Less than 10% of small and medium businesses offer their products on the internet. Despite these figures there is a general consensus on the importance of the internet as a work tool. In this sense, 62% have a website for their company, according to a report by CiudadMarket. “Companies no longer bet only to be on the Internet but to use the network as a direct sales channel,” said the studio.
The number of consumers who choose the internet as a shopping channel is increasing. The study “The electronic commerce of 2011” conducted by EAE Bussines Shool, affirms that 17.4% of have bought products and 8.6% have made sales at some time through the network.
The expansion and development of new information and communication technologies (ICT), together with the digital economy, have offered companies the opportunity to develop a strategy to become more efficient. The main fields benefited are the communication and expansion of new markets.
The Internet has regular users and a large number of potential customers. Many companies have noticed, but smaller companies do not usually take advantage of this opportunity. The problem lies in the existence of greater demand and lower supply by SMEs that do not make the transition to electronic commerce. That is why electronic commerce needs support to keep its growth at a steady pace.
There are businesses that grow and see the network as an opportunity. The establishments that are already present on the internet sell more despite the crisis. This occurs because the consumer values saving via the internet. There are still SMEs that remain unsupported despite the benefits that could be found in the online world.
“Electronic commerce is no longer an option. It is a strategic and necessary element. ” To take advantage, some of the keys are: expand the offer, improve information and promote comparisons of both prices and products.
Internet users continue to value the same items as in traditional purchases: speed, ease and convenience in the purchase process.
The trends for companies that are presented for 2011 are varied. More and more attractive sales methods are being established that seek to adapt to the consumer, such as group purchases or coupons. The discount is always important, but other demands arise. “Consumers want the possibility of benefiting from a privileged status.”
The last big trend is the convergence between electronic commerce and the mobile web. According to a study recently conducted by the audit company KPMG in 22 countries, consumers increasingly integrate the mobile to their shopping habits. According to this survey, 28% of consumers report having used their mobile phone to make an online purchase, a percentage that triples compared to previous years.