It seems impossible to avoid the doom and gloom of the recession. Every industry, in one way or another appears to have been negatively affected by the downturn; with mass redundancies and house repossessions becoming an increasingly common occurrence.
But could E-commence be the silver lining on the UK's current dark economic cloud? Well it just might. Competitive prices, easy product comparisons, fuel savings and other convenience factors make online shopping an appealing option for consumers.
IMRG and Capgemini's statistics showed that a number of e-commerce categories saw significant month-on-month growth in March 2009, including the clothing, footwear and accessories market and the gifts segment.
Also, new figures have revealed that total UK e-commerce sales rose by 19 per cent year on year in March 2009.
The fact is, in order to compete in today's ever-challenging economic climate businesses must look for every way possible to reach their target audience. And selling on line provides a whole host of sales and marketing opportunities which would have never been possible before the dawn of the internet.
Therefore it has never been a more important time for small and medium sized businesses, many of whom have managed to make a decent living and avoided the lure of the internet for years, to build a website and start trading online.
These include a radically reduced time to market, improved customer relationships, low cost market entry, easier access to a global market and a significantly wider audience. They are also able to compete with businesses much bigger than themselves, as in the online world, as long as your 'shop front' (website) looks the part, then who is to know that you are not a multi million pound organisation, employing 5,000 staff?
So what draws people to shop on the internet?
o As the internet presents a shopping experience of global proportions, there is unlimited choice.
o Consumers can get what you are looking for and quickly. There's no need to trawl aimlessly round the high street as the perfect product is only a mouse click away.
o Internet shoppers will strive to get the best deals, as the retailers are forced to reduce prices in a bid to beat the competition and win custom.
o There's nothing much more comfortable than armchair shopping, anytime, day or night. If you can provide choice, reduced prices and convenience shopping electronically, there is a substantial slice of the market to be won.
So even with all this negativity across the world, your business can still have the competitive advantage by being online. As long you have a good customer friendly website, email, the framework to get the goods to the customer and a strong web presence, there is no reason why your business can't thrive in the recession.
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