There’s a reason why your company needs a cloud based phone system now more than ever. E-commerce in the United States shows no signs of slowing down, and if you haven’t modified or improved your business’s e-commerce efforts, it’s time that you do.
US online sales are growing more each year. 2012 was a great year for online retailers as sales reached a massive $231 million according to market research company Forrester. A forecast of a 13% increase is also expected this year, which means sales are projected to be at $262 billion by the end of 2013. Because of this trend, experts expect that in the next five years, online sales could reach $370 billion.
1. Increase in Use of Tablets and Smartphones
When asked what he thought was driving the growth of e-commerce, Forrester explained to Mashable that the use of smartphones and tablets was helping increase the online sales since it was “boosting the amount of time consumers spend online”. More than half of American consumers own smartphones, and consumers use these devices to find online stores, low prices, and great deals. If you want exact figures, Forrester said mobile commerce sales or retail purchases made via smartphones in 2012 amounted to $8 billion.
2. Increase in Traditional Retailers’ Investments in Online Marketing
Another factor that’s helping boost online sales is the increased efforts from traditional retailers in improving their online sales divisions. Big traditional retailers like Best Buy and Target have been thinking of ways to address the “showrooming” phenomenon that’s been taking the country by storm. Showrooming is when shoppers visit brick-and-mortar stores to check products they want to buy only to go online to get the products at much lower prices. To level the playing field, Best Buy and Target have both decided to make their price-matching policies permanent.
Swimming with the Tides of Change
If you’re a traditional retailer, this surge in online sales should prompt you to rethink your marketing strategies. It’s time to revamp your business’s e-commerce systems and try to realign them with the rest of the e-tailing industry players. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Invest in a cloud based phone system. E-commerce is doing business electronically, so it’s only right to make use of internet-powered technology such as the cloud based phone system. Having this kind of multi-line phone system will speed up most things, including sales and operations. This type of multi-line phone system is going to streamline everything, allowing you and your employees to manage orders and inquiries faster and more efficiently.
2. Always try to save a sale. When customers visit your physical stores, advise your staff members to try and close the sale on the same day if possible. This is to somehow prevent the customers from going online to make the purchase. Rethink your marketing strategies. Think about how price-matching can help. If lower prices mean higher sales, why not try and consider it, then?
3. Give your customers more options. Multiple channels in making purchases will benefit not just your business but your customers as well. Diversify the modes of online payment. If you haven’t considered bit coins or even PayPal yet, now may be the time to do so. It would also be better if online customers can place orders and make inquiries via VoIP, since most of the customers do own smartphones with VoIP apps. For this, you must choose a reliable cloud based phone system provider.