September 6, 2018
Were you aware that more than 1.6 billion consumers purchased at least one product online in 2017 alone (1)? 2018 is set to represent an even more stellar year in regards to the world of e-commerce. This sector is rapidly advancing and there are now more opportunities than ever before to take advantage of its numerous benefits. In fact, many students are considering a career in online sales due to this lucrative and flexible nature. Let’s take a look at what the future may have in store as well as some of the best ways to enter into this promising industry.
Understanding the Present to Appreciate the Future
Electronic commerce is nothing new. You might be surprised to learn that the first “official” transaction between two individuals occurred as far back as 1994 when the concept was still in its infancy. Online sales truly began to gain ground with the introduction of virtual auction sites such as eBay and Amazon. However, we began to notice a slight paradigm shift during the early 2000s.
Individuals wanted to sell their products without the use (or the associated fees) of a virtual middleman. Thus, the concept of the bespoke web store was essentially born. There are now millions of websites which promote specific items and services. What can we deduce from this trend? There are a few takeaway points to keep in mind:
- Consumers are looking for fast and efficient ways to be connected with specific products.
- User-friendly ecommerce platforms are now beginning to dominate the market.
- Mobile-responsive architecture is critical to those who wish to reach a larger target audience.
Although the e-commerce market is rapidly expanding, the needs and desires of the average consumer are beginning to narrow down into very discrete categories. This brings us to the next major point.
Targeting the Right People at the Right Times
Students and young adults who hope to gain a foothold within this burgeoning sector need to adopt the correct approach. This is when the power of dedicated e-commerce software comes into play. Generic options and a one-size-fits-all mentality will cost a significant amount of effort, time and (most importantly) money. A “smart” approach therefore needs to be adopted. Modern software providers such as Shopify provide the budding entrepreneur with several notable advantages. These include (but are certainly not limited to):
- The ability to choose from more than 100 unique templates.
- Drop-and-drag functionality (no coding experience is needed).
- Real-time sales and inventory tracking.
- Branded POS (point of sale) systems.
- Resources to incorporate and analyze social media campaigns.
So, much of the guesswork has been taken out of the picture. As opposed to focusing on more technical issues, it is much easier to begin selling a product to an intended audience without delay. The world of e-commerce is only gaining momentum. If you are hoping to break into this exciting environment, there is arguably no better time than the present.