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April 30, 2018

4 Reasons to Jump into Ecommerce Today

The e-commerce market continues to snowball, now making up over nine percent of all U.S. retail sales and pulling in over $119 billion in Q4 of 2017. While Amazon’s market share made up about 44 percent of the $453 billion spent online in all of 2017, there’s plenty of pie to be had for the right ideas.

Let’s look at four reasons you should jump into e-commerce today.

All Trends Point Green

E-commerce shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. By 2022, the business model is forecasted to generate over $638 billion in revenue. Marketplace giants like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Apple (News - Alert), and eBay will continue to get theirs, but the real winners will be thousands of small companies turning novel ideas into genuine profit. Because the giants have been so influential in shaping consumer preferences, a lot of the guesswork has already been done. If you can offer a lenient returns policy, fast or free shipping and treat your customer base as individuals rather than audience segments, you’ll be on the right track.

Free Education Abounds

Are you resourceful and have an idea you’re motivated to act upon? That’s all you need to be successful in e-commerce. Of course, it’s not that simple, but it’s not rocket science, either. The internet is filled with tons of free learning resources to fill in the gaps for you. Whether you want to sign up for classes about online trade and e-commerce operations, or read blogs from industry veterans, the business can certainly be learned.

You can check out course platforms on free education sites like Udemy and Khan Academy or browse paid sites like Lynda for free basic education courses. Supplement your online learning by regularly scanning the relevant blogs. A Better Lemonade Stand is a great resource for beginner e-entrepreneurs while blogs like Nerd Marketing and Bootstrapping Ecommerce provide a great mix of basic and advanced e-commerce topics.

Relatively Easy to Set Up

Learning about e-commerce is well within your abilities, as is setting up a store. If you’re not a programmer or don’t want to pay someone else to code your own e-store, you can operate independently without hassle or big expenses. Whether you list your products on Amazon’s marketplace, or opt for one of the best e-commerce website builders to create your store, the heavy lifting has already been done. Secure hosting, website building, shopping cart integration and more can all be had for a modest monthly fee.

Easier to Scale

Scaling an offline business requires massive investments in time and money, but e-commerce is less demanding in that regard. Just make sure you have the appropriate domain hosting to handle traffic as you grow. The last thing you want is a lot of downtime or slow-loading experiences. Those can be operational death knells when you consider a one second delay in page response can reduce sales by seven percent. Further, with the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2018, predictive technology will be available to provide support help. This will free you of the need to fill your payroll with employees doing repetitive tasks.

Conducting fulfillment through Amazon is smart option too. Sure, you’ll kick back some commission, but the hard work of solving logistics is taken care of. How far do you want to take your business? Do you want to be your own brand and go global, or are you content turning a healthy monthly profit leveraging Amazon’s massive user base? It’s up to you. It’s also important to leverage any and every tool you can to make your processes more efficient.

Of course, as e-commerce continues to drive revenue, competition will become more intense. Third-party sellers will crowd Amazon’s marketplace and niche brands will pop up offering personal shopping experiences. Still, with proper planning and solid due diligence, you can enjoy all the success you want. These four reasons to jump into ecommerce today will help you capitalize on the booming e-commerce market and act upon your great idea.

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