As internet access continues to grow around the world and new technologies continue to improve, the amount of money that is spent by consumers online is constantly increasing. In the early days of e-commerce many buyers were hesitant to give our credit card information online, but it is a part of everyday life now for many of us. This gives everyone and every small business an incredible opportunity to do business online.
In this article we’ll look at the benefits of running an e-commerce website and we’ll list seven of the leading reasons that you should consider starting your own e-commerce site.
1. Very Low Costs and Expenses
Business ownership has traditionally always brought along a large amount of expenses and, as a result, risk. There will be significant and constant costs to run a business, especially startup costs. If you go out of business you will be out a lot of money, and you’ll likely be left with considerable debt.
Quite the opposite, with e-commerce you could possibly start an online store with less than $100 and you could be in business the same day. That’s not to say that it is easy to have a successful e-commerce business, but the risks are astronomically lower because you’ll need to invest so much less.
2. No Need for Employees
Just one of the issues that comes along with running a traditional business is managing the employees. This is really a full-time job in itself. Aside from the time aspect, employees also present one of the largest costs and risks for business owners.
With an e-commerce business you will need no employees to get started. Depending on what you are selling and to what extent the business grows, you may eventually hire some employees for order fulfillment and financial record keeping, but it is entirely possible to run a profitable e-commerce business on your own if that is how you would choose to do it.
Most traditional stores have certain hours that they are closed. Of course there are some stores that are open 24 hours a day, but there is also added costs to keep a store open that long.
With an e-commerce site you will be “open” for business around the clock. Online stores can makes sales in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, and there is no need for customers to shop during certain hours.
4. Low Barriers for Entering the Market
Traditional brick and mortar stores have vary large barriers that prevent the average person from being able to start this type of business. Most notably are the need for startup and operating costs. If you are able to manage to get started, some significant barriers to success will also exist.
Starting an e-commerce business presents very low barriers to entrance. You’ll need very little money to get started, and you may not even need your own products to sell. You will face some competition in e-commerce, but you will not need to be able to compete with the major players in order to be profitable.
5. Market to the World
As a traditional store owner, in order for customers to buy your products they will have to be close enough to your location to come to the physical store. Obviously, this limits your market to those who live or work within driving distance, or those who are traveling through the area.
E-commece businesses bring the distinct advantage that you can market to people all over the world with no need to stick to just a small local market. This is a huge advantage that exponentially increases potential sales. Especially if you are selling electronic products that don’t need to be shipped, sales can easily be made anywhere regardless of your location or that of the buyer.
6. Just Take a Small Piece of the Pie
For traditional brick and mortar stores, there is always a need to stay ahead of the competition in order to remain profitable and in business. If you can’t be one of the leaders in your industry, you probably cannot survive as a business.
However, with an e-commerce business your costs of operation are so low that you do not need to produce as much revenue in order to turn a profit. While you may not dominate a market, only taking a small portion of the business in a specific market of industry can still leave you witha profitable business. Rather than controlling the market you can just take a small piece of the pie.
7. Flexible Hours
Owning and running a traditional store will require long hours, and you’ll typically have to be working just about whenever the store is open.
Running an e-commerce business no doubt requires real work, but your schedule will be much more flexible as opposed to running a traditional store. Most of the work that you will need to do can be done around your schedule, during the hours that you choose to work.