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What is ecommerce?

Ecommerce is the practice of selling items over the Internet.  The Internet has many formats including:

- Websites

- Native apps

- Chat apps

- Social media

- Email


And soon we will have other formats including AI-powered shopping agents and the metaverse (Virtual and Augmented reality).

Basically any time a customer pays for and receive our product or service using one of the Online formats listed above we are engaging in ecommerce.

What is the relevance of ecommerce for local stores?

All businesses in today's world need to have some form of online presence.  From a basic website, to listing on search engines, marketplaces and social media we need to offer as many options to customers to find us and shop from us.  Today, the question for retailers is not IF but HOW to engage in online activities.

Ecommerce is one of the options for local retailers to sell to customers, local customers or from far away.

Done correctly, ecommerce can be profitable for retailers so it should be a topic of consideration.  The key point local retailers need to consider when coming to ecommerce are:

1. The initial setup and launch

2. Ongoing operations post launch

3. Profitability and unit economics

We will be providing more details and information on all these topics in the coming months, and if you have any input please contact us.

Is ecommerce profitable for local retailers?

It depends on who we talk with.  Industry providers say yes but we lack actual data, performance numbers from local retail stores, to prove either way. This is a very important question and one we need to answer objectively with data so we'll be working on this 

Online presence for local retailers should:

- provide a new chanel for discoverability when consumers search online

- should help consumers learn more about the store, products and how they can shop from it if they are not able to make it there in person

- it should answer questions consumers might have about the store

- it should personalize the store so consumers can make a personal connection with the store, it's mission and owners

- it should not be always promotional just talking about your products and sales, or you will be just another fish in the ocean competing with whales and sharks

- Be informative about the products you sell, don't make it just about product images, price and sales.  Why do you carry this brand?  is there anything else that makes this brand special other than the look? Consumers increasingly are cause-focused and informed, go beyond just a catalog and nice photos, connect with consumers emotionally not just transactionally.


Contact us if you are interested to partner or contribute to this topic.