Ecommerce: 5 Things You Need To Know
Huffington Post, May 23rd, 2012
How important is ecommerce to your business? According to reports from comScore, online sales hit $38 billion in the first quarter of 2011, up 12 percent from the same period in 2010; by the third quarter, sales had already risen to $48 billion. And the notoriously big-spending holiday season broke records this past November/December. On Cyber Monday in 2011, online shoppers spent a record-breaking $1.25 billion. By 2015, annual ecommerce sales are projected to hit $278.9 billion.
The ecommerce barrier to entry continues to get lower as more tools pop up to help even the most tech-aversive entrepreneurs go digital. “Almost anybody can set up an online store,” says Mark Hayes, head of marketing and public relations at Shopify, which helps business owners establish their own online stores. “You don’t need to raise capital or hire expensive designers and programmers. You can literally go from concept to commerce in just a few minutes for almost no money and with no technical background. It’s called the ‘democratization of ecommerce,’ whereby what used to cost thousands of dollars and take months of preparation is now more of an afterthought to the development of a product or service. This allows entrepreneurs to focus on doing what they do best and not worry about the complications of ecommerce.”
Hayes says that business owners can no longer afford to ignore the myriad benefits of selling online. “With an ecommerce store, your business is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You don’t pay rent or the salaries of sales associates. You don’t have any geographical limitations that restrict your customer base, which means you can sell to any country in the world, any time zone and in any language. Also, with shipping companies like ShipWire and Amazon Fulfillment you don’t need to worry about storing or shipping your product. You can automate nearly every aspect of the business.”
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