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Embracing e-businessWhen money is tight, it’s important to look at cost-effective ways of selling.  Now is the time to develop your online activities.  Today’s buyers are heavily e-dependent. Convergence – the integration of TV with the Internet in a digital era makes everyone more relaxed about online shopping. The sooner your business embraces e-business, the sooner it will net you plenty.

Five reasons to embrace e-business

1.    e-businesses make it easier for customers to buy. One of the secrets of maximising sales is to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you. That means giving them every possible purchasing and payment option.

2.    Make money in your sleep.
Imagine walking into the office in the morning to discover that you’d made a dozen sales overnight. Today’s time poor consumers shop at midnight, as well as midday, so your 24/7 web shop could capture sales you didn’t even know you were missing out on.

3.    Cut your cost of sales. Once your systems are in place, the marginal cost of selling online is almost negligible. Web sales are typically self-service, so your customers do the work of creating the order, generating an invoice, even updating your customer database, simply by filling out a web form. With no customer service staff and no overtime to pay, you can ramp up your sales without ramping up your costs, increasing your overall profitability.

4.    Work your niche.
Some of the most successful small businesses carve out a market niche where they don’t have to compete on price alone. The Internet can help you take your specialised product to more customers in Australia and around the world, cost-effectively.

5.    Streamline your systems – and your cash flow. Having created your online shop, you can use it to feed information into your back-end systems, automating things like stock control and customer database management.

While waiting for technology to make life easy for the not so young, the market itself will force more buyers of all ages to embrace the online shopping experience. So what does it take to create an online e-business presence? The main pieces you’ll need are your website, shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant provider.

There was a time when you needed to find all of the components separately and put them together yourself – a major web development project in its own right. But increasingly, different components come packaged together so much of the hard work has been done for you. There’s even a new off-the-shelf e-commerce solution from the Commonwealth Bank, called eVolve iShop, that has everything you need to create and customise your own online shop, from hosting, to web page and shopping cart templates, to back office systems.

With Commonwealth Bank eVolve iShop you get web hosting, a shopping cart, a payment gateway and a merchant account, all fully integrated and ready to go. All you need to do is upload your product information, pricing and pictures; select one of the many professional design templates and customise your site to suit your preferred look and feel. Soon your business will be taking orders 24 hours a day 7 days week, creating wealth for you even while you sleep.

– Dominic White is the General Manager Merchant Solutions for Commonwealth Bank.

Important information: Terms and conditions issued by Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 for eVolve are available on application or by phoning 1800 730 554 and should be considered before making any decision about this product. Bank fees and charges are payable.

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Commonwealth Bank eVolves for online small business

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Dominic White

Dominic White

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