The development of technology and the widespread use of the internet have changed our shopping habits a lot. Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, almost everyone started to shop online, and many people now prefer online shopping rather than going to a physical store. So, making your products available online can increase your chances of selling them to a higher number of people. If you are looking for a way to increase your sales, have a higher brand visibility, reaching out to more customers and grow your business at the same time; e-commerce must be on your radar.
What Is E-commerce?
E-commerce (electronic commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet. Basically, it is any kind of commercial transaction initiated online – data and money are transferred during these transactionsE-commerce operates in several market segments including business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and consumer-to-business (C2B). And an e-commerce business is a company that generates revenue from selling products or services online.
Small or large, all kinds of businesses can start an e-commerce store and begin selling online. It can be a substitute for physical stores, though some businesses choose to maintain both. You can use different e-commerce channels such as your own website, an established selling website like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress etc. or social media to drive online sales.
This model of business has been growing dramatically over the recent years and has become an important force in the global economy. Also, this uptrend does not seem to be only short-term. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that e-commerce is the future of business.
Why You Should Start an E-Commerce Business?
If you are hesitating about whether to start an e-commerce business, here are 5 reasons why you should do:
1 – Growing Market: Believe it or not, the number of online shoppers is increasing day by day. Because of its easy accessibility and reduced physical efforts, online shopping is gaining more momentum. E-commerce sales are expected to grow 10.4% and the global e-commerce market is expected to total $6.3 trillion in 2023, also by 2026 the e-commerce market is expected to total over $8.1 trillion. There is a huge potential to profit from e-commerce.
2 – Lower Business Costs: One of the most important benefits of e-commerce business is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to start. The cost of doing online business is lower because you don’t have to pay rent or maintain a physical store, no storage space is needed, employees are not required at every location and also there is no need for security or maintenance personnel. Not a lot of investment is needed to set up e-commerce sites and once online, your store is going to be open 24 hours a day.
3- Wider Audience Reach: As we already mentioned, most of the global population is now active on the internet, and the number of customers shopping online is constantly increasing. Since you are not tied to physical stores, if you offer quality and fashionable products in a smoothly functioning e-commerce store, you can sell them to people all over the world. Small or big, every business can enjoy a wider audience reach. This reach not only earns you more money but helps your business grow.
4- Flexibility: As customers have the freedom to shop whenever, wherever they want and with ease, they prefer to shop online.They can browse options and make purchases from anywhere with just a few clicks. This makes the online shopping experience very easy and convenient. Consumers enjoy the advantages of 24/7 shopping from their homes.
5- Easy to Set up and Run: Setting up and running an e-commerce business is not a burdensome process unlike setting up a traditional physical store. There is no need to make heavy investments and no complicated legal or administrative procedures are involved. Anyone can start an e-commerce business.
With the evolution of e-commerce, its tools also have gotten much diverse and better over time. Today, it is even easier to start your own e-commerce store since there are different options for online selling platforms, marketing automations, SEO tools etc. Online selling platforms and web development platforms make it simple to establish a digital store, regardless of how little you may know about the technology behind it.
E-Commerce Platforms to Start Your E-Commerce Business
With the right tools, it’s easy for any business to quickly start selling online. But it’s critical to choose the best e-commerce platform that will ensure scalable, long-term growth. An e-commerce platform is an end-to-end software solution that allows online businesses to manage their website, marketing, sales, and operations.
E-commerce platforms have all the components you need to run and grow your online business without complicating your daily operations. Using an e-commerce platform is cheaper than creating software from scratch and more comfortable than using many plugins.
Here’s 3 of the best e-commerce platforms to help you choose the best option for your business.
1. Shopify: Shopify is one of the biggest e-commerce solutions out there. It’s a leader in the market with significant experience, hosting over a million stores globally. Shopify is an all-in-one solution for businesses that sell physical products and do most of their business online. It’s also really user friendly with plenty of customization options.
According to their website, “Shopify is the best software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for e-commerce. Their robust platform comes with complementary tools and features for multichannel selling and drop shipping, so you can sell directly through your website, at your retail store, on social media and third-party marketplaces, and everywhere in between”.
2. BigCommerce: BigCommerce is an enterprise e-commerce solution used by multinational companies like Ben & Jerry’s. It is a great solution for larger brands and brick-and-mortar stores that want to accept orders online.
BigCommerce’s valuable features include international selling, SEO tools, and multichannel selling on social and third-party marketplaces. Although it offers web hosting, BigCommerce doesn’t let you register your domain name through the platform which is a con. And free templates aren’t easy to customize.
3. WooCommerce: WooCommerce is an open-source, highly customizable and flexible software solution built for WordPress-based websites. It allows your WordPress website to transform into a fully functional e-commerce platform.
It is free to download and offers a wide range of e-commerce tools – SEO features, various payment gateways and options for multichannel. WooCommerce is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress, it is best for entrepreneurs with prior technical experience.
WooCommerce’s helpful features include order tracking, customer engagement, delivery status updates, inventory management, and more.