eCommerce is growing every year, and it has become a major force in the global economy. The online market is expected to grow 56% by 2020, with other traditional markets only expected to experience 2% overall growth during the same time period.
This makes it exceedingly important for any business to develop a strong online marketing strategy, as brick-and-mortar stores will no longer provide the bulk of the sales. If you are interested in starting your own eCommerce business, 2018 may be a great year to join the market.
Here are some reasons why now just might be the time to get on board with eCommerce.
1. Availability of Capital
Whether you need a loan from a bank or want to crowdsource your funding from something like Kickstarter, there is no better time than now. Interest rates have remained relatively low, so taking out a loan is not as devastating as it may have been in the past. However, if you are still weary of banks, you can look to eager potential customers and venture capitalists to contribute to your idea through crowdfunding. As long as you have an innovative idea and a solid business plan, you can get a quick start on forming your business.
In the past, it was exceedingly difficult to obtain capital to start a business. People wanted to see past experience, current spending habits, and proof of a solid customer base. For a new business, those are all nearly impossible to come across. Fortunately, you can find people who are willing to help fund your project all over the world now, and that is a major boost to entrepreneurs everywhere.
2. Technology is on your side
Technology is a major focus in the eCommerce world, and there has never been more business-friendly technology than there is today. The best part about it is that it continues to improve, with applications and new payment technologies making things easier for businesses across the board. You can even take advantage of Blockchain technologies to secure different kinds of payments that may be beneficial to you in the long run.
When you focus on maintaining a high-tech environment, you are setting yourself up for success in the online business world. Whether it involves utilizing video conferencing or impressive collaboration tools, the cost of doing business internationally has gone down while the convenience level has gone up. You no longer have to pay for flights to meet with customers, nor do you even have to leave the home. You can get a variety of tasks done from your personal computer thanks to continually improving technology.
3. Consumers are noticing smaller players
As more information about products and services becomes available, more and more consumers are taking note of the little guys. For the first time in years, smaller businesses can compete with global conglomerates as long as their products are up to par. It used to be impossible to reach such a wide audience, but the internet has brought the world closer together, allowing you to maximize your exposure to potential clients with minimal effort. The more clicks you get from interested patrons, the more likely you are to convert them to sales. This is huge for someone who is looking to get their business off the ground.
4. It is easier to start a business than ever before
Due to the aforementioned improved technology, it is now easier to start a business than at any time in the past. Online tools such as Shopify make it simple to start a digital store, no matter how little you may know about the technology behind it. On top of this, there are a variety of web development platforms like WordPress that can help you seamlessly create a professional, functional website that will help drive sales. These platforms put you in the passenger while they drive the development, allowing you to focus on sales and ideas rather than dealing with administrative and technological tasks.
5. It is cheaper than ever before
Back in the days when brick and mortar stores ruled the roost, the costs of starting a business were exorbitantly high. You had to pay rent on a storefront, foot the cost of electric and other utilities, and purchase expensive insurance to cover against theft and natural disasters. With an online store, you don’t have to worry about any of these things. Even creating your website can be free if you use the right program. When you start making money, you can choose new development tools based on your own personal and commercial budgets. It is totally up to you how much money you want to put behind opening your own business. If done correctly, you can operate with nearly 100% profit thanks to the advances in technology.
6. Physical Stores are closing at record rates
There will always be a need for physical stores to some extent, but consumers are quickly realizing they don’t need to drive to retail stores to wait in long lines for products that may not even be there. With these stores closing down at a record pace, there is less competition from them, giving you the opportunity to truly flourish with web sales. Because you can control the inventory and let people know when your products will be in stock, you won’t suffer from the same fate of retail stores who only have a finite number of resources. eCommerce provides a major advantage over traditional retail avenues, and it has only become more superior in 2018.
7. Fulfillment Options
No matter what you are selling and who you are selling it to, there are a variety of fulfillment options to help you out. You can partner with Amazon to use their FBA program, allowing you to take advantage of their warehouse space and advanced delivery systems. If, however, you don’t want to work the tech giant, smaller companies abound that have reliable, high-tech fulfillment systems. It is cheaper than ever before, and it is a great opportunity to develop working relationships in your industry.
8. Minimal Equipment Requirements
Depending on what you are selling, you may only need a laptop and an internet connection. You can now contract with machining shops and manufacturers to develop, produce, and fulfill your product without ever even looking at the machinery. This will save you money and space, as you can make sales from the comfort of your own while a warehouse across the country fulfills the orders. If you are an innovative entrepreneur, this is an opportunity to let your ideas shine and keep the manufacturing process to the experts.
9. Improving Economy
The global economy is on the upswing, with trade improving in all major markets and the largest economies all performing at record rates. This is always a good indicator that it is a good time to go into business, as there are customers with money and they are willing to spend it. However, we are still at a low part of the projection, so there is plenty of opportunity to get into the market before it becomes saturated. As the markets continue to grow, it is better to get in early and take advantage of the economic boom before it inevitably slows down.
10. Potential for Expansion
Because it is so easy to start an online business, the potential for expansion is nearly limitless. Once you start to experience success, more and more people will want to buy your product, as online advertisers can help you gain more exposure and reach out to new potential clients. Because it is so cheap to continue, you can recruit new workers, and even open offices across the world relatively easily. It is really up to you how large you want your business to become.
11. Ease of Entry
There are virtually no barriers that are preventing you from starting an online business, so why not give it a shot? All you really need is a website, and you can add new resources from there if you need them. In the old days, you needed a store, a competent work staff, and plenty of inventory. Today, you don’t even need to have one item, you can get started with your eCommerce based on an idea or a service that you can provide to people across the world. There is nobody holding you back from taking advantage of the internet and making profit today!
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Truly, 2018 is the year of the entrepreneur, and even more so the year of the eCommerce professional. There are a variety of reasons to get involved in the eCommerce trend, and right now is the best time to do it. It is a low cost, low risk endeavor that may end up being extremely rewarding and helping you make the money you always dreamed of. Not only that, you will have the freedom of owning your own company and working on your own time, realizing the success that you are achieving every single day.