eCommerce platforms are rapidly becoming an integral part of business, gaining significance initially as the primary sphere of customer engagement and now as a popular sales channel. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) that recognize eCommerce as a must-have rather than a nice-to-have technology will stay relevant in today’s highly competitive commercial environment.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Enabling Successful eCommerce for Small Midsized Businesses, finds that SMBs must incorporate mobile, social, and bricks-and-mortar strategies with eCommerce in order to offer an excellent omni-channel experience to consumers. A holistic omni-channel approach will deliver a consistent and personalized customer experience that allows customers to move through different channels with ease.
“eCommerce merchants and manufacturers are embracing “web-to-store” policies with services such as click-and-collect, online booking and inventory monitoring,” said Frost & Sullivan Customer Contact Industry Analyst Brendan Read. “Market-savvy SMBs are also transforming retail outlets into showrooms for consumers seeking a tactile experience before purchasing online.”
In addition, leading edge SMB retailers are creating attractive mobile apps that augment in-store experiences. They are also ensuring site optimization for mobile devices and are enabling highly secure transactions. These practices, along with consistent order management, fulfillment, and delivery will form the crux of an excellent eCommerce experience.
While all companies are faced with adapting to eCommerce and moving to full featured and device-agnostic platforms, SMBs are particularly challenged due to limited resources. Many SMBs are reluctant to invest in expensive eCommerce systems. The growing threat landscape that leaves SMBs vulnerable to fraud can further stall eCommerce deployments.
“Employing cloud-based solutions will lower costs, shorten lead times and guarantee scalability, business continuity and disaster recovery,” suggested Read. “Adopting buy-as-you go, integrated modules, which enhance visibility into inventory and customer data, as well as, order and payment information, will help SMBs provide a robust eCommerce platform within their means. These solutions will also bring world markets to their doorsteps.”
Enabling Successful eCommerce for Small Midsized Businesses is a Market Insight that is part of the Customer Contact Growth Partnership Service program. This Insight analyses the latest trends driving SMBs to adopt eCommerce platforms and the challenges to large-scale uptake. The study also offers recommendations for businesses looking to deploy eCommerce solutions. In addition, the research delves into eCommerce use cases and offers a detailed buyer’s guide profiling key solution providers.
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