The number of British small and medium sized firms growing their business online is set to expand at an impressive rate this year.
A report by Capital Economics and commissioned by Amazon estimates the figure for SMEs trading online is expected to rise to 88 per cent over the coming 12 months compared to the current figure of 64 per cent.
Companies embracing e-commerce expect jobs growth and faster revenue over 2018, with online retail adopters expecting a 1.9 per cent rise in sales compared to a 0.6 per cent rise among businesses that do not currently trade online. SMEs with e-commerce operations are predicted to see a 0.8 per cent rise in jobs growth, compared to 0.4 per cent from those without online sales.
If you’re planning to take the plunge and trade online in 2018, read our 5 tips…
Do your research
Picking the right online environment for your business is essential. You may choose to operate through social platforms such as Facebook or you may be better served using an online marketplace like ebay or Amazon. Look at your competition and assess where they’re choosing to market their business online. This can give you an idea of whether it’ll work for you or direct you to choose another channel.
Face your fears
If being unsure about technology puts you off, then get over it! You don’t have to a technical whizz to build a website anymore. Website builders and templates such as WordPress guide you through the process step by step.
Use social networks to guide potential customers to your site and share relevant tips and news. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to build followers and make your products or services relevant and accessible.
Ensure you are mobile friendly
An increasing number of consumers use their mobile phones to make purchases online so don’t miss out by creating a marketplace that doesn’t work on mobile. Make sure that your site is easily accessible, clearly branded and clearly signposts purchasing opportunities.
Make legal obligations and data protection a priority
The terms and conditions of your business must be clearly stated. You must be upfront about cookies on your website and gain visitors’ consent to use them. Be aware and follow relevant data protection rules and legal requirements.