Pro’s and con’s of starting your business as an e-commerce business

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E-Commerce continues to grow with users in the UK expected to grow to 54.3m by 2002, and of course, higher in the US and Japan.

This way of selling goods and services is open to anyone and everyone who can grasp the basics of marketing online and offers an alternative outlet for a traditional brick-and-mortar business.

In fact, our business, Jinitto is a purely online business and we are very happy with this approach!  It allows us to connect with expert advisors and customers from all over the world.

If you are thinking of starting an online business, what should you know?

The advantages of running your business online:

There are a dozen reasons why you should launch your business online, but there are several advantages which are common to both service and product businesses.

  • Lower overhead costs

For a bricks-and-mortar business, a good proportion of their incoming cash is spent on keeping their doors open.  From business rents and rates, insurance, staffing and visual signage to attract customers, their costs add up quickly, erode into profit margins and most likely drive up the prices in the process for their customers.  Being online, you do not have all these costs, so you can sell at a lower, more competitive price.

  • Ability to collect data from your customers

The data you can gather about your online shoppers are powerful and extensive.  You must comply to the new GDPR rules, of course, but the customer intelligence and analytical data you can gain will offer you some great opportunities.  It will enable you to build a very detailed portrait of your current audience. Collected data will guide you to decide upon which future products you should stock, or which services are more popular than others.  It will guide your online advertising strategy by showing you which type of advertisements and landing pages work best.

  • Ability to contact anyone, anywhere in the world

With an online business, your reach is far greater than a traditional shop or office. It’s pretty much unlimited compared to the locality limits for a bricks-and-mortar business.  It is possible to handle international sales and extend your target market quickly from hundreds, to thousands, to millions.

  • Capability to adapt quickly

An online business can adapt much more rapidly to market needs than a traditional one and without much upheaval or cost.

For instance, you might find most of your customers are based overseas.  Paying for your goods by card might be difficult for them.  However, platforms such as PayPal allow them to pay where ever they are based, comfortably, quickly and easily. You can collect funds just as rapidly and efficiently from your account.

We’ve all been to the buy a pair of jeans from the high street, found the style and colour we like, only to find our size is not in.  We’ve also all just gone online after our trip to the shops and ordered what we want.  This ability to move straight from high street to online works to the advantage of an e-commerce business.  Shops will still offer the experience of looking and touching goods, but online stores offer the ability to find exactly what you want, potentially customised, delivered to your home and at a price you want.

What should you watch out for?

With any business, it’s not all plain sailing.  Internet businesses are notorious for failing for a number of good reasons.

  • Lack of trust and credibility

When you go into a shop or office, you instantly have a level of trust and credibility and you will feel more comfortable to spend your money.

Credibility can be an issue with many online businesses as it is challenging to prove they are trustworthy and legitimate, particularly when scaling up or when very small.

  • Lack of people!

Of course, e-commerce businesses start for all the good reasons above, so they tend to be lean businesses, particularly if they are in a price-sensitive market.  This can work against them if they do not have enough people to deal with customer interactions.  They tend to resort to email, chat support or on occasion bogged-down phone support. People sometimes just need to talk to people, and that need can work against an online business.

  • Competitors

Online, as much as your customers can come from anywhere in the world, so can your competitors.  Instead of just a couple of local competitors, you might have with a high street business, online you will find you have hundreds.  It can make market penetration difficult if your marketplace is already saturated.

Making the most of your online business

We live in a world that business people of the past could not have dreamed of.  Anyone can launch their business from their kitchen table and expand it into a full-time, highly successful company without ever leaving the room.

You do need to be realistic, and you do need to know where you need help and advice from experts.  You need to be aware that you cannot do everything, understand every change you need to make to stay at the top of your tree.  However, you have an unlimited ability to connect with an expert who can help you.  Whether you need a graphic designer, a business guru, a copywriter or a website wizard, you can find them quickly and simply.

The quickest and most straightforward way is to connect with an expert via the Jinitto App.  We have experts on tap who can talk to you via your smartphone at a time you need and at a cost you will like!


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