E-commerce has long been associated with large corporations that employ over hundreds of individuals every year. However, to keep up with the fast-paced digitally evolving era, small and medium sized enterprises all over the world have dived into the competition as well. The increasing popularity of online shopping has provided a viable platform to enterprises of all sizes to compete in the world of e-commerce. But, online shopping is only one of the thousand other platforms available that play a pivotal role in making small to medium sized enterprises run side by side large organizations.
Small and medium enterprises are increasingly using e-commerce tools to develop and sustain long-term relationships with their customers by trying to maintain all possible competitive advantages. Knowing the kind of platforms that are available in the world of e-commerce is essential to keep up with competitors. Some key features that e-commerce platforms must have in order to support the survival of SMEs are listed below:
- SEO-friendly interface
- Flexibility in uploading products/inventory
- Tracking facility to manage sales
- URL duplication management
- Promotional and discount offer managing option
Being adaptive to the changing digital environment has enabled SMEs to facilitate their customers with convenience buying and payments. This was a characteristic previously untapped by small enterprises. Some SMEs are still sticky towards conventional business practices which have hindered their growth tremendously. Among the plethora e-commerce platforms available out there, here is a list of few features and characteristics that e-commerce platforms offer to SMEs that they should make use of in order to grow digitally:
- App store utility – Powerful e-commerce platforms aid in developing online stores for SMEs effectively and with utmost ease. Apart from carrying all the above-mentioned characteristics, most e-commerce platforms these days carry the facility of an app store which offers numerous paid as well as free apps for use. These apps consist of plugins or sales apps that aid in boosting SEO, customization and social media linkages.
- Customization facility – E-commerce has upped its game by enabling the total customization feature for online stores operational through various platforms that facilitates tailor-made websites which give the feel of a state-of-the-art operational web store.
- Cloud hub – SMEs look to operate with minimal cost. E-commerce has offered SMEs cloud-based hubs to allow retailers to increase the number of products they offer and upload as inventory for consumers. Such platforms work as fully operational merchandising hubs that connect retailers with suppliers and aid in sustaining this relationship.
- 1000+ layouts – Some of the e-commerce platforms available offer affordable and unique layouts to choose from. These platforms aid in selling SMEs as strong organizations through their wide variety of attractive layouts and the facility to add an unlimited number of items to the online stores.
Picking from the wide variety of e-commerce platforms available in the digital world can be a challenge for SMEs looking to survive. However, if internal audits of company specific needs are determined beforehand, SMEs can not only survive but use e-commerce as their backbone for sustainable growth.