Digital is your greatest asset during the festive season.

I enjoy the festive season, mainly for the run up to Christmas because I love sitting and watching the adverts from all the big companies. But for a small company, using digital as a medium to advertise and sell is important and can lead to new revenue you didn’t know you could get.

US ecommerce sales topped $80 Billion in 2016

It’s also estimated that UK spend topped £80 billion for the first time and is showing growth, year on year. If that isn’t a reason to get your online shop into gear then I am not sure what is.

But what makes ecommerce more attractive to consumers?

To me, there is a very clear reason why people would rather shop online than shop “in real life”, for lack of a better phrase. People are lazy now, everything is immediate and why would you even risk going to a shop that might be out of stock?

With online shopping, consumers can sit in the warmth of their own home and go onto a website then with a few clicks find what they want and buy it. Then get on with their lives.

How do small businesses set up online?

It’s actually really easy. If you use wordpress you can use WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is a plugin that works with most, and with a few changes to code, potentially all themes for the CMS with really easy integration. You can also add simple “pay now” buttons using so you don’t even need to have an over complicated system connected. Find out more about this here.

If you are willing to pay a bit extra you can get a system that I recommend, SagePay which you can use online and integrate it into your digital stocking system which is excellent.

Tracking and Checkouts

Google Analytics is the best way to set up tracking of your online store and it has a great function which is called goals (you can find out more here). Goals let you see how well your pages are performing in contributing to a conversion (someone purchasing a product, or downloading something) but they also let you assign a monetary value to the conversions which helps assess the value of the website and how much investment it deserves.

Checkouts are the even harder bit to work out. People are hard to deal with and you can never be sure what is going to happen when someone goes through your process. The best advice I can give is to make things easy and simple, don’t force people to login and don’t make people fill out everything. The key thing from an eCommerce website is to make a sale, the second most important bit is to get the name and email address of a potential repeat customer.

And finally, never underestimate the power of digital selling.

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