Let’s talk about E-commerce.
It has been stablished that the first manifestation of purchases and sales online arose in 1979, created by the English inventor Michael Aldrich. He made an online transaction processing system that would later evolve into the well-known e-commerces and online payment methods. However, the great boom of what we know today as virtual stores was better structured and known in the 1990s, with the emergence of online sales made by large companies, such as Amazon, Pizza Hut and even some US banks. What was not imagined, at that time, was that this sector would grow so much and in a relatively small period of time.
It is rare, during these times were internet is everywhere, that someone who has a business does not explore the possibilities of expanding their venture through the internet. The crisis, changes in the market, the evolution of marketing, cost savings … there are many reasons why we want to make the leap from our business or our idea to the internet. At the moment, the data referring to the growth of online commerce leave no doubt about the convenience of having our presence on the Internet: E-commerce in Europe did reach 191 billion euros in sales in 2017. A new study by the consultancy Forrester stressed that during the next 4 years, Europe will consolidate as the continent with the highest volume of sales made through the internet. These data hide a reality that is even more beneficial for Europe. In the midst of the current economic crisis, the increase in sales of e-commerce can alleviate, to some extent, the decline in sales of other channels. The study, which has analyzed the 17 countries of the European Union, ensures that all of them will have an average annual growth rate of 11%.
E-commerce is any kind of business conducted online, the most popular example being online shopping. They are necessary and inevitable alike. The internet is kind of a “world” itself: there is something for everyone. You can overcome geographical limitations in many aspects with the internet. A physical shop is limited to the place it is located, meanwhile and online shop has the world as its playground. Internet can be an extraordinary resource for buyers who want to have more products to choose and also to save money.
Online customers have many advantages: some stores offer no shipping charges and also they might not include sales tax (depending on the law of their state). Also, e-commerces don’t need to spend much in personnel, since much of their processes are automatized (payments, billing, inventory management, check outs). In matters of Real Estate, an online shop doesn’t need a prominent physical location either. All this factors add up to some substantial savings for the buyers. Besides, as an Online merchant, you do not have a limited schedule in which you only receive earnings at specific times (when the store is open) but, your buyers can buy and pay at any time of the day.
Your store will always be open and there are buyers who may be too busy, so e-commerce is an attractive market for them: they can find what they need at any time with their phones, tablets or computers and buy it with just one touch. As the numbers of mobile users increases, so does the online commerce.
Now that we have talked about some of the advantages for sellers and buyers, we can establish a doubt, how much money can an online store do? Is it more profitable as the time passes? E-commerce is a strong domain that is growing and has no signs of relegation. Online shopping accounts for 10% of total retail sales in the U.S., and this tendency will continue growing, which means that is it, in deed, a profitable industry. As to how much money it can generate, the answer is that it depends on the seller. There’s no guarantee of making money and likewise, there’s no limit on monthly incomes. The amount of money you make is summarized to your marketing capacity, customer service, products (quality, goods arriving in good condition) and so on.
After almost three decades since the creation of e-commerces in the world, it is plausible to believe that this is a well-explored and possibly saturated niche, but the growing rates show that it is not the case. The fact that consumer relations are constantly changing means that more and more entrepreneurs are interested in investing in the online market. For that reason, more opportunities arise not only seen by micro-entrepreneurs, but also by large companies. The giants of commerce perceived the advantages of expanding their market, so we found many stores known worldwide in the virtual world. So, when thinking about the competition, you need to bear in mind that your online store will compete with big brands. Does that mean that the competition is very strong? Yes, however, if you know how to direct your products to a specific audience, you can achieve success with your work. All in all, your success will depend on how much work you put into your store.
Nowadays, e-commerce is personal and engaging too. You have to take that in mind in order to exploit your business. The best way to do this is with niche markets, which is a group of people or companies that have certain needs, and have the will to satisfy them and economic capacity to acquire the services or goods necessary for it. Fixing yourself in a niche market means targeting a smaller percentage of the market, but that does not mean there will be less sales or income, you will actually achieve good results working in this way, as you will be guiding the production and operation towards these sectors of the population that demand a certain product. Obtaining the approval of a niche market, with identified consumers and with specific tastes, will serve to achieve public recognition. Once you obtain said public recognition, your business will undoubtedly grow and produce a good income.