to help along the way.

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