Starting a business can be as thrilling as it can be frustrating. Fortunately, gone are the days when traditional brick and mortar businesses were your only option. Depending on the nature and offerings of a business, there are some business models which are better suited to an ecommerce style than they are to a physical location. When you look at companies such as Amazon and Target, you can see that there is potential for success in either.
If you are interested in starting an ecommerce business, however, below is a collection of useful information on the advantages that you should read before you get started.
What is Ecommerce?
Put simply, ecommerce is the buying and selling of goods and services using the internet. While an offering may be physical and tangible, once the transaction is handled over the web, then it can be classified as ecommerce. Ecommerce is one of the youngest forms of transactional business as it just barely 25 years old.
Now that you have an idea of what ecommerce is, you may be wondering what benefits it has over a traditional business setup. While there are many advantages that could be listed, here are some of the main ones to consider:
• Location expenses – This is one of the biggest reasons potential entrepreneurs look to ecommerce. Operating a physical business comes with overhead costs that far exceed those of operating online. As there is no physical location, there is no billable rent or utility cost that can be solely attributed to the business. Costs for ecommerce operations (especially in the initial phases) are lower and can be viewed as an extension to existing utilities.
• Easier tracking of consumer behavior – Traditionally, it was the job of marketing professionals to investigate and use various methods to understand and interpret consumer behavior. The idea was to allow the business to make use of targeted offerings. While technology has helped them achieve this, there is no longer a need to be an expert to collect the most basic of consumer behavior data. By making use of a tool as simple as browser cookies, an ecommerce business owner can easily collect information on consumer behavior from a dataset that is continuously updated.
• Instant purchases – Ecommerce businesses have the option of selling digital goods and subscription services over the internet. This allows the consumer to pay for items and reap the value of use as soon as the payment has been verified.
• Workforce requirements – The implementation of automated processing systems in ecommerce sites such as those that handle transaction and catalog requests remove the need for hiring a large workforce to meet your needs. Some entrepreneurs even run their ecommerce business with no additional employees.
• Opening hours – Unlike physical businesses, the internet never closes. In fact, though there may be outages of various websites, the internet is built in such a way that makes it statistically impossible for the entire network to crash. This means that an ecommerce business can be open constantly and customers can use the services of the business at their leisure.
• Convenience – There may be numerous reasons why a customer is unable to get to a physical store. Disabilities, long distances, social unrest, etc., can place a hamper on the means to do so. However, ecommerce businesses remain accessible once a stable internet connection is available.
Ecommerce businesses are very popular and are projected to become even more so as technology continues to evolve. If you are considering starting a business, it may be a good idea to do so over the internet as you are able to reap the benefits mentioned above.