It was not long ago that, small businesses would not have bothered with using E-commerce to sell their products or services. If the company had a website, the purpose of the website would be to highlight the location of a physical store and provide some basic information only. The website was?not to intended to engage in any form of selling. However, with new on-line business models and new technologies for supply chains and distribution networks have enabled smaller companies to compete globally. Therefore, it has become necessary for small businesses to leverage these new technologies and offer their products or services on on-line channels.
One of the advantages of using E-commerce is the scalability that enables growth for companies. Traditional business usually requires large capital, investments into physical locations, expensive advertising, off-line distribution networks, etc. However, E-commerce allows one the opportunity to sell to the entire world from a single location (or no location at all). Therefore, the businesses can sell to customers all over the world on the same day without a physical presence.
Modern Internet technology has made setting up and running an E-commerce platform much easier than previously. With the use of Content Management Systems (CMS), allows one to build a web-site with minimal knowledge of coding in HTML. Today a CMS allows a website to be created?quickly by using templates, filling in blanks, and uploading pictures.
But, selling is just one of the steps. Getting the product delivered to the buyer quickly, efficiently and cheaply is important.
Delivery Systems and Logistics
Many predict that the retail business in the future will be nothing more than physical display spaces with minimal to no actual inventory kept on site. Instead, customers will visit the store, find the product they like, scan the QR or barcode using their smartphone to order the product online. A third party logistics (3PL) provider then delivers the ordered products to the customer doorstep. ?This business model makes it possible for small retailers to avoid the cost of housing and distributing products to many retail locations. Instead, the business?model allows for a centralized distribution network or, in some cases, directly from the manufacturer to the customer’s door.
But, what about the instant gratification that a person gets when buying directly from a physical store? Logistics networks will need to take on new levels of efficiency and automation to overcome the lack of instant gratification for on-line shopping. The goal will be to make it possible for the delivery of a product within a few hours instead of days. Today, this is beginning to become a reality as the model further evolves over the next ten years.
How to Get Started in E-Commerce
If you are already in retail business, you are probably already familiar with many of the concepts of logistics and delivery. You will have to give even more thought to the many processes for an on-line business model. Some of the questions that you may have are how you will ship? What will it cost? How to remain competitive at those rates?
If you find yourself with these questions and want to expand your distribution onto on-line channels, turn to an expert like IM Investment Holdings (IM) for guidance. IM can help integrate an ideal system into your existing business model and help you expand into new markets via E-commerce that is realistic and contributes to increasing your profits. Contact us and find out more on our extensive logistics services.