What happens after a retail store closes its doors for the night? Do the mannequins come alive and frolic among the aisles? Are the products cleaned and organized by invisible hands? One thing is certain; at night, retail stores don’t make money. Nobody shops for dress shirts at three in the morning.
Store owners must accept the fact that their investment only functions for a few short hours during the day, and lacking the ability to teleport, it can only serve a limited population. Does that sound like smart business to you? Investing thousands of dollars in something that is mostly dormant?
In the past, when brick-and-mortar establishments were the only viable option, business owners just had to suck it up and numb themselves to the shortcomings of a physical store.
Now, in the age of the internet, ecommerce has emerged as a lucrative (and easy!) option for businessmen around the world.
Online businesses do not have to abide by the same laws as physical stores. Customers can shop online at any time of day, from any location where internet service is available. Transactions are instantaneous, and hosting/domain fees are minuscule potatoes compared to property taxes.
Best of all, business owners do not need to risk their entire life savings on something that may or may not be successful. When starting an online business is so incredibly cheap and easy, there isn’t much to lose if it doesn’t pan out.
According to the US Cross-border Ecommerce Report, there are over 184 million online shoppers throughout the world. Although the most active demographic is between the ages of 24 and 45, older customers are buying more and more online.
In 2012, global ecommerce sales were recorded at 225 billion, and that number is expected to reach 370 billion by 2017. No matter what the state of the current economy is, online shopping appears to be recession-proof.
Although online shopping still only accounts for about 5.4% of total retail sales, it is the fastest growing sector of the market, with an annual growth rate of about 15%. As customers realize just how quick, easy and reliable online shopping is, the world of ecommerce will continue to expand exponentially.
So how will you take advantage of the internet? Taking your business online is relatively low-risk, so there shouldn’t be anything holding you back. The most difficult aspect of online business is building a webpage from which to sell your merchandise.
Once your page is up-and-running, managing transactions and tracking purchase orders is relatively straight forward. So where to begin? If you are lucky enough to understand the intricacies of web-design, then go forth!
If you get a migraine whenever you hear the word “coding” do not despair; there are tons of resources available that can simplify the process and help you set up your domain. Websites like Shopify and Etsy provide users with everything they need to know about ecommerce, including how to advertise on social media sites, how to use SEO to appear first in Google searches, and how to target specific demographics.
Hundreds of ordinary people have found success with help from these websites, so don’t let your technophobic tendencies hold you back. Take the first step and begin the “construction” of your online store today. With so much to gain and so little to lose, taking your business online might turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made!