For years, you have resisted the temptation of turning your business to the online mode. While the examples of turning a small business running from a brick and mortar store into massive success are too many, you thought it to be too complex, cumbersome and full of challenges. Since you know so little about the technologies that make the web, you always are shown the idea of a warm adieu. After all, your business was always running as usual.
But these days the drop in sales seems to be more frequent than earlier. This off-season seems to be more punishing on your business than just a couple of years ago. Never you had such a lazy peak season as you are experiencing now. So, you are really considering online presence as a viable alternative to revive your business. Is this the most opportune time? Haven’t you already missed the flight of online success?
Before the weight of such questions once again takes away your decisive will, let’s explain why 2020 is actually the best time to start an online business. Let us explain some of the most credible reasons.
1) Thriving Web Population
As of last January, there were 4.388 billion active web users around the world, as reported by Statista. This is more than the number of people in the whole world. At least half of the households now have at least have one or multiple internet connections. The latest growth of on-demand business apps is an outcome of this.
On the other hand, still, 45% of people are knocking at the door to remain connected online. So, besides a thriving online population, millions of people for the first time are coming online.
Among the existing online population, only a minority is actually habituated with online purchases and orders. The people who are yet to become online any time soon will be a fresh market for e-commerce ventures and businesses across the niches. These together make the most opportune online audience that new e-commerce businesses can target.
2) Consumption of Online Content Is Higher Than Ever
Whether it is the digital content on social issues or chat messaging with distant friends or social media campaigns or simply finding the best purchases in online furniture stores, the online content rich with information, advice, explanations, recommendations, and insights is continuing to shape online behavior, opinion and actual actions like purchases.
The exponential growth of online content in volume, variety, and vividness created more engagement opportunities for businesses than ever before. If you are a new online business, simply by providing unique and engaging content to your target audience you can enjoy popularity and make a dominating brand presence.
Irrespective of the business you are in or the niche you represent, your customers are mostly supposed to search for answers online as an increasing number of people find online purchases and interactions more convenient than ever before. The increasing number of people rely on online reviews for making a purchase decision.
Last but not least of the impetus is provided by the search engine. The leading search engines including Google are increasingly getting smarter to accommodate people’s search intent and context when ranking content or listing businesses. This is creating more opportunities for the new and startups and ensuring a level-playing field for businesses of multiple sizes and brand value.
3) Ensuring Unmatched Scalability
In the world’s major cities and commercial hubs, the real estate prices are soaring high and for the new businesses and startups, the crunching resources and soaring prices continue to make big obstacles. This is when the online business opportunity opens up with a comprehensive solution. Compared to establishing an offline brick and mortar store, often starting an online business with a business website is way cheaper as an option.
While the first is less scalable and capital intensive, the online business can just start with a simple website and grow up to a big e-commerce business with operations spread all over the world. Many big e-commerce stores of today just started as a small online venture and over the years scaled up as the business continued to grow and flourish.
As the online audience for a business is spread across all over the globe and doesn’t have the constraint of location and timing, it can easily get popular with little effort if the products and services can connect to the right audience who really need them. Local products and innovative goods produced in different parts of the globe can just be popular among the audience in faraway places.
With an online business website, you don’t need to pump in huge amounts of money at the very beginning. You can just have a working website in the beginning and develop it further and add more features and functions over time. You can gradually allocate more budget as the business grows.
4) Unmatched Flexibility and Freedom
The freedom and flexibility is a great selling point that makes many offline businesses convinced. The ease of controlling businesses and remaining informed about the business process without budging around the feet is a great advantage that makes businesses choose an online platform.
Thanks to the super-fast connectivity, real-time technologies, and advanced communication systems, the difference between the online and offline business are decreasing at a rapid pace and so-called offline business operations are also finding online platforms more helpful. The entrepreneur of an online business can just take care of his operation while working on a laptop sitting in a cafe. This is also creating a more flexible, free and least stressful environment for the employees and management while always ensuring optimum productivity.
5) Highly Cost Competitive
For every brick and mortar store, there are several unavoidable cost factors. From maintenance and overhead cost to store employees to real estate prices to lease commitments, there are plenty of costs involved in offline business operation.
In complete contrast, online businesses have the least requirements of inventory and stocks, maintenance tasks, employees and financial risk factors.
When running an online business, you can actually make products available for delivery after the customers place orders. This provides the flexibility and ease of maintaining stocks. Instead of keeping stock of each and every product variation, an online business can make products available as and when orders are placed. This flexibility down the line reduces procurement cost, shipping cost and maintenance cost for the business. Moreover, the online business model does away with most of the overhead costs.
6) Become Big Brand Without So Big Operation
Online business creates a level playing field for both big brands and small businesses. In fact, without having a big brand image a small startup only on the merit of content and unique product offering can generate huge interest and in a small span of time can really become a success.
There have been several crowdfunded unique products and offerings that in the last few years just became a global success starting as a small startup. By establishing credibility a small business can actually lift its brand image and can be seen among the top options for the buyers.
7) Online Business Suits Particularly Unique Products
Any business having a unique product or service in mind can only thrive when it can reach its target audience at a faster pace. Online business helps a business reach the target audience all over the globe at a quicker pace.
Some companies purely thrive on the differences between cultures and ethnicities. For instance, a native Colombian bag produced from local raw materials can become popular as a fashionable item in faraway countries. Now, while traditional business channels will take months of time and a huge investment to reach a global audience, an e-commerce website and online marketing can quickly generate traction.
8) Smarter Business With a Lot of Alternatives
First of all, online business is a smarter business. Secondly, the online platform allows for unparalleled opportunities and avenues to generate revenues with little stakes. Since it is the digital presentation of your business and cool features that will represent your business and allow customers to interact, you can completely avoid the risks of physical storefronts, inventory, and several other overhead costs.
Online businesses at different stages can embrace different marketing techniques to reach out to the audience. You can just start with content marketing with expert-written content and create a niche presence on the search engine ranks and gradually can promote your business.
The best thing about online business is that you have a plethora of business models at your disposal. Besides selling all traditional products and services, you can also take advantage of innovative online business models. As an aggregator of different services, you can provide multiple services to people and generate revenue through that.
Similarly, without really producing products, you can have a dropshipping business with little investment. From content marketing to e-learning to online guide to e-commerce to development services, there are all sorts of business options for different creativity and expertise level.
9) Sharpen Your Skills Online
Not all business aspirants have the same level of skills and expertise. Based on your intent, business interest, and aspiration you can choose business niches and can further sharpen your skills and expertise online. For every niche, you have several great training and knowledge platforms.
The e-learning websites, curriculums and platforms like Udemy, edX, etc can help you strengthen your skills and fine-tune your expertise level to start a business. For example, if you have an offline store selling interior decoration service, training on virtual reality and augmented reality can help you incorporate innovation to present your services in a more engaging manner.
When it is already established by various studies that lack skills and expertise make many businesses suffer from achieving growth, it is of utmost importance to do away with this negative impact by availing online training at different levels. For example, just when you need to look for investment, a crash course on crowdfunding and angel investors can be immensely helpful. Online business always allows you to develop your skills as you grow and face new challenges.
10) Faster and Secure Online Payments
Finally, when it comes to payment, online businesses enjoy the advantage of fast-paced and secure payment processing. Since it is extremely important for a business to help customers pay for the purchases effortlessly, this remains a crucial consideration for every offline and online business.
Unlike the offline business that mostly depends on limited payment methods, an online store can accept customer payments through numerous gateways and methods as it suits to the customers. From allowing customers to avail wallet apps, net banking, credit and debit cards and services like PayPal, several online businesses increasingly offer Cash on Delivery option.
Since an increasing number of business transactions depend on online payment methods, turning to the online platform even became a lucrative option for traditional offline businesses. It has been established that easier and effortless transactions help to fuel growth and encouraging businesses in online sales. Faster connectivity and rapid growth of credible and reliable payment gateways like Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayTM and the likes are working as a boost for online businesses more than ever before. So, as far as online businesses are concerned online payment allows easier payment processing than earlier.
From the above-mentioned discussion, it is clear that starting an online business is now way easier than ever before. You have loads of business opportunities and business avenues to take on the online business opportunity. Almost every condition for a successful business is now present to fulfill your online business aspiration.
Whether you have already a traditional business or are starting a new business, an online store or a web portal can be the best way to put your efforts to produce a faster and comprehensive business outcome.