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If you’re looking to start your own business, e-commerce is the way to go and 2018 is the time to start! With online shopping at an all-time high and thousands of opportunities to get started, we are truly in the golden era for starting an online business. Whether you want to sell handmade crafts or get involved in mass distribution, starting your own business on the internet is the best way to do it in this day and age. Here are a variety of reasons why you should be looking into your own e-commerce company now!
#1. Physical Retail Stores are Closing
Brick and mortar stores are closing at a record pace, and you don’t want to be caught in the dust with the rest of them. Customers are realizing that it is vastly easier to shop online than it is to start up the car, drive several miles, and scour a store for something that might be out of stock. As more and more people are looking to purchase their products over the internet, now is the time to take advantage. You have an entire market of frustrated shoppers who will be happy to spend money on your website rather than in an old-fashioned store.
If you currently operate a physical store that is still successful, you’d be doing yourself a favor by moving at least some of your operations online. You can keep your physical location while gaining additional revenue from internet sales. Combining your current success with a new technology is a foolproof way to grow your business and ensure that you will be prepared for the future.
#2. Social Media is King
In today’s world, social media is a key player in helping to market your brand. If you don’t already have several social media profiles to promote your products and services, you aren’t doing everything that you can to compete in a tough marketplace. Right now, sites like Instagram and Facebook have billions of users, with hundreds of millions logging in on a daily basis. Having your brand on these platforms is basically like having free advertising.
Through social media, people can share their favorite brands with their peers, leave reviews, and even interact with companies. Every business should be taking advantage of this, encouraging growth and increased brand awareness. If you are just starting a new business in 2018, this is a major benefit for you! You can use social media to get your organization off the ground through grassroots efforts and promotions. Accounts are free and easy to use, with very little barrier to entry. As you continue to grow, you can pay for stronger, targeted advertising services as you see fit.
#3. Distribution is Simple
Owning a physical storefront can come with a lot of headaches. Shipping is one of those, and it can cause major problems for small business owners. However, if you take advantage of services like Fulfillment by Amazon or other online distributors, you won’t have to deal with poor warehouse management or excess logistics costs. These companies have distribution down to a science, and you can piggyback on their success with your products.
Many fulfillment services have massive warehouses across the world that operate at maximum efficiency. Instead of taking orders and filling out shipping papers manually, they can do it for you, helping you to focus on the core tenets of your business. With such effective distribution, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and impress your customers with timely, affordable transportation services.
#4. The Economy is Booming
The worldwide economy is on a major upswing, and it just makes sense to jump onto the wagon and join the party. As long as you have a unique, marketable product, you are bound to be profitable when selling it online. People are making internet purchases more than ever before, and vendors and suppliers alike are eager to get into business with new partners who can bring value to their overall brand. By starting an e-commerce business, you can take advantage of a booming global economy and maximize your profits.
A better economy means more customers, and that’s just what you need to make your business a success. It also means that providers will have access to more parts, improving the overall quality of whatever product it is you decide to sell. As the economy goes in cycles, you are better off getting it now rather than waiting for it to slow down. Maximizing your profits early in the game will better prepare you for any negative forecasts that may come up in the future.
#5. Money is Available
Because the economy is so good, there is a large amount of capital available that is ready to be invested. Interest rates are low, making it relatively safe and easy to get a loan from the banks. This can greatly help you with your initial startup expenses and provide you with some capital to make sure everything is running as smoothly as possible.
However, banks aren’t the only place to look to if you want to start something. Crowdfunding has become immensely popular, and there is a good reason for that. If you have a revolutionary idea or solid business plan, potential customers and investors may be interested in helping you get your company off the ground in hopes that they can make some money as well. They also may just be eager to try the new product before anybody else. The tech world is full of people who want to be ahead of the curve, and if you can convince them that your idea is worth it, they will be willing to help you out financially.
#6. Easy Market Entry
To start a business in the old days, you used to need a large amount of money, a desirable storefront in a high-traffic area, and at least a few employees to help with the tasks. Today, you can get started with only an idea and an internet connection. If you have a plan and the motivation to follow through with it, it is very easy to get into the world of e-commerce. Because it’s so cheap to start, too, there is not as much risk associated with failure.
The ability to fail and start over is another thing that makes it so easy. You may realize that your business doesn’t work before you even spend a time, meaning that you can shut it down and start over easily. This was simply not possible in the old days, as much more was at stake when you decided to open something.
#7. Wide Potential Customer Base
There are more people online than ever before, and of the world’s internet users, many of them are making constant online purchases. No matter where you are, you can buy a product from across the world and have it shipped to you within a matter of days. Whatever product you are marketing has an interested audience somewhere, and an e-commerce business will help you to find that more easily than you could ever imagine.
A brick and mortar store can only really sell to people in its general vicinity. Maybe some people will come from out of town because they heard something special about it. But ultimately, it is limited to its physical location. The same is not true for an e-commerce store, as you can reach out to audiences from around the world with any product or service. The best way to find a customer is to gain exposure to a large pool of potential buyers. The more people that learn about your product, the more likely it is that some of them will buy it. Online marketability is vital for surviving in today’s business world, and it is one of the most important steps of running an e-commerce store.
#8. No Idea is too “Crazy”
People used to play it safe when they opened stores to make a profit. They didn’t want to risk failing right away, so they wouldn’t embrace some of the newest, craziest ideas. With e-commerce, you can take that risk and try to sell some of the most off-the-wall products that you may never have thought would sell in the past. In recent years, we’ve seen hoverboards, jetpacks, and virtual reality headsets all take off and be successful. This wouldn’t have been the case in the “old world.”
Now, thanks to technology, consumers are more and more trustworthy of some of these “crazy” ideas and are willing to give them a shot. As mentioned earlier, many people want to be on the cutting edge of technology, even if that means accepting technologies that they aren’t quite sure of. Even so-called failed products can become cult classics and gain a loyal following, so it’s worth it to take a stab at it if you have any sort of intriguing idea. The stakes are low but the potential reward is high, and you’ll be happy you created something for yourself, whether you win or lose in the long run.