Story image

SMBs and eCommerce: What you need to know

14 Jan 2016

Successful eCommerce can have a significant and positive impact on small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), but many are not aware of how they can make it work for them, according to Frost & Sullivan.

eCommerce is defined as the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transferring of funds or data, over an electronic network – primarily the internet.

Frost & Sullivan says eCommerce has become the primary customer engagement channel.

Customers now invariably investigate sellers and products online before buying by visiting their web sites and checking out other customers' experiences on social media, the analysts say.

eCommerce has also become a popular customer sales channel. It dominates the market for buying ‘soft’ virtualised products and services, or ‘X anything as service’ that are deliverable online.

All companies are faced with adapting to eCommerce and keeping up with rapidly changing developments, however SMBs are particularly challenged what with their limited resources, Frost & Sullivan says.

There are a number of important eCommerce trends impacting SMBs, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Rising consumer brand and service expectations

Consumers realise they are highly valued in today's slowly growing economy, and unsurprisingly have higher expectations for brands - they want to feel they are getting good value and are being treated well, Frost & Sullivan says.  

Furthermore, consumers expect immediate responses to their issues. They also must feel comfortable with making transactions through eCommerce companies and sites to the same degree (if not higher) as they have with bricks and mortar retailers, says Frost & Sullivan.

Shorter business cycles

Product and service innovations are becoming ‘transient advantages’ as they are being copied quickly by competitors. As a result, customer knowledge and service are prime marketplace differentiators, Frost & Sullivan says.

Going mobile for engagement but not for product purchases

Mobile devices have become the dominant communications tool.

Frost & Sullivan research forecasts that the number consumer wireless subscribers will increase rapidly while the number of consumer voice landline subscribers declines.

However, further research indicates that consumers are using mobile devices for engagement, and their desktops and laptops for actual purchases. 

Winners of 2019 Adobe Experience Maker and Marketo Revvie Awards announced
The Adobe Experience Maker Awards recognise Adobe Experience Cloud customers and partners.
Adobe opens up marketing opportunities with Roku
Adobe and streaming TV platform Roku are now offering Adobe customers the ability to precisely target consumer audiences moving to over-the-top content (OTT).
Adobe Summit kicks off the future of customer experience in Las Vegas
“Today, at Adobe Summit, we unveiled significant new capabilities in Adobe Experience Cloud, including the introduction of Adobe Commerce Cloud and Marketo Engage, and general availability of Adobe Experience Platform.”
Interview: CloudBNE's world of AR, AI, and geospatial tech
“In New Zealand I used to hear, ‘we are so small; the market isn’t big enough…’ I often hear the same thing in Australia and even through parts of Asia.  Could we have launched CloudBNE in New Zealand? absolutely.”
NZ's aged care population held back by digital divide
Aged care facilities are slow to provide WiFi access for residents, and interviewees said they would like to see aged care operators provide more support.
‘Buy-now-pay-later’ taking consumer markets by storm
A new survey shows that young people are embracing this new method of purchasing, with over 1.5 million users in the last year in Australia alone.
Better data management: Whose job is it?
An Experian executive’s practical advice on how to structure data-management roles within a modern business environment.
Platform9 and Intersect partner to bring unified cloud to A/NZ
“For Intersect, Platform9 represents the single most strategic solution to a set of challenges we see expanding across the board."