Since the very first online sale between two friends involving a Sting CD, the internet has been dramatically changing the way we distribute goods and services.
For many years, we have been following the brick-and-mortar model of commerce, building physical stores, and filling it with products we think our customers might need and desire. With ecommerce, it has become possible for people to shop for things online, in the comfort of their homes, and have their purchased items delivered directly to their doorstep.
Ecommerce or electronic commerce is what we call the buying or selling of goods over the internet with the transfer of money and information to complete the transaction. If you have ever partaken in a transaction of goods and services online then you have reaped from the benefits of online shopping and ecommerce.
80% of internet users have made a purchase online at least once, a good number of them frequent online shoppers. There are many reasons why people are turning to the internet to look for goods. You might shop online for the comfort of being able to shop without having to put pants on or perhaps you are looking through the internet for the very best deals. When it comes to shopping online, the convenience offers up something for everyone.
In this article, we will get to know more about ecommerce, and the advantages that it will offer you in terms of career and business opportunities.
The Significance of Ecommerce
Many more people are expected to turn to online shopping in the coming months and years, making ecommerce a term that is nearly synonymous to the word “growth”, because as an industry, it does just that.
If you have an existing business or are planning to launch one, small or large, you will have to pay attention to the future of shopping and consider the advantages of ecommerce and going online.
Ecommerce websites allow your business or brand to reach more people without geographical limits, and many of today’s consumers are searching for international and local businesses online. If you don’t have a business presence online for your prospective clients, then you don’t exist in the digital world, thus limiting your exposure, causing you to miss out on some great opportunities.
Ecommerce could very well be an essential component to the success and the survival of a business in today’s technologically-inclined world.
As we mentioned earlier, 80% of internet users are using the internet to search for and buy goods because ecommerce sites provide the convenience that brick-and-mortar alternatives cannot. It saves consumers’ time and makes price comparisons easy with the vast catalog of things to choose from online.
The internet has become the absolute biggest shopping complex on earth, right at our fingertips, in the very palm of our hands.
Ecommerce is Changing How Commerce Works
There was a time when commerce was built around a specific and limited geographical location, a physical and fixed position in the world where buyers and sellers had to travel to reach. This is the very model of the traditional market place, where location was of key importance.
Traditional commerce shares these common features:
- Limited business hours and days
- Limited to a specific area
- Requires you to buy or rent a location
- Employment of staff
- Large inventory
- Large capital investments and overhead costs
Today’s entrepreneurs are no longer limited by the terms of the traditional model of commerce and are enjoying the benefits of ecommerce where all you need to get started is your computer.
Here is how ecommerce differs from traditional commerce:
- Worldwide accessibility and reach
- No need for sales attendants and staff
- Open 24/7 all year round
- Low overhead cost and investment
- Easy to maintain and grow
Because ecommerce is essentially breaking the rules of traditional commerce, the internet is making way for more businesses to crop up, opening numerous windows of opportunities for smaller businesses.
If you want to start your own clothing shop today, all you’ll need is a computer with internet access to run an ecommerce website and a few boxes to ship your merchandise in. In the case of dropshipping, an ecommerce business model that doesn’t require you to have an inventory of goods, then you won’t even need to worry about shipping or inventory—you will have a third party supplier who does the inventory and shipping for you.
It is game-changing. No longer are businesses tasked with having to build physical infrastructure for their business, to populate them with employees, make customers travel to make purchases, and deal with large maintenance costs and investments.
What About Brick-and-Mortar Stores?
Ecommerce is on a steady rise and brick-and-mortar establishments are evolving to the technology that makes consumers’ lives easier. Ecommerce and traditional commerce are blurring the lines together for their consumers. Often we see products in physical shops only to check their online availability and to look for better deals on the web.
Because of this, retailers have to make big changes in how they are operating their business because people want products and information available for them online.
Ecommerce isn’t just for the big contenders however; the internet is paving the way for entrepreneurs to make it big in the digital space by only selling online. Selling online puts smaller businesses on a platform that allows sellers to reach global scales, enabling them to cater to the needs of buyers on a global scale.
The fact that more sellers are going online to open virtual shops is great. Ecommerce is giving consumers a myriad of fresh choices that enhances consumers’ shopping experience in ways never seen before.
The Ecommerce Advantage
In this section, we will let you know about some of the many advantages you will have in opening your own ecommerce business. This list of advantages in ecommerce will help you decide whether launching an ecommerce business is right for you.
1. Conduct Business 24/7
This is a major advantage in ecommerce that traditional commerce does not have. The fact is your ecommerce business never sleeps and will never ask for vacation leave. Your online website is open to serve customers day and night, every single day of the year.
2. Global Reach
With the internet becoming more and more of a necessity today rather than a luxury, more people across the globe are using their mobile devices and computers to research products and compare costs online. Having an online shop will help you reach new people every day from around the world. Even if you are but a small brand just starting out in the world of ecommerce, you will have the advantage of a global reach. Ecommerce allows for the possibility of reaching thousands, if not millions of people in your target market.
3. Low Financial Cost
Easily one of the most attractive aspects of ecommerce is the low startup cost. Starting and running an online store is not as financially demanding as running a physical store. With physical stores, you have to buy or rent a store location, pay staff, and much more.
Online stores, on the other hand, render much of that unnecessary, making it highly affordable and easily attainable for small business owners. Because of ecommerce, it is now possible for entrepreneurs to build a shop with little investment.
4. Less Invasive Shopping
Some people don’t like going shopping in physical stores because they prefer to avoid sales assistants. While these retail guardians and assistants are there to improve the shopping experience of customers, many people are unsettled by them and prefer to go about their shopping with minimal interactions.
5. Personalized Shopping
75% of online shoppers report that they prefer shopping online with brands that offer them personalized experiences. Every interaction on an ecommerce site generates data, which allows sellers to create a better and more personalized shopping experience for clients. This is a great way to create repeat customers and increase your overall sales. You can personalize the shopping experience of your customers by offering a personal welcome message on your site, offering special offers on their birthday, or recommending products that will be relevant to them based on previous activity on your site.
6. Easily Retarget Customers
Another benefit and advantage in ecommerce is that it allows you to easily retarget potential buyers on the internet with the use of retargeting ads. Retargeting ads allow you to draw in the prospective consumer who has visited your site but has made no purchase. Retargeting is a strategy wherein after the viewer leaves your site, they will see your product ads on other websites like Facebook. These ads serve to call them back to your site to complete a purchase.
7. Easy to Scale
With traditional commerce, growth could mean finding bigger storage space, building a new physical shop, and hiring more sales staff, all of which lead to more expenses. In ecommerce growth does not equate to much additional cost because you will be able to keep up with growing demands quite easily, especially if you are doing dropshipping, where inventory and shipping will be handled by your supplier. All you have to do is keep marketing your products while enjoying the upscale and growth of your business without the worry of the additional cost.
8. For Companies Both Big and Small
Ecommerce can be for anyone, from big-time businesses to entrepreneurs with no prior business experience. You can build your online shop from anywhere in the world and cater to your target demographic and niche from all locations.
You can start and run a store easily all by yourself, which is wonderful for independent business owners. Ecommerce is a business model that supports small online businesses, providing a platform for newer opportunities.
There are many great reasons to start an online business. At Ecommerce Pro, we love to discuss the future plans of your online business ventures and to share practical solutions that help you meet your ecommerce and dropshipping business goals. If you need a hand in launching a business in ecommerce, Contact Ecommerce Pro today. Together we will discuss ideas and how the advantages of ecommerce can benefit you.