Author: Benjamin Lee
The internet may be the single greatest advantage that entrepreneurs of this generation have been granted with. From seamless connectivity to global communications, e-commerce has opened up a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs everywhere.
For the uninitiated, e-commerce is the act of conducting business activities online. With some creativity and plenty of hard work, e-commerce has enabled many entrepreneurs to get a head-start in business.
Join us as we take a look at 5 reasons why e-commerce has democratized the way we do business.
The creation of the digital storefront
In the past one had to physically visit a store to obtain goods and services. Now with the internet, goods and services can be bought with just a click of your mouse. From beauty products on Amazon to programmers and copywriters on Upwork, e-commerce has paved the way for a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Instead of a physical store, a digital storefront allows entrepreneurs to list and sell their products or services online. All of this without the need to invest in physical premises of any kind.
The elimination of geographical barriers
Back in ancient times, traders had to travel far and wide to visit their customers. Thanks to the invention of the internet, we are all connected to one another via the internet. This has enabled online business owners to reach out to a much larger target market, a global market to be precise. This is why nowadays you can, for example, gamble online and bet on sports, like horse racing, in your computer or phone, without needing to go to a physical casino or betting house.
For example, e-commerce sites like E-Bay connected buyers and sellers from all over the world. Coupled with the development of various payment service providers and international shipping, the entire world is literally your market.
Music and books; what was typically found in a physical medium has become digitized. With the advent of e-commerce; items such as music and books can be purchased online. This allows for literally instantaneous delivery of media. From e-books on your Kindle to Spotify, the age of instant gratification has now arrived.
Also, the rising popularity of streaming sites such as Netflix and Youtube have changed the face of entertainment. Viewers are now able to watch what they want, when they want it. With on-demand streaming, the medium of television was relegated into the background.
The rise of the gig-based economy
The gig-based economy or freelance industry is made up of independent workers filling up short-term positions in companies. From copywriting and design to programming, the gig-based economy has opened a world of opportunities for the hungry entrepreneurs.
Organizations looking to slash costs have turned to outsourcing selected jobs to freelancers. Usually, such tasks are part-time and can be conducted remotely hence negating the need for a physical staff presence.
The connectivity offered by the internet enables organizations to tap into a much wider talent pool. Now, anyone with some skill and an internet connection can start a profitable home business.
Allows business to be open 24/7
Unlike physical stores, digital stores operate 24/7, all-year round. This ensures that business are always open. In contrast, physical stores have operating hours and require a staff. This added convenience is a godsend for busy customers. With digital stores, there's no crowds and no fuss, all year round.
Alongside this, business owners will not need to pay extra costs related to employee salaries and overtime work.
The freedom and flexibility offered by the e-commerce industry has made it possible for anyone to start and run a successful business.
With internet connectivity and the availability of Smart devices on the rise, e-commerce is set for a global takeover.