The year 2020 redefined a ‘new normal’ for us. Within three months of its beginning, the world was hit by the pandemic and our lives turned upside down. We are sure that you have already read a lot of articles and journals about how lockdown brought crisis globally with people adapting to this new lifestyle, losing their jobs, and many startups being shelved within a few months. Needless to say that people are still struggling with the impact of COVID-19 both personally and professionally. Many of them are stuck with a lot of time in their hands and have no idea how to proceed further. Well, we would say enough of being stressed and depressed. It’s time to get over all the news stating negative effects and problems faced by business entrepreneurs and startups around the world. Now, it’s your chance to turn this crisis into a golden opportunity and make the best out of the situation.
Yes, for all those who were planning to start their own business, especially e-commerce websites, now is the time to try your hands in the industry. Of course, many of you are thinking “Should we materialize our e-commerce business idea now or wait for the next year?” or “ IS this really the best time for my e-commerce website development?” Trust us, we hear you, loud and clear. We also completely understand your dilemma and confusion. However, in answer to your question, we would say “Why shouldn’t you start your online business now?” “Why 2020 is not the right time to launch your e-commerce store?” Let’s go back a few years back or the last recession we all faced. That was the time when we got some of the biggest online brands. WhatsApp, Uber. Instagram, Slack, Square, and more were created during a recession and we need not mention the success they all have achieved.
If you analyze the situation and look at the statistics, you will realize that despite the economic crisis, layoffs, and business shut down, many entrepreneurs used the time to introduce their online shopping portals. In fact, out of more than 700, 000 startups launched in the last year, only 2-4% opted to abandon their business and almost 22% have scaled up their companies. Yes, success demands scalability, flexibility, functionality of your product or service, and your capability to meet your clients’ evolving needs, preferences, and habits. If you have a passion to serve customers combined with innovation and the right strategy, rest assured that you can get the best out of this pandemic too. We can say this because according to a recent survey more and more people in America are actively working to become entrepreneurs.
Now, getting straight to the point, we have compiled a list of 8 factors required to launch a successful e-commerce business and how the year 2020 justifies all of them. So, let’s have a look:
Access to Funds
This is an obvious consideration for anyone who is planning to start a business. You need to evaluate your financial situation and options to raise funds before you start your online business. Every aspect to kickstart your online store would require a regular flow of funds starting from the initial costs, such as seeking an e-commerce application development solution, hiring a professional to market your platform, buying a domain name, employing a workforce, and whatnot. You will have to incur expenses at every step. Moreover, running even a small online business without any hindrance needs smooth cash flow. You will also buy products to display on your website or app if you are not drop shipping. Don’t forget about promotion and marketing that includes paid marketing. So, it is clear that you must know where to raise this investment because a lack of initial capital can be a huge stumbling block.
The good news is that the current scenario has made this task a bit easier. Yes, contrary to assumptions, the uncertainties have created a favorable environment to get funds through various sources. There is also an option of crowdfunding that enables you to seek financial assistance through pre-sales of products and also get investors. Adding more to the benefit are low-interest rates, making loans affordable for many small online store owners. And, we cannot ignore those tech and business savvy investors who are always looking for great ideas and use a downturn as an opportunity to get higher returns by investing in cash-strapped startups.
Time to Commit
True Fact – Business needs your time commitment and dedication without any compromise. It’s a seven-day job where you even work for 24 hours without a break to finally turn your vision into reality and establish a well-known brand name. Put simply, there is a journey you go through to finally reach your goals. Especially in the beginning, when you want your e-commerce business to work and take your online store to places, you must put in your time and energy. This is because there is a lot to do in the initial stage when you lack enough workforce and team. To meet the demands of eager shoppers, you must invest long hours. Of course, with a job or a smooth career, you hardly left with enough time to even think or strategize about your online business let alone launch it. However, with pandemic hitting every country and person, many of you young aspiring entrepreneurs have much time to turn your vision into a proper business. We agree that everyone has a personal situation but if you are passionate about your e-commerce business, we would suggest you make the best of this chance and give it a try. You are working from home and this gives you ample time to do research and execute your lifelong dream.
Threats & Risks
Businesses are prone to threats and failures. Putting all your efforts and money into one place is a risky affair, especially when you have no idea what the future holds in store for you. There are many e-commerce stores already in the market and making a significance among them is not assured. But honestly, even your job doesn’t come with a guarantee. You cannot find a company that can ensure you a job for another 25-30 years and takes care of you while you work day in and day out for them. There is no surety in employment as well. And what’s a better example of this than the current situation. It’s no news that many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and are now looking for another opportunity. Have any of you faced this situation? So, why not take control in your hands and be your own boss? Being scared to be replaced at any time is far riskier than starting your company where you take all the decisions. Yes, you need expert advice and assistance and that is where e-commerce and retail consulting service will come to your rescue. They will analyze all the risks and threats, identifying the best opportunities, and pave the most appropriate path for you.
A sad but true fact is that many people are out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them are extremely talented and can be a valuable asset for your business. Yes, we are indicating toward turning this crisis into good news for you by acquiring top talent for your newly launched business. During normal situations, hiring professionals for an online shopping business would cost a fortune for startups. You either had to compromise on the quality of the talent or strain your budget to have them in your team. But this crisis has turned the table in your favor. Now, you can have freelancers working for you at the economical price. They are the best flexible resource during this recession and can add value to your startup. Also, people have now adapted to remote working so there is no need to rent a big office initially and you can run the online business from home.
Innovation & Idea
The saying “Necessity is the mother of invention” cannot be more true than this current scenario. With fierce competition in online shopping platforms, you must come up with something unique and innovative to grab user attention. There are already some of the biggest brands delivering almost every product and service to users, such as Amazon, Flipkart, and various other portals. So, why will consumers prefer you over those renowned brands? Well, because you will provide them solutions to the problems created due to the pandemic. If you look at the statistics and data, you can see that Corona has caused some specific set of problems. People now prefer staying at home and ordering online for every basic product or service. So, small businesses and startups can fill these gaps left by large enterprises as they are more agile and flexible. There are many online stores that respond to the situation instantly and start delivering gloves, sanitizers, healthcare services, etc., as soon as the pandemic hits us. Quite exemplary, right?
Trends & Preferences
Before you start any business, you must review the current market trends, consumer behavior, tastes, and preferences. E-commerce business is no exception and looking at the stats, we are certain that online shopping is booming right now. In fact, online consumption of products is more than ever. This is because people still have the same demands and needs even though they cannot go out frequently. So, online shopping stores are their saviors, delivering all the essentials at their doorstep. Hence, industries, businesses, technology changed with the instant surge in digital shopping patterns. With no signs of the pandemic coming to end in the near future, you can be assured that e-commerce will emerge as the new normal for a shopping experience. Moreover, people are trying new brands while letting go of delayed shipping time as they understand the pressure businesses are facing due to increased demands. Just a simple tip- focus on the products or services that potential customers are more likely to purchase online as you can capitalize on the trending goods and services by adding them to your store. You may consider visiting Shiply to find more shipping options from thousands of companies suitable to your business.
Let’s look at some numbers:
After reading how COVID-19 pandemic is a favorable time to start your e-commerce business despite the global crisis, here are some statistics that will give a better reality check. Yes, if you are still not encouraged to launch your startup, then these numbers will definitely raise your spirits:
As per Deloitte reports, e-commerce growth in May was almost 68% which is more than 40% of the total retail sales with the convenience stores category seeing the largest growth. Grocery covered 11% of the total pandemic-driven sales and medicines & drugs witnessed 5% growth.
Due to the click and collect approach in e-commerce platforms that allows consumers to buy without any or little human contact, the experts believe that the online sales will estimate over $58 billion which is 60% rather than the initial forecast of 38% growth.
The 2020 US e-commerce forecast of 18% shows a significant increase in both digital buyers and average per buyer spending. Out of the total estimated new customers joining online shopping trends, more than 12% includes those above the age of 65.
Summing It Up!
Now you have all the facts and information you need to consider before starting your online business. So, the decision is yours. However, we would say that if you will keep on waiting for the perfect moment to launch your startup, you will never get one. So, go for it without waiting for another day. All the best!