More and more people are turning to online shopping because of its efficiency, convenience, and wide selection of products. During this time of COVID, it has the added benefit of not having to be outside and allowing individuals to keep safe with contactless shopping. According to Adobe’s 2021 Digital Economy Index, global e-commerce has hit US$876 billion in just the first three months of 2021. This figure is up by 38% year-on-year growth, demonstrating a clear sign that the booming e-commerce sector will only continue to rise.
With over 76 million active social media users in the Philippines, the growth potential for e-commerce is even higher. The International Trade Association pinpointed the Philippines as a fast-growing retail e-commerce market with one of the fastest-growing app markets in Southeast Asia. With such a prime environment for e-commerce, you can easily start your own e-commerce business. Here are six benefits of e-commerce and how you can start your own e-commerce business today.
Benefits of e-commerce
1. Flexibility and adaptability
Unlike a brick-and-mortar store where you have to take into account the physical space, cost, and time with every change and move, an e-commerce store grants owners a high level of flexibility and adaptability. Since the product display and marketing materials can be changed almost instantly, you can adapt quickly to the changing needs of your customer and the changing demands of the business environment, letting you stay on top of the market.
Additionally, the ability to work from anywhere and at any time means that you don’t have to invest as much time and money right from the get-go. Instead, you have the option to take it slow as you start your own e-commerce business.
2. Low operating costs
Rent along with utility and store supply costs of conventional retail outlets can sometimes add up and command a high cost, especially if the store is at a prime location. This can make it difficult to break even at the beginning when you are still growing your business. In contrast, with an e-commerce store, there is no need to pay for rent and some of the labor costs associated with having a physical store.
This minimizes physical operating costs leaving only the cost of logistics like storing of goods. Some of the operations can also be automated, making the overall day-to-day operating costs for e-commerce stores much lower than that of conventional stores.
3. Easy entrance to the market
Starting your own e-commerce business is relatively painless. With existing platforms like Carousell, most of the heavy lifting of opening a shop is already done. In just a few clicks, your e-commerce store is up and running. There is less reliance on the technicalities needed to set up a conventional online store i.e an individual website.
With the simple act of uploading a photo and easy organisation via category tags, your Carousell shop will look sharp and ready to go in no time. The chat function on Carousell also allows you to effortlessly communicate and engage with your customers.
4. Access to a big market
Easily gain access and reach a wide customer base with an e-commerce shop. Having an online shop means that shoppers are no longer limited to the physical location of your store. The idea is that if you can ship there, you can sell there. This means you can go beyond geographical boundaries, allowing your products to be available to consumers across the country, expanding your range of potential customers.
Another benefit of having an e-commerce shop is that once the shop is launched, it becomes available at all hours of the day, allowing an ongoing sale process any time of day.
Once you get the ball rolling, you may want to maintain the momentum and scale up your shop. With a conventional retail shop, that involves physically increasing the floor space or opening up a branch in a new location and may require months of planning. With an e-commerce shop, you just need more inventory and larger storage space, which is significantly cheaper and faster to do.
Instead, you can put your resources towards online marketing to promote your store. Set up digital advertising with the help of your e-commerce platform. Carousell offers Carousell Ads which are very easy to set up and effective in increasing sales.
6. Customer data
Perhaps, the most powerful benefit of having an e-commerce business is the ability to collect, measure, and act on data. The constant feedback loop of actionable insights, like consumer behavior and demographic data, can be very useful for e-commerce owners to refine their strategies.
By understanding your customers, you can optimize the consumer journey and market more effectively and accurately. Carousell makes it easy for owners to collect data. CarouBiz subscribers gain access to monthly business analytics and performance reports which provide an overview of the number of potential buyers reached, leads received, and more.
How to start an e-commerce business
Now that you know the benefits of starting an e-commerce business and understand how simple and quick it can be to start one, there’s nothing stopping you! Here is a quick guide on how to start an e-commerce business.
Choose an e-commerce platform: E-commerce platforms make it easy to launch or expand your own business. Find one that offers all-inclusive services that are user-friendly.
Do market research: How are your competitors pricing their products? What are they or similar businesses doing to expand their reach online? What kind of online marketing strategies are they applying? You can also ask yourself what your unique selling point is so that you can highlight it and take your business to the next level?
Determine logistics: Figure out the logistics and streamline the supply chain. Where are you getting your products? How are you going to store them? What is the method of transportation that will bring your products to your customers? You can source out different delivery partners to deliver across different regions.
Create a brand identity: Having a strong brand identity is how consumers are going to recognize and remember you. Pay attention to the consistency of the tone of voice for all your communication and product descriptions. Choose the right images to present your products and who you are as a brand.
Market your e-commerce business: Now that your shop is in working order, you can put your shop out there and market your business. Leverage the use of technology and take advantage of the services that your e-commerce platform provides.
Starting your own e-commerce business is easy with Carousell. With Carousell’s premium seller tools, you can curate your product offering, receive a monthly performance report with the Business Analytics tool, and more. Carousell Ads helps you drive traffic to your listings, grow your reach, and increase views, chats and sales. You can also browse Carousell Insights to learn how you can optimize your e-commerce shop. Get started now!