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Guest Column : Why should a business have online ordering capability?

E-commerce and the increasing internet and mobile smartphone penetration is playing a key role in revolutionizing the way today's businesses are run. Having your product available to buy online, in an online shop, plays a key role in determining the credibility and popularity of a product. Today, consumers are more likely to compare and purchase products based on available online information. In other words, this is the era where an online presence for your brand is a must. But just having an online presence is not enough, it is important that your online business is equipped with all the right tools to make it a viable option for consumers to purchase. The following points examine why online ordering capability essential for a business.

Expansion of business: Online presence expands your brand's reach. There are no geographical barriers when it comes to your online stores; also you have the option of Geo-targeting. This allows maximum visibility for your product thereby acting as a sales aggregator.

Time Saver: Time is money and consumers swear by this dictum. An online ordering system spares your customer the time and the effort of visiting the brick and mortar store. Various delivery options means the product reaches the customer in the shortest possible time span.

Engaging the consumers: Consumer feedback is key for business growth. Having an online presence is one of the ways to get your customers engaged. Consumers can get product info, share their feedback, and participate in surveys, all with minimal effort. If they like the product, consumers often praise it on social media, leading to the visibility and promotion of your product.

Easy to understand consumer behaviour: With a strong back end support it is easy to understand the consumer's taste and preference. An in depth study about your customer's browsing, page views etc, allows you to understand their needs which in turn will help to improve your offerings for them.

Easy payment options: Ordering capability comes with various payment options making it easy for your customers to choose. A customer who does not prefer COD can easily pay via a credit card, netbanking, mobile wallets, etc. The more the options the better it is for the brand and the consumer.

Any business can benefit: From your local grocery store, to your major departmental chains, everyone is online. Consumers like to have a plethora of choices and there is a chance for everyone to benefit from this huge demand.

Lack of an online shop heavily hinders discovery and thereby purchase to a large degree. The market is full of competitors so if you are not visible to your customer through his preferable medium you not only lose your customer but also the credibility that online presence adds to a business.

(The Aurthor is Monika Jain, Co-founder of Presto. Presto is a Bangalore-based ‘Do it for me’ Platform that enables omni-channel branded Mobile and E- commerce for enterprises and SMEs to sell products and/or services for any chosen business model)

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