Starting an e-commerce business has never been easier than in 2020. Clearly, there have been a lot of strange occurrences this year, one of the big ones being the COVID19 pandemic. Because of the pandemic, most of the world was put into some sort of lockdown. Unfortunately, this had a huge impact on many country’s economies, including the United States. We have seen an unprecedented number of businesses forced to close down their brick-and-mortar stores because of the pandemic. Since the government temporarily closed many businesses, owners have been having a hard time finding a way to make ends meet.
Fortunately, e-commerce has barely any barrier of entry. The average American has some access to a phone, computer, or tablet, as well as a post office and packing supplies. With those boxes checked off, most people are already halfway to building their own e-commerce business. The crazy thing about e-commerce is that it exists for almost every segment of the market. In this day and age, you can just about buy anything online (hopefully not illegal things). This also means, on the flip side, that you can pretty much sell anything online if you’re able to find the right customers or niche market. After finding what product you are going to be selling, it’s important to be able to identify what kind of people look to buy this product. How do they think? What are some things that they might like to hear? What problems keep them up at night? It becomes easier to understand your target market when you can answer a few of these consumer questions.
Since the COVID lockdown, e-commerce businesses have blown up to an enormous scale. While there were many online retailers with a wide customer base before lockdown, this number has essentially doubled since the start of the pandemic. People who would normally go to small businesses or local stores to buy various products suddenly found themselves unable to visit their favorite stores to find products they love. This means that those people turned to the internet to find similar products from small businesses; however, these small businesses are now e-commerce businesses. The beautiful thing about e-commerce business is that it keeps overhead costs relatively low. No more worry about paying for rent, utilities, electricity, water, wifi, etc. The money that would normally be budgeted out for these things can be allocated to different parts of the business, like marketing and advertising. Or the money can simply go back into your own pocket.
One example of an e-commerce business is my mom, who makes and sells her own candles. She started out making candles as a hobby that would be gifts for family and friends. After she realized people would pay good money for them, she began to run her own little business through Facebook and other social media. She didn’t even have to worry about shipping out her product or buying packing supplies since her business was local and products were simply picked up from her house. Before she knew it, my mom already had her own e-commerce business up and running. Obviously, e-commerce is a super broad topic and doesn’t require the same steps or include the same factors for all businesses, but hopefully, you can see how possible it is for anyone to have their own business through the internet!