You probably know that ecommerce is the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet. What you might not know is that there has been steady & continuous growth of ecommerce businesses over the last 10 years. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, voice-assistants, and even refrigerators are giving consumers the more widespread ability to make purchases without ever stepping foot in a brick-and-mortar store. Based on industry growth & societal factors pushing more toward all things digital, it is literally the perfect time for you to start an ecommerce business.
Increased Use of Social Media
For a few months of 2020, people all over the world were unexpectedly bound to their homes due to the precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone was looking for ways to keep themselves entertained (or even just busy). This caused a surge in the number of social media users and how much time they were spending online. Because social media has seen such a drastic increase in user population, a social media presence can provide an alternative channels to drive traffic to your site and deepen your current and potential customers’ interactions with your brand.
Increased Prevalence of Online Shopping
More customers have been embracing the comfort & convenience of online shopping ever since brick-and-mortar stores were forced to close. COVID-19 may have changed the way we shop, but it hasn’t completely slowed things down. Whether customers are shopping for necessities such as food & toilet paper or trying to find ways to stay busy at home with crafts & activities for the family, online sales have accelerated immensely. There has been a roughly 70% increase in online sales compared to this time last year. Although this pandemic has been devastating to many businesses, it has given ecommerce businesses the opportunity to shine.
Our World May Be Changed for Good
Although COVID-19 quarantine may have ended in many places, there are still plenty of businesses that have yet open & many others that may not be able to recover from the devastation the pandemic has caused. Though people have begun trying to return to their normal life of going to work & visiting stores in person, the majority of us have rewritten our personal boundaries with COVID-19 in mind. Many people will be limiting in-person shopping for the long haul. In this age of uncertainty, online shopping is giving customers the comfort of buying products at home without feeling like they’re putting themselves & their loved ones at risk.
Perks of Online Business
Low (or Absent) Overhead
An online business doesn’t require nearly as much of an upfront or recurring investment as opening a physical store. Opening a physical has a high barrier to entry. It requires paying monthly rent, buying a store sign, store design, inventory, equipment, & hiring multiple employees. What do you need for an online business? A good idea & a website. You can literally start one today if you want. If your business model needs tweaking along the way, it is much easier to make changes to an online business than a physical store.
Accessibility & Flexibility
You might not have the lifestyle that makes it easy to be physically present in a store everyday to manage things. A major advantage of an ecommerce business is that you can manage your store from everywhere at any time. Everyone’s situation is different — you may be looking into starting your own business but worried about not being able to bring in a paycheck while you get off the ground. An online business gives you the chance to make a profit out of your passion while still being present for the other obligations in your life.
Easy to Start
Setting up an ecommerce business is relatively simple. All you need is a product to sell and a website. When creating a website you can decide whether you want to create it yourself from scratch or you want the help of a third-party platform. When getting started, some people prefer to get started using a selling platform like Etsy to test & refine their strategies and their brand before building a custom website. Others like the flexibility & control that comes from the bootstrap method of a customized site. Regardless of what you decide is best for you, there’s a plethora of free resources & digital communities dedicated to helping folks just like you navigate the world of ecommerce.
Global Access 24/7
Opening an online business means you have the potential to be making earnings around the clock. Businesses based on the internet don’t have the same limitations as brick-and-mortar stores in regard to open & closing times. A business may have a great product & a beautiful store but be missing customers who happen to be busy during established store hours or live in a different area. An online store’s success relies more on on having great products at a reasonable price than accessibility, giving you more control over your own success.
Ecommerce has been steadily growing with still no sign of decline in sight. Even shoppers who used to prefer in-person shopping have now turned to making their purchases online (and they’ve fallen in love).
So what does that mean for you? Right now is the perfect time to invest in yourself & get your online business going!