The Evolution of E-Commerce

by Tiffany Simms

Once upon a time, businesses featured simple websites with the most basic details about products and services in hope of enticing customers to contact them to make the hard sell. Unfortunately or not, those days are long gone. According to a ThomasNet survey, with over 93% of industrial buyers conducting research on prospective purchases completely online, those who don’t offer the information buyers are looking for will find themselves losing out to their competitors without a single instance of personal contact. That’s because 91% of industrial buyers will switch to the website that gives them the most information to make a purchase decision. In ThomasNet’s recent white paper, Aligning Your Online Marketing Strategy with Your Business Plan, they suggest asking these questions:

  • Is your website designed with your prospective buyers’ needs in mind?
  • Could they find the detailed information that they need to do business with you?
  • What changes could you make to your website so it can act as a 24/7 sales channel for your business?

ThomasNet noted that an industrial seller’s website is the #1 factor influencing buying decisions followed closely by search engine leads. Therefore, once a business’ website is geared up to serve as a true e-commerce channel, it must have strategies in place to draw prospective buyers to their online portal. Author CJ Newton noted in Defining SEO Optimization, “[w]inning on the search engines for the searches your customers are doing is hands down the best return on investment for getting your customers and potential customers to your web site. SEOs exist to help companies reach the top.” Using companies like Root Orange, who offer search engine optimization solutions, allow businesses to capitalize on a fully functional consumer-focused website and an increase in web traffic.

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