By Abigirl Phiri
ELECTRONIC commerce popularly known as e-commerce is a pertinent facet that every entrepreneur should be cognisant of whilst capitalizing on this beauty. In this day and age, every entrepreneur should be tech savvy particularly if you want to reach a wider audience of people. Needless to mention that the populace is now spending the greater part of their time connected and surfing on the internet. As a result, e-commerce has been propelled to greater heights by the increased internet connectivity in addition to the steady ownership of smart devices such as phones and laptops.
Undoubtedly, the way of doing business has changed to such an extent that buying and selling is now being done online on the internet enabling quick deliveries. Henceforth, the ease of doing business with the little resources that an entrepreneur has is being enjoyed and employed. Accordingly, real entrepreneurs make the most out of the little that they have whilst seizing on avenues that many tend to shun and shy from.
Thus, e-commerce brings forth convenience to the customers who do not have to spend a lot of time searching for products and services that they want. In fact, they are even given the opportunity to easily choose from a myriad of options in the comfort of their homes or offices which wasn’t present in yester years. That said, customers are saved a lot of time and money in the process which is a true blessing in this fast paced world. As a result, customers are finding the product that they want timeously.
This also points out to the mandate of every entrepreneur which is to bring value to the end consumer. With entrepreneurship, it is always about going the extra mile of satisfying your customers whilst addressing their problems. Given you take these doctrines into practice then you will never go wrong. If there is ever a possibility of effectively using e-commerce to achieve this then do not let it slip on your fingers because entrepreneurs pride themselves on taking advantage of opportunities since they are the first movers.
Interestingly, e-commerce has come as a blessing to entrepreneurs for it has dealt away with geo graphical barriers. It has really connected people from different parts of the world ensuring the global village aspect is lucidly showcased. One can easily market his or her products online therefore carving their own niche market perfectly.
Truth be told, by using e-commerce costs are significantly cut for most Zimbabwean entrepreneurs who are normally cash strapped. This is contrary to what some researches argue that the costs of setting up this operation will be high. Instead the end benefit outweighs these start up and operational costs if you just set your mind and heart to forming your entrepreneurial venture and adopting e-commerce. Most importantly, you do not even need to have a brick and mortar premises if you are riding on the beauty of e-commerce.
To this effect, you have to ensure that you have an up and running aesthetically pleasing website to achieve the true purpose of e-commerce. This is a prerequisite so that people get to know what your company is all about. It is worth noting that you must have an updated website which is user friendly for customers to get the current information they need.
In fact, you should see to that the search engine optimization is activated and at full work so that it is easy to search and find your entrepreneurial venture on the internet when certain words are typed. In light of the above stated, this will increase the traffic to your website. At the same time, you will be able to make follow ups on those who have visited your site. Technology has made it possible therefore a good reason why entrepreneurs should think outside the box and target customers all over the world because payments can be easily done through e-commerce.
This is very much common for digital products amongst other services on the internet because it all boils down to what kind of offering you have for the sea of customers. For a 21st century and contemporary entrepreneur you should be on top of your game by going the extra mile to differentiate yourself from the rest of the people. Never take for granted such technologies that will market and win your sales volume.
As much as people might like to refute this issue, you will never go wrong by making your brand visible and well known in the market. It doesn’t matter whether you are working with the business 2 business (B2B), business 2 consumers (B2C) or consumer 2 consumer (C2C) business model. This is because e-commerce complements whatever type of business you are focusing on. Needless to mention we are now living in a dynamic digital era where its either you join the band wagon or perish in the process. For that reason, an entrepreneur has to take seriously what he or she is offering seizing such opportunities of using the internet for most African entrepreneurs tended to be technophobic way back in the past.
Since geographical reach has been made easy an entrepreneur should ensure that on his or her website there are links, referrals and testimonies. Again, one should take advantage of sending emails to these potential customers. That way, all this will work in your favor even for those customers who want to try out your product or service for the first time. The only downside to e-commerce is that most people think it is not safe to buy or sell on the internet. Of course there are a plethora of issues that hinder e-commerce such as security matters embroiled in the form of cybercrime. Nonetheless, e-commerce is the way to go especially if you take care to counter these security issues of identity theft and card cloning to name but just a few.
Over and above, this is the time to embrace e-commerce for this kind of technology was created to make both lives of the buyer and seller easy. Entrepreneurs are risk takers who thrive on technological innovations of this sort. Notably, think twice and hop on the e-commerce ride. It is time we demystify some of these misconceptions hindering us to shake off the shackles of technophobia. The best way to defy all odds is to implement e-commerce and give it the right it deserves in our lives in this 21st century.