Facts and stats
- In 2018, Australians spent $28.6 billion on online shopping.
- Statista predicts that by the end of 2019, Australian online businesses will see a 15.1% growth in revenue.
- By 2020, it’s projected that 1 in 10 items will be bought online.
- Global e-commerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, and Aussies are already top-ten competitors in the world.
- By 2021, the Australian e-commerce market value is predicted to be about $35.2 billion.
Let’s take a look at what makes this competitive industry thrive and what you need to know before taking the leap into ownership.
The ins and outs of the internet sector
This tech-centered industry is composed of retailers who operate websites offering consumers a wide range of services or products. With 85% of Australians connected to the internet, the future of retail growth is clearly in online businesses.
In today’s society, people expect instant access to information, products, and services. Thanks to competitive prices, increased value, and convenience, online purchases continue to grow, and the sky’s the limit for internet businesses.
Here are the top four consumer trends in the internet business industry:
- Buy now, pay later (BNPL): This digital service enables a consumer to immediately buy a product and pay for it in monthly instalments. Providing instant gratification with a low initial investment, this service is widely used by millennials and growing in popularity.
- Marketplace shopping: Marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Redbubble are central platforms where goods are offered by multiple third parties. Their presence has boomed in recent years, growing by 8% in 2017 alone.
- Mobile phone shopping: Purchases made from mobile devices grew 58% in 2017, while transactions from desktops and laptops fell 11%. Approximately one in five online purchases is now made from a mobile device.
- Global sales events: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, and Click Frenzy are gaining traction and affecting seasonal growth for businesses. While savvy shoppers wait for bargains, owners have to manage fluctuating inventory and margin erosion.
Benefits of internet business ownership
Clearly, the internet business industry is booming, so let’s take a look at some of the benefits of ownership in this sector:
- Increased profits due to the absence of overhead costs associated with a brick-and-mortar store
- Freedom to manage your business from anywhere in the world
- Flexible hours and the convenience of adjusting your work schedule around your personal life
- Professional skill development as you take on additional roles like marketer, salesperson, social media manager, product developer, bookkeeper, and more
- Low start-up costs and consistent cash flow
These are just a handful of benefits you will experience when owning your own internet business. However, no business is perfect, and it’s always important to fully assess the pros and cons.
Challenges of owning your own internet business
In addition to the multiple benefits that come with internet business ownership, there are also some potential challenges:
- Ever-changing climate: In order to remain relevant and continually boost your revenue, you’ll need to stay abreast of evolving technology and changing consumer trends.
- Impersonal customer interactions: With an internet business, it’s not as easy to have one-on-one interactions with your patrons. To ensure happy, repeat customers, consider offering 24/7 customer support, a buyer-friendly return policy, and free shipping.
- Shipping delays: Reliable shipping is critical to your overall success. Online customers expect products to be delivered in a timely manner, and a long delay or miscommunication will result in dissatisfied patrons.
Essential skills for an owner in the internet sector
As an owner in any business sector, it helps to possess some added skills to ensure success. When it comes to an internet business, some of these include:
- Financial management: Being able to manage your finances, forecast cash flow, handle bookkeeping, and monitor your profit and loss will help you run your business successfully and profitably. If needed, hire a professional to advise you.
- Customer service: Providing exceptional customer service is essential to your success, so establish systems to ensure that all customer questions and concerns are handled promptly and efficiently.
- Healthy communication and negotiation: Strong verbal and written communication skills will enable you to effectively communicate and negotiate with suppliers and customers.
- Aptitude for multi-tasking, time management, and problem solving: Starting an online business will involve managing numerous projects, making quick decisions, and wearing many hats.
- Knowledge of digital marketing and sales: With an internet business, you’ll need to advertise, promote, and market your products or services strategically.
It’s essential to optimise your website for SEO, attract customers with inbound marketing, and generate targeted emails and social media posts. If this isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a reputable digital marketing agency.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to start running your own internet business? We can help you find the one that’s a perfect fit! Visit here to get started. Of course, there are also hundreds of other businesses that you can browse through if an internet business is not the right one for you.