As the Internet continues to evolve and the infrastructure to host websites continues to improve, small business eCommerce is beginning to increase. However, a recent report from the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), Ireland's domain registration service, showed that there is still a lot more that can be done.
Only 30% of SME's can take orders through their website
For example, the report highlighted the fact that 73% of websites are optimised for mobile, however only 30% can process orders online.
This should cause some concerns for Irish small business owners as the international trend for eCommerce trading is increasing and Irish customers are buying more of their products from these companies.
If we look at the figures so far for 2019 and beyond, we see the impact eCommerce is having, and going to have, on international business.
Crunching the numbers - 2019 Small Business eCommerce
eCommerce retail sales are expected to account for 13.7% of global retail sales in 2019.
Up to 11% of online shoppers have bought products using Facebook and 6% have done the same with Instagram.
80% of Internet users in the US have made at least one purchase online.
There are between 12M to 24M eCommerce sites in the world.
Almost 50% of sales in eCommerce are from repeat customers
1.92 billion online customers by the end of 2019.
On a world wide basis, there are expected to be 1.92 billion online customers by the end of 2019. As a way of comparison, this figure stood at 1.32 billion in 2014
In terms of countries, the fastest growing eCommerce regions, based on population size and access to smartphones, are going to be:
- South Africa
Currently, China is the largest eCommerce market, valued ,as of 2017, at $672 billion. This makes it the largest in the world with the USA second at $340 billion.
Advantages of small business eCommerce
So what are the advantages of small business eCommerce?
Firstly, it is the cost savings it allows. With a physical store you need to pay rent and staff. You'll also have to buy machinery for the store such as POS units and pay heating and rates.
Secondly, your business will always be open. This is good for online customers as they may be in a different time zone or work unusual hours.
You'll be able to reach a much larger audience as you are selling products on an international basis.
You'll be able to customise your products for each customer as you will have analytics data that will show what they are viewing and clicking on around your site.
(Sources: Shopify, Statista and www.iedr.ie )
Digital Marketing /IT Specialist
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