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Technologies That Help Small eCommerce Businesses Stay On Par With The Big Players

eCommerce, in the last few years, has become a huge industry. And it’s not just Amazon. There are plenty of giants, like Google and Rakuten, who are actively trying to get a piece of this action.

However, it’s not all about the big players. Thanks to the widespread use of the internet, eCommerce is also a small business game now. While small businesses may not have the reach or versatility of the big players, they have a clearly defined niche at which they excel.

As a result, there are quite literally thousands of eCommerce businesses today. If small businesses want to stand out from the crowd, effective implementation of technology is a must. So, if you’re a small eCommerce business, what are the technologies that are going to help you?

Let’s take a look at a few important ones.

Web Hosting:

If you’re an eCommerce company, this is a central aspect to the success of your company. Given that everything, from sales to marketing, has to happen through your website, you need to have a solid web hosting gameplan.

Hosting is basically the home of your website. It’s where your website resides. All your data is stored somewhere remotely and you pay to use your hosting provider’s disk space. Not too long ago, this wasn’t easy for small businesses.

If you wanted to run a website, you needed to have a dedicated server, i.e. one server that was dedicated to your website. This made it pretty much impossible for small businesses to have their own websites.

However, in recent years, this has changed significantly. Thanks to technology, you can now rent a small part of a server. This is called shared hosting and is very popular with small businesses.

While Shared Hosting is popular, these days, Virtual Private Server Hosting is gaining traction as well. Shared Hosting is a type of hosting where you share server space with other websites. It’s extremely popular with small businesses. VPS, on the other hand, allows you to isolate your website on a server, giving you more independence.

These two advancements have proven to be crucial for small eCommerce businesses. They help you create your own corner on the internet at a relatively small cost.

Customer Personalization:

Gone are the days when customers came to brands and companies looking for products or services. Studies show that as much as 76% of customers now expect the brand to understand what they want and approach them at the right time.

This means that you, as a business, must know what people are looking for. You should also know when, where, and how many times to approach them. Now, big companies usually have huge budgets for advertising. However, small businesses don’t have that. So, personalization becomes extremely important. Thanks to advancements in personalization data collection and AI, you can now know exactly what your customer wants.

While AI and personalization data might sound like expensive propositions, there are plenty of relatively inexpensive software and plugins that you can use. A quick search on the internet will help you find the best ones. Third-party solutions like Klevu are used to analyze exactly what your customer wants.

Once you know exactly what your customer is looking for, marketing to them becomes much easier. It’ll also increase your overall conversion rates, order values, and customer time on your website.

Smart Search:

On your website, your ultimate goal should be to ensure that your customers find the product that they’re looking for. The problem is, you can’t expect customers, or rather, potential customers to type in the exact name or product number for any product.

So, if your search bar isn’t able to find an exact match, it simply won’t show relevant results. This basically results in customers moving away. Also, studies have repeatedly and consistently shown that customers who complete a search on an eCommerce website are far more likely to buy from that website.

This being the case, you need a smart search solution. Again, while this might seem like an expensive feature, it actually isn’t. In recent times, lots of companies have come up with algorithms, programs, and applications for smart searching.

This competition in the industry has brought the price down. Today, you can simply install these applications and use them on a turn-key basis.

These third-party solutions basically use machine learning and AI to ensure that the search results are relevant, accurate, and are delivered as quickly as possible.

These applications make use of previous queries, products clicked, and adds-to-basket to predict exactly what the customer is looking for. For small businesses, every sale counts and smart search helps you sell more effectively.

Live Chats:

While this might not seem like a big technology at all, the fact is that is has proven benefits. Live chat widgets like ChatBot allow your customers to reach out to you in case they need your help.

Until just a few years back, live chat widgets weren’t really affordable for small businesses. Only large eCommerce sites used them. However, now the prices have come down drastically. In fact, some companies even offer the basic versions for free.

Having chat support has two important advantages. First off, it gives you a direct line of communication with your prospective customer. In an age where companies fight for the attention of the customer, this is one way where the customer comes to you, rather than the other way round.

The chat support can also be very useful for current customers who can contact the business in case they need any support. The second advantage is that it makes your website look more professional. While this may not seem like much, a professional-looking website is taken far more seriously by a customer than some site that looks like it’s been created on a Sunday afternoon.

So, these are the technologies and features that you, as a small eCommerce business owner, can make use of. All the solutions mentioned above are inexpensive enough to be used by a small business. After all, in this day and age, small businesses need all the help they can get.

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