Whether you’re a bootstrapper or an investor with a bit of extra money to start a new enterprise, eCommerce is a great field to get into, especially today. Even as a beginner in eCommerce, the tools and resources are all laid out for you. All you need is a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed.
Here are five reasons to start an eCommerce business now.
1. Worldwide, eCommerce is expected to grow by as much as 13 to 25 percent.
Projections from eMarketer are showing rapid worldwide eCommerce growth through 2018. This year is expected to peak at nearly $1.6 trillion and by the end of 2018, almost $2.5 trillion. In the U.S. alone, eCommerce growth is anticipated to be somewhere between 11.6 and 16.5 percent from 2013 to 2018.
In choosing a business model, it’s always important to examine trends and to move into growth markets whenever possible. The stats back up the notion that the eCommerce model is a good choice for entrepreneurs that are looking to start a new company, or those that are interested in diversifying and expanding.
If you want to get into eCommerce, there has scarcely been a better time. The opportunities are growing by the day.
2. The ability to earn as you sleep.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, location is of primary importance. It can make a huge difference in terms of visibility and sales. In eCommerce, you can set up a storefront at your own domain name and sell your products globally. You don’t need multiple storefronts to be seen across the entire world.
This seems obvious enough, but the implications are more far-reaching than you might even know. The trend of “pop-up” shops are on the rise, as some merchants are choosing to meet their customers in-person with little more than a tablet, a card reader and a few sample products in hand. This means proactive eCommerce merchants can build awareness for their businesses at parks, subway stations and high visibility street corners — without violating any regulations or laws, of course.
eCommerce has a certain “passive” appeal to it, and while it is certainly possible to earn while you sleep, business owners should be looking to leverage technology at every turn to expand their businesses.
3. It’s easy to get up and running.
Not only have the tools for eCommerce gotten a lot better over time, there are more of them than there ever were in the past. From selling platforms to marketing automation and SEO tools, even bootstrappers can get up and running without breaking the bank.
The most challenging aspect of getting set up is product, but if you are passionate about a specific line of products — especially if they have helped you personally — it makes it much easier to walk through the process of building relationships with distributors or product sourcing. Additionally, it’s that passion that’s going to drive you to do the work you need to do to build a successful business.
4. Eighty percent of the web population has made a purchase online.
As you can imagine, that 80 percent is only going to grow. The key as an eCommerce business owner is to establish trust and credibility with leads and customers. From developing an attractive and easily navigable website to creating content that helps your customers, there are many different aspects to earning their trust, but if you commit to constant improvement, in time, you’ll build a loyal following.
It isn’t too much of a stretch to say that trust is one of the most important aspects of running an eCommerce business. People clearly trust etailers more than they did in the past, but security and privacy concerns are still foremost in many people’s minds.
5. You can sell more to customers down the line.
Practically every eCommerce business finds that reduced friction is extremely important for making more sales. Abandoned shopping carts are a prevalent problem, and you have to have a willingness to tweak and optimize your funnel to ensure maximum conversion.
Fortunately, there are some great retargeting apps and tools, such as CartHook, that can help with capturing customers before they’re gone for good.
Content marketing is another effective way to sell down the line. You can create relevant, value-adding content pieces for your readers, capture them as email subscribers, and then let them know about sales, discounts and promotions as you run them.
Most entrepreneurs have other business ideas they would one day love to explore. Once you’ve built up a successful eCommerce business, selling it may provide you with the capital you need to move onto greener pastures.
There are many great reasons to start an eCommerce business. If you’re interested in being your own boss and selling products you are passionate about, it’s something worth considering. If you want to speed up the process, you could even buy an established business instead.
By Thomas Smale – Entrepreneur Magazine