Electronic commerce, popularly known as e-commerce, is a pertinent facet that every entrepreneur should take cognisance of whilst capitalizing on this beauty. Nowadays, every entrepreneur should be tech-savvy, particularly if they want to reach a wider audience. The populace is now spending most of their time connected and surfing the internet. As a result, e-commerce has been propelled to greater heights by increased internet connectivity and the steady ownership of smart devices such as phones and laptops.
Undoubtedly, doing business has changed so much that buying and selling are now online, enabling quick deliveries. Therefore, the ease of doing business with an entrepreneur’s little resources is enjoyed and employed. Accordingly, real entrepreneurs make the most out of their little while seizing on avenues that many tend to shun and shy from. Thus, e-commerce brings convenience to customers who do not have to spend much time searching for products and services they want. They are even allowed to easily choose from many options in the comfort of their homes or offices that weren’t present in yester years. That said, customers save time and money, which is a blessing in this fast-paced world. As a result, customers are finding the product that they want timeously. This also points out every entrepreneur’s mandate to bring value to the end consumer. Entrepreneurship is always about going the extra mile to satisfy your customers whilst addressing their problems. If you practice these doctrines, you will never go wrong. If there is ever a possibility of effectively using e-commerce to achieve this, then do not let it slip on your fingers.
Entrepreneurs pride themselves on taking advantage of opportunities since they are the first movers. Interestingly, e-commerce has come as a blessing to entrepreneurs, for it has dealt away with geographical barriers. It has connected people from different parts of the world, ensuring the global village aspect is showcased. One can efficiently market their products online, therefore carving out their niche market perfectly. Using e-commerce costs are significantly cut for most Zimbabwean, normally cash-strapped entrepreneurs. This contradicts some researchers’ argument that the costs of setting up this operation will be high. Instead, the end benefit outweighs these start-up and operational costs if you set your mind and heart to forming your entrepreneurial venture and adopting e-commerce. Most importantly, you do not need brick-and-mortar premises if you are riding on the beauty of e-commerce. To this effect, you have to ensure that you have an up-and-running, aesthetically pleasing website to achieve the true purpose of e-commerce. This is a prerequisite for people to know what your company is all about. It is worth noting that you must have an updated, user-friendly website so customers can get the current information they need. You should see that the search engine optimisation is activated and working well, so it is easy to search and find your entrepreneurial venture on the internet when certain words are typed. In light of the above stated, this will increase the traffic to your website. At the same time, you can make follow-ups on those who have visited your site. Technology has made it possible; therefore, a good reason entrepreneurs should think outside the box and target customers worldwide is that payments can be quickly made through e-commerce. This is very common for digital products amongst other services on the internet because it all boils down to what kind of offering you have for the sea of customers.
For a 21st-century and contemporary entrepreneur, you should be on top of your game by going the extra mile to differentiate yourself from others. Never take technologies that will market and win your sales volume for granted. As much as people might like to refute this issue, you will never go wrong by making your brand visible and well-known in the market. It doesn’t matter whether you are working with the Business-2-Business (B2B), Business-2-Consumers (B2C) or Consumer-2-Consumer (C2C) business model. This is because e-commerce complements whatever type of business you are focusing on. We are now living in a dynamic digital era where you either join the bandwagon or perish in the process. For that reason, an entrepreneur has to take seriously what they are offering, seizing such opportunities of using the internet, for most African entrepreneurs tended to be technophobic way back in the past.
Since geographical reach has been made easy, an entrepreneur should ensure that there are links, referrals and testimonies on their website. Again, one should take advantage of sending emails to these potential customers. That way, all this will work in your favor, even for those customers who want to try out your product or service for the first time. The only downside to e-commerce is that most people think buying or selling on the Internet is unsafe. Of course, many issues hinder e-commerce, such as security matters embroiled in the form of cybercrime. Nonetheless, e-commerce is the way to go, especially if you take care to counter these security issues of identity theft and card cloning, to name but just a few. Over and above, this is the time to embrace e-commerce, for this kind of technology was created to make the lives of both the buyer and seller easy.
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers who thrive on technological innovations of this sort. Notably, think twice and hop on the e-commerce ride. It is time we demystify some of these misconceptions, hindering us from shaking off the shackles of technophobia. The best way to defy all odds is to implement e-commerce and give it the right it deserves in our lives in this 21st century.
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Abigirl Phiri is a Ph.D student in commerce, free-lance writer, poet, International Ambassador of Peace, GBV activist, social entrepreneur, talent manager and an international marketer. More of her work can be found on her Facebook Page: Words are forever.