E-commerce is growing at a rate of around 30 percent a year, with the growth showing no signs of slowing down. However, even with this positive growth forecast, business analyst warn of tough economic times ahead for business owners.
In 2015, SMEs may face difficult times as the weakening rand is still undervalued and we continue to face high unemployment and political instability.
During these tough times, SMEs need to get creative about how to attract buyers and improve their cash flow to protect their business against outer financial influencers and Sage Pay has a few tips to share.
1. One size does not fit all
Your products need to be niche and stand out from larger competitors. If your business is swift and agile, you can focus on making every customers buying experience a great experience – think Yummy Chef. That is one sure way to attract word of mouth referrals to your website and encouraging customers to buy online.
2. Offer customers more ways to pay
There is nothing worse than waiting for a customer to pay you. Instead, give them as many options as you can. Payment aggregators, like Sage Pay, offer a host of affordable, easy to use online payment options and business services that is essential for any small business’s growth.
3. Competitive advantage
One successful product or service doesn’t make a business. If you really have found an attractive market, you can bet there are competitors looking to take a piece of it. Keep on researching, developing, improving products and taking your service levels to the next level. Make the competition scramble to keep up.
4. Always manage your costs
Manage your costs strictly. Don’t hire people you don’t need, don’t take your eye off the market and don’t ever get too comfortable.
5. You are making a difference!
According to several academic studies and research papers, SMEs in South Africa contribute to between 52 and 57 % of South Africa’s GDP and provide about 61 % of the country’s employment. You guys rock!
6. Contact with customers
A large portion of SMEs, regard their websites as important means to contact their customers, while an even higher percentage, regard it as key for customers contacting them. The inbound nature of your website can go a long way in keeping in touch with customers as well show casing your new stock and products.