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The Pros & Cons of E-Commerce

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When you’re looking for a side hustle (especially one with the potential to be lucrative), e-Commerce is one of the best markets you can choose.

Currently booming, the e-Commerce industry is continuously growing at an astounding rate.

woman typing on keyboard

You don’t need a lot to get started and there are a lot of opportunities, no matter what you’re into.

Let’s dive into:

  • what e-commerce is and what it involves
  • the pros and cons
  • how to get started

What e-Commerce is & what's involved

Electronic Commerce (e-Commerce) is the term used to describe online buying and selling. It typically refers to physical goods like clothing, mugs, jewelry, etc.

However, it also includes other types of online transactions, such as services offered through the internet (like Virtual Assisting). 

You can sell all kinds of products and services in this type of business.

You can also either set up your own website to sell your goods or set up a shop on an already established platform like Shopify, Ebay or Etsy.

what are the pros & cons?

Like any type of career, it’s important to understand the pros and cons before deciding if e-Commerce is right for you.

the Pros

The main benefits of e-Commerce include:

  • easy to get into
  • potential to make a lot of money
  • offer goods locally or internationally
  • affordable to set up and get started

You’ll find e-Commerce is one of the easiest side hustles to set up.

Start by setting up a store on an already established platform. You’ll also find everything you need, such as suppliers, online with a simple search. 

The e-Commerce industry is booming right now, and it shows no signs of slowing down. This can also a career opportunity which enables you to earn a significant amount of money for a long time to come.

It is up to you whether you sell locally or want to expand internationally. While this gives you access to millions of potential customers across the globe, you are going to have to keep money in the back of your mind. Make sure the platform you choose takes care of taxes and exchange rates for you. 

Plus, there is the added advantage that set-up is affordable, as starting an e-Commerce store is much more financially doable than setting up a physical store. 

the cons

The main disadvantages of e-Commerce include:

  • very high competition
  • always a risk of fraudulent transactions
  • any shop downtime can be costly

You’ll find a lot of competition in e-Commerce.

You’re going to have to ensure you offer competitive pricing and that your products are different from your competitors, even if just slightly. 

You need to be aware of fraudulent transactions. Fraudsters commonly try to steal from businesses through chargebacks. Make sure you do all your research with the platforms you are with so you protect yourself. 

You also run the risk that even a few minutes of downtime for the business, could result in a loss of a lot of sales. Use sites like Shopify and Etsy that don’t have a history of frequent downtime. 

So, after seeing some pros and cons, do you think e-Commerce might be right for you?

If so, keep reading. 

how to get started

“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Okay yeah. I just dated myself.. but the sentiment is the same.

How do you get started in e-Commerce?

Research. Research. Research. 

So if you do decide e-Commerce is the right-side hustle for you, it’s important to research as much as you can:

  • What types of products that are currently in demand?
  • How do suppliers compare to each other (price, availability, quality)? 
  • What laws and regulations cover the e-Commerce sector?

It’s best to start by opening up a shop on an established platform:

  • Shopify
  • Etsy
  • Ebay
  • Amazon marketplace

Will you be storing and shipping products yourself? You will need to research the cost of that too. 

If not, Amazon might be a good idea because of their Fulfilment service. 

E-Commerce can be a great way to make additional income. With continued research, it’s entirely possible to make it 100% of your income. 

It can also help you to get into the world of self-employment with very little capital.

Have all your ducks in a row (or at least know where they are) before getting started.

Getting all that research out of the way in the beginning means you’ll have a much better chance at success in this competitive sector.

GOOD LUCK! 

Stock Photos:

Ivory Mix 

resources

The Business Planning Journal

Everything you need to get your business started on the right foot. 

  • Daily, Weekly & Yearly Plans
  • Business Value Worksheets
  • Product & Competitor Research
  • Pricing Calculator
  • Marketing Plan
  • Notes Pages
business planning journal product photo
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