E-commerce is “Huuuuuuuuuuuuuge!” There are close to a million online retailers on the Internet. These are not just the branch of a larger retail company like Wal-Mart or Best Buy; no, the vast majority of these are individuals looking to make a living and being their own boss, or they are startups looking to fill a need in an overlooked market. Entrepreneurship has exploded with improvements in technology and the reach of the Internet.
However, approximately 85% of these sites are not generating any real sales. They are just sitting there, the operators of these websites not taking their attempted businesses seriously and not making the effort to reach more customers or sell more products. Combine that with the fact that only 7% of all retail sales in just the US were made online, this means that there is an enormous potential for growth in this sector.
If you have considered opening your own e-commerce website, now is the time to jump into it. With a lot of hard work, the right products and pricing, target marketing and CRM efforts, and a little ingenuity, you can make your online store part of the 15% that are bringing in revenue, and here are some of the reasons why:
E-commerce generated $2.3 trillion for online retailers worldwide in 2017. That is a lot of money, and as mentioned above, this is not all going to the big box corporations and retail companies. This is going to the people who work to make their business successful. Even though 2018 numbers haven’t posted yet, the numbers are only expected to increase. By 2020, next year, e-commerce is estimated to draw in an astounding $3.9 trillion! Some of the reasons for this trend are as follows:
- Millennials prefer online shopping, and this is the largest generation online
- Convenience; 20% of shoppers report making purchases while in the bathroom
- Men are now spending more online, 28% more than their female counterparts
- Worldwide population is growing
- Availability; products and styles not sold in stores are readily available through e-commerce sites
Asian countries alone account for nearly 75% of the market share while the US held close to 20% of the world’s e-commerce sales. From this, we can see that Asian consumers are spending a lot of money on commodities, with South Korea being a major buyer of clothing and beauty products. The majority of Japanese buyers sought music and books through e-commerce websites. For America’s part, the largest amount of money spent on products sold through e-commerce was fashion, mostly shapewear and athleisure.
People are not just buying from local e-commerce sites. They are making online purchases on a global scale. China, with its population of 1.4 billion people, spent $672 billion in online buys. America, the next largest market for e-commerce, spent $340 billion — that’s $1 billion for every person in the country! Not all of these purchases are within their own borders. If the price is right and there is a demand for the product being sold, people will buy from e-commerce retailers all over the world.
Unavailability of Products
While selling items such as lipsticks or earbuds doesn’t make sense from a shipping perspective, global e-commerce can be essential for obtaining products not available within a certain country. For example; some animé series and movies are ported over from Japan and dubbed or subtitled in English for American viewers. Not all animé is available outside of Japan, however, so someone in the US would have to order from a Japanese seller to acquire a particular DVD set or movie.
Take Advantage of Unavailability
The above is especially true in the case of baby products and travel equipment. Tommee Tippee is a popular brand of baby bottles found primarily in the United Kingdom. The demand for the British brand has only recently led it to cross the pond and reach American Stores. British e-commerce sites specializing in baby products can make a lot of money selling to American consumers. On the reverse, American online stores can generate a high amount of revenue by selling products not found elsewhere. Peanut butter is one such commodity. American retailers can make a lot of money selling this popular spread all over the world.
B2B is Booming
Online selling between retailer and consumer has steadily grown over the years, but what about businesses selling to other businesses? B2B e-commerce has skyrocketed over B2C by nearly 235%! The revenue online wholesalers and retailers took in from business-initiated orders exceeded the $7 trillion mark, tripling the amount B2C generated in 2017! If you can start up your own e-commerce operation, and you have the knowledge of what products businesses require, then this is the field for you to get into!
Now is the time to get into e-commerce. The field is only expected to grow exponentially over the next 20 years, bringing in as much as $10 trillion globally by some projections. As it does, new markets will open up, giving your online store the opportunity to grow and continue prospering over the years. Find your customer, find your niche, find your USP (unique selling point) and get started earning your portion of those trillions of dollars!