So, we're heading into 2018 - how quick did 2017 go, by the way?! The New Year tends to bring along hope, inspiration and a determination to achieve new goals. This blog will help provide some tips and inspiration to start your own eCommerce business in 2018!
eCommerce is where it's all happening!
Growth. The big G. eCommerce sales have been steadily growing year on year and 2018 is expected to grow further! U.S. online sales are projected to increase 15.4% from $459.07 bn [£354.20 bn] to $529.76 bn [£408.74 bn] in 2018 (+15.4%) (Retail Research 2017). That makes pretty healthy reading and it's clear to see why. There are so many benefits that come with eCommerce:
Scalable - eCommerce platforms can grow to meet your business needs. Starting off with a small selection of products and planning on increasing this over time? No problem, eCommerce is scalable and allows your store to grow as your business expands with no disruption in service as hosting and bandwidth is all handled by your provider. A lot of people start off their journey dropshipping and then buy products to sell directly, this is easily achievable with eCommerce.
Convenience - eCommerce is becoming embedded in our society due to the convenience. Long gone are the days of queuing in the pouring rain for those Black Friday deals - most now prefer to sit in front of the fireplace and order their bargains at the click of a button. Time's have changed where consumers were worried about online safety, there are lots of security measures (like SSL protected stores) and secure payment merchants (PayPal, Stripe) that make online shopping just as safe as offline shopping!
Increased Reach and Targetting - by integrating and utilizing social media into your eCommerce strategy. Facebook has 2.07 billion monthly active users in the third quarter in 2017 (Facebook, 2017). You can integrate your shop with Facebook and connect your store to your social media channels to drive even more traffic. It's an extremely cost-effective way of promoting your products. We wrote a blog article about the benefits of Facebook marketing.
Turn dreams into reality
Follow in the footsteps of some successful store owners who made 2017 their year; become your own boss and start reaping the rewards! Listen to a selection of the inspirational stories, each with a unique reason why owning and operating an eCommerce platform has changed their lives.
Gina (Tinkerbell Boutique) started her business from her conservatory and her eCommerce store. The success had led her to open up her very own boutique in the heart of her city. Have a watch of her story below:
Sonja (sonjaelisa.com) was fed up with corporate life. Sonja had always wanted to start her own business when an opportunistic moment presented itself. She now operates a successful silk accessories business, her products within outlets across Barcelona and, of course, her very own eCommerce store:
Scout (Ti-Springs) turned his passion, which is mountain biking, into an extremely successful online business, with world champions promoting and using his products. Having an online store provides freedom which allows Scout to work from anywhere he wants:
Easy to use and low overheads!
It doesn’t need to cost the world to start you’re own online business - there are even free options available at freewebstore, with customers earning thousands without ever forking out. Additionally, eCommerce is so easy to use - freewebstore's mantra of 'eCommerce for everyone' allows anyone of any ability the chance to operate an online store. ECommerce platforms provide all the tools that you need to run an online business, from SEO tools to marketing integrations - all at your fingertip.
That brings us to the new control panel we're releasing early next year. The freewebstore developers and design team have been working tirelessly researching, implementing and developing our control panel to help improve your store management and make things even easier.
For those freewebstore users out there, some of the highlights you can find with our new control panel include:
- Powerful Search Feature
- New, slick design - making it easy to navigate
- Drag and drop features
- Compatible with all mobile devices and;
- Extra fast loading times
It's all about the customers!
Over 80% of people in the UK with Internet access made a purchase online in 2017 (Eurostat) - that's an impressive number. 'Brick and mortar' shopping is still very much alive, as seen in this article, but eCommerce provides convenience for your consumer (as mentioned before) as well as more possibilities for you - allowing for sales when offline shopping is not available.
Additionally, eCommerce platforms and improving technology can help you build real-time data/analytics on your products and your customers. You can easily see the demographics of your store visitors, how they interact with your products see how people interact with the site, what products interest them, abandoned cart data (allowing you to retrieve lost sales) amongst other things. This kind of information can help you, the store owner, become more educated on your consumers to allow a more tailored approach.