When Cyber Monday sales hit $1.46 billion in 2012 and then in 2013, hitting $2.27 billion with a projected $3.03 in 2014, you know that online retail is definitely on the rise (BizReport). Peter DeCaprio says, If your small business isn’t so good at being cyber or mobile-savvy, you may have to get hip to eCommerce trends right about now…
Before we get into the meat of this article, I’d like to point out some things:
1) This article does not go over all aspects of starting an eCommerce site/business from scratch; it is more of a reference for entrepreneurs who have started their own e-commerce stores but are doing poorly and need ideas of what they did wrong + how to improve their sales
2) This article mainly talks about small businesses, but some sites are said to have larger plans for the future.
3) You may want to print this out so you can refer to it at any time while you read this article.
What is an Ecommerce site?
An online storefront where products are displayed + customers can purchase them right then and there on your website explains Peter DeCaprio. No need to get up from the computer, get in the car, drive to a store, buy it there, get back in the car, and go home! All of that hassle is eliminated with buying online, which is why people are more inclined not only for convenience’s sake but also because they can find many items at lower prices than brick & mortar stores online (EcommerceBytes).
Why is Ecommerce taking off now?
– Because the internet has become more widely used over the past 20 years. It’s nearly impossible to find someone who hasn’t heard of it.
– Mobile phones have made it possible to shop on your phone or tablet wherever you are, even if you’re out and about. Nowadays go into a store, couldn’t find what you were looking for, decide to go onto your phone/tablet and order it right then so you don’t have to leave the store empty-handed… Sound familiar?
– People are also buying less online because they want to physically see/touch/feel the product before they buy it hence why brick & mortar shopping is still popular.
How are small business owners taking advantage of Ecommerce?
– Big businesses are usually the ones that have the money to spend to better optimize their sites for mobile devices, do SEO work on them and advertise. It’s harder for smaller businesses to compete with bigger companies when it comes to marketing/advertising so they don’t even bother trying… They just create an account on Amazon or eBay, list whatever products they want to sell + through Amazon FBA or eBay’s EasySell program, Amazon will take care of all the shipping + handling!
– Some entrepreneurs opt-out of this Amazon FBA / eBay EasySell route because they want more control over how their store looks, what payment methods are used etc… Instead of using those two platforms, they learn how to code from scratch and build their own e-commerce site/platform.
– And because of the ease of using Amazon FBA or eBay EasySell. There are more competing businesses that have popped up everywhere! Right now it’s not a lot of work for entrepreneurs. To find the products they want to sell + then list them on either Amazon or eBay.
Does Ecommerce actually benefit consumers?
– Yes it definitely does! It gives customers more options for shopping online at lower prices than brick & mortar stores. You don’t have to stand under fluorescent lights or ask an employee where something is located… You can shop from your home in pajamas if you want. 24 hours a day 7 days a week says Peter DeCaprio. Also, you can find items online that can’t be found anywhere else or on Amazon/eBay and it’s all at your fingertips!
– Unfortunately though, there are negative aspects to Ecommerce as well:
1) Because we live in a world where everything is so readily available and accessible. People never truly appreciate what they have until it’s gone. This rule applies even more now because of the increase in online shopping. People never learn how to budget for something because it’s always easily replaceable. If you go into any home or apartment right now, chances are the majority of the decor is from IKEA. Possible which means there’s a possibility that products can be delivered to your doorstep within an hour…? So not only does this affect brick & mortar stores. By putting them out of business (hello online shopping paradise). But now they’re having to compete with these large companies like Amazon that have deep pockets.
2) It’s easier than ever to sell things online. Because anyone can go on eBay or Amazon and create an account without any training whatsoever!
Peter DeCaprio says, if we take advantage of these conveniences. Those are available online and buy things impulsively without thinking about them first. We’re much more likely to go into debt. So take advantage of eCommerce by researching before you buy, save up for the things you want. Instead of spending your money on impulse buys, and hold onto what you’ve already purchased longer.