The growth of e-commerce has spiked up in the recent years as compared to the traditional brick and mortar businesses because of the consumer reach through technological advancement and the availability of improved and flexible logistics. According to reports from the National Retail Federation, the growth of online retail has been expected to rise from 8% to a minimum of 12% in 2017 which would mean that the total revenue form e-commerce sales would fall somewhere between $427-$443 billion. Every sector of business, be it a startup or an established one, the advantages of expanding into the e-commerce domain are plenty. Below is a list of the top 5 reasons why starting the e-commerce venture is worthwhile:
- Couch start: The business arena today, whether it is the sale of a product or service, is driven by the advancement in technology. While expanding or starting a brick or mortar business will take a considerable amount of time to be fully functional, getting to the e-commerce platform is simple and just a few clicks away. There are various pre-existing websites that allow sales through their channels, as well as established vendors who can create the required web portal within a few hours. Without an actual retail outlet or a business center, an individual can easily sell from the confines of their lodging space with just a computer and internet access.
- Cost efficient: Most businesses require a significant amount of money to invest in marketing a product for sale. The e-commerce platform can enable a seller to start growing their business with a small investment and with the profitable returns the organization of an established business is easier. Some of the leading e-commerce websites are not easy and free to sign up but there is also the flexibility of using the certified logistics for a reasonable price, and a seller can essentially avoid the large upfront investment needed to grow a business. The use of resources like social media, Google AdWords, and organic search can help greatly with the marketing aspect, and also save on payroll costs.
- Online brand awareness: According to statistics and market trend reports, it is a recognized fact that customers first check out the products online regardless of whether they buy it online or through a retail store. Reports have shown that in 2014, close to 81% of shoppers followed this trend, and this number has only been growing ever since. Having an e-commerce platform for your product launches you in front of the customer and with the appropriate online marketing-strategy tools, these products can also be accelerated to be among the top searches or sales lists. This would also pave the way for potential customers to relate and order your product easily.
- Internet boundary: The sale via a typical brick and mortar shop may limit its sale to the geographical location, but the launch of an e-commerce platform enables the seller to reach customers in the global market. This not only ensures the widespread of sales but also aids with the gathering of new customers in varied markets around the globe.
- Growth in online sales: According to comScore reports, while the level of online purchasers was 47% and 48% in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the rate of online purchasers has grown to more than 51% currently. Taking to the e-commerce platform ensures that your sales are projected towards where the purchaser crowd in high than confining your product to a 4 walled-store.
In the words of Hil Davis, Co-Founder of the Online Men’s Retailer J. Hilburn, “e-commerce and mobile commerce have dramatically changed the way brands reach customers, making it faster and easier for consumers to make purchases on the fly while avoiding the hassles of going to the store.”
Author: Neeraj Gupta
Neeraj leads the ecommerce practice at Sigma. With over 20+ years of work experience in companies like L&T, Infosys, Motorola, Agilent & Dell R&D he has in-depth knowledge on software Services, Program Management and Product Development. He is passionate about emerging technologies within the ecommerce space and loves sharing his views around them.