What is E-commerce and Why Should You Get Involved?
This is an Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Advantages of E-commerce.
If you’re considering starting your own business or being an entrepreneur, then you need to understand e-commerce business models.
Understanding the advantages of e-commerce models now can provide several of the principles and methods that can help you make it as an entrepreneur.
Online businesses have several different models that have the potential to be profitable, from blogs to podcasts to social media to the e-commerce models selling goods and services, and many more.
There are also those online businesses that choose to combine different models.
A Wide Range of Options and Niches
An e-commerce business can involve the exchange of products ranging from physical goods such as clothing or appliances to digital goods like e-courses, software products, or ebooks. It can also allow specialists in particular fields to provide their services — all after building some level of trust and perception of value.
The history of e-commerce dates back to late ’90s with the emergence of online retailers such as Amazon and eBay. Today, more and more people are purchasing goods online as it is faster, easier and can be done from the comfort of their home.
Additionally, it offers the convenience of having items delivered to you instead of having to travel to a physical location. Nice, right?
Although no business is a guaranteed to be a success, many entrepreneurs are adopting the e-commerce model over traditional methods. This is due, in part, to the low overhead costs and greatly reduced financial commitment of online businesses compared to physical establishments.
Not Just for the Tech Savvy Anymore
With all the necessary tools and resources at your fingertips, you don’t have to be tech savvy to succeed in the digital world. There are many options where no developer skills are required as platforms have become new-user-friendly.
With numerous revenue models available, the e-commerce industry is extremely broad and the possibilities are countless. Some of these models focus on content creation, some on distributing your own products and services, some focus on
Regardless of the revenue model you choose, finding a niche market that serves a targeted audience should be on top of your to do list.
Advantages of E-commerce
Since there are no time related or geographic limitations associated with e-commerce, an online business can operate 24/7/365 in any timezone. As opposed to physical businesses, your e-commerce revenue does not rely on working hours.
Any inventory can be managed with the help of inexpensive and astonishingly effective software offering you more flexibility by taking fulfillment and shipping off your hands and enabling you to automate many facets of your business while securely processing transactions.
As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you have the ability to be making profit at any time of the day, regardless of your location with automation tools that allow you to earn passive income.
This is important, being able to operate 24/7 with reduced staffing costs while selling globally with automated tools and stable and secure transaction software — sets you up to earn passive income where you are no longer simply trading your time for money.
Low Startup Cost
Due to the digital nature of e-commerce, the need to pay rent or the many other bills associated with a physical location are almost entirely eliminated. There is no need to sign a lease or carry inventory, and standard staffing costs can be reduced to zero, if you choose.
Access to Great Platforms and Tools
There are plenty of platforms and tools available on the web to make a professionally looking store, without the need for technical expertise.
Finding an e-commerce platform that empowers you to build your own business your own way can be done with some amazingly affordable options.
There are some great options, and you can check out our list of the 12 Best E-commerce Platforms and their cost here.
There’s also access to all the expert assistance you might need within even the smallest of budgets. Fiverr has freelancers taking on small tasks starting at $5 a job.
There are many great free and low-cost resources that you can use to apply your own taste and creativity should you want to do so.
You can see our list of the Best Free and Low-Cost Tools to Give Your Business a Professional Edge.
Access to the Info You Need
With the help of web analytics tools, you can now track where your customers come from, what devices they use as well as observe their shopping patterns.
All this data can then be used to better optimize your store to drive sales, whether it is to include more language options or more targeted promotions.
Four Advantages for Success and Growth Potential
1. They are often highly scalable
Depending on what your store sells and how automated it is you can grow sales without increasing workloads.
For example, if you sold muffins at a bakery that you own, selling 10,000 muffins requires significantly more work than selling 100 — not a highly scalable business.
But if you sold ebooks with muffin recipes that people could download, selling 100 ebooks requires the same work that selling 100,000 ebooks takes — a highly scalable business where you are no longer trading your time for money.
2. The Processes of Testing and Experimentation can be Easy and Inexpensive
You can test products without having to buy them or build them to see if they sell. You can (and should always) test and experiment with multiple marketing campaigns to sell your chosen goods or services on a very small budget or even for free with social media channels.
If you’re diligent, these processes can be completed with little to no financial cost. But, you still have to put in the time.
3. It’s Much Easier to Pivot
One of the most important abilities that an entrepreneur requires to be successful is the ability to pivot.
No matter how much information we have, no matter how pure our intent, no matter how savvy we might be, we can’t predict the future success of a business. No one can. The most successful investors in the world plan on being wrong 9 times out of 10.
But if we set ourselves up with the ability to change direction, this adaptiveness can be the secret to not only survival, but also success. In e-commerce, it’s easy to pivot.
4. There is Reduced Financial Risk
The combination of significantly reduced costs of start-up and operations reduces overall financial risk.
If a brick and mortar traditional business doesn’t work out, the costs can be high whereas an entrepreneur can launch an online business and, if their careful in their spending (particularly on marketing costs), reduce their risk on that venture to far, far less.
That said, it is highly important to do thorough research on industry trends and study the market potential for the type of business you’re looking to start so that you don’t waste valuable time and energy.
Here is a short list of profitable and trending areas to help you get started.
Good News for E-commerce
Good news is that industry professionals have predicted an unprecedented growth of e-commerce that will continue in the next years. And the costs of running a business online are getting lower all the time.
While e-commerce is an exciting industry to get involved in, you shouldn’t worry too much about having the perfect product or a high-end website. With the availability of tools and resources at your fingertips, all one needs to succeed is a strong work ethic, the willingness to learn, and the gumption to start.
It will not be easy. Only you can decide if it’s worth working for.