Have you ever been bored at home and decided to open up your browser for some online shopping to pass the time, most probably ending up buying something you don’t really need? I know I have. Online shopping seems to cater to the impulse buyer in all of us, and the Maltese seem to be particularly keen on it. Indeed, more than €70 million are currently being spent every year by Maltese consumers through PayPal alone and 39% of the total spent by Maltese consumers are cross-border transactions, more than double the EU average.
Online shopping’s rising popularity stems from the fact that it’s not only quick, allowing for spur-of-the-moment purchase decisions whilst in your pyjamas, but also convenient, as you get everything delivered right to your door.
However, even though Maltese consumers seem to be clamouring for more online shopping websites to spend their hard-earned money on, the majority of Maltese enterprises are still sceptical. In fact, the number of companies selling online decreased by 1.4% in 2015 when compared to the previous year.
The benefits of offering online shopping to consumers are numerous, but what incentives are there for businesses to start selling their goods on the internet while operating in Malta? The island has a clear roadmap, The Digital Malta – National Digital Strategy 2014 – 2020, which seeks to provide a strategy for Malta to become a digitally-enabled nation, with some of the goals being aimed specifically at improving e-commerce adoption among local businesses.
As the ICT industry continues to grow, technology companies have started to offer e-commerce implementations, taking the headache out of setting up your online store. Of course, alternatives such as WordPress plugins or e-Commerce websites such as Etsy, eBay or Amazon allow businesses to set up shop online with little effort.
Needless to say, a website requires infrastructure for hosting that is up 24/7, and that’s where BMIT come in. Apart from offering web hosting plans with a Site Builder and a free Exchange mailbox included, BMIT also offer Cloud Servers, a pay-as-you-go service with pricing varying according to configuration, so you don’t pay for what you don’t use.
Most importantly, the Cloud Servers are instantly scalable, which means you can add or remove resources whenever you want. Let’s say you’re a clothes retailer operating online and are anticipating a heavy increase in traffic throughout the January sales. Having the website hosted on your own local server would mean that you’d have to upgrade it permanently – an overkill if you only experience heavy traffic during sales. With a server on the cloud, you can upgrade the resources just in time for sales, and then downscale right after, not to mention the fact that you wouldn’t have to worry about power cuts affecting your server, as BMIT’s infrastructure is backed up by redundant generators capable of withstanding complete blackouts for days.
So if you’re looking to expand your business, both locally as well as overseas, online shopping is the answer. With a great website and a reliable back-end to support it, online shopping will not only help your business reach a wider audience but also provide added value to the consumer in terms of convenience.
This article was featured in Money Magazine's lawww issue "New Beginnings"