In today's business environment, brick-and-mortar stores are losing customers daily to eCommerce ventures. With 24-hour shopping available, the ability to reach out to an international customer base, and easy, speedy access to an almost infinite array of goods and services, both customers and entrepreneurs see the value of eCommerce business ideas. It truly is the wave of the future.
Overview of eCommerce
Image via Flickr by ZERGE_VIOLATOR
Up to 40% of internet users have made an eCommerce purchase via a desktop computer or smart device (i.e., tablet, phone). That translates into 1 billion online consumers of goods and services. Mobile devices are becoming even more popular when it comes to eCommerce, already surpassing $40 billion in yearly revenue.
Multiple platforms are also available. While Amazon dominates the B2C market (business to consumer), other platforms are reaching out in different ways, such as eBay, which is the largest platform by revenue in the C2C market (consumer to consumer). Even payment platforms are cashing in, with PayPal reporting revenue approaching $15 billion just from mobile payments alone.
For an entrepreneur, any business idea must incorporate an online business strategy. Numerous sectors are rapidly developing an online presence, such as entertainment, consumer electronics, and travel. Even business models that have long been predicated on traditional brick-and-mortar designs are starting to branch out online. For example, in many U.S. cities, you can now order groceries online with same-day delivery.
In the U.S., consumers spend almost $3,000 yearly online. It's a growth market. Here are a few eCommerce business ideas for entrepreneurs that appear to be high profit for 2018-2019. One caveat - this is not a comprehensive list, and prospective business owners still need to do market research before implementing any of these ideas.
Health and Beauty
As more and more people have begun to take an active interest in their health and beauty needs, this business sector has grown by leaps and bounds. According to one study, the health and beauty market is worth over $15 billion, and since customers are so used to shopping online, it's easy to provide services and products that many are looking for.
When it comes to health and beauty products, eCommerce brings a newfound market, as customers can now purchase items that were previously only available through their doctors. In addition, preventative products and services, as well as educational information, are in high demand. A business can offer personal training sessions or online classes and still see a high revenue stream.
For both beauty and health, the market is becoming dominated by apps. Up to 85% of customers prefer apps versus websites. You can make your health and beauty business easily accessible with the addition of a simple online app with convenient shopping cart and payment options.
Micro-Audiences Are Out There
Along the same lines as health and beauty, many entrepreneurs consider trying to serve more niche audiences through their businesses. There are quite a few consumer bases that don't seem to be served through traditional business outlets.
Businesses have cropped up to provide products for consumers who need gluten-free products that aren't available locally. One company provides online engagement ring customization right in the customer's home. M&M's expanded its online business with customized candies for significant life events.
The possibilities are endless for micro-audiences. Sometimes, eCommerce success comes not from reaching a national or global audience, but from tailoring a business idea to meet the needs of a smaller consumer base that cannot access those products or services due to geographic location or limited product availability.
Outside the Box eCommerce Ideas for Entrepreneurs
Sometimes, great eCommerce business ideas come from thinking outside the box and doing your research.
For example, did you know that 80% of American households have tea in their pantry? It's the second most popular drink in the U.S. (behind water), with more than 158 million people consuming a cup every day.
In the U.S., Japanese items are very popular, and there is a growing awareness of the health benefits of matcha (powdered green tea). Studies have shown that matcha can detoxify the body and lift the metabolism. It's full of antioxidants and can be used in recipes, not just cups of tea. This is an example of a trend that could easily be picked up by a good entrepreneur and used to create a successful eCommerce business.
Another example of thinking outside the box comes from the area of phone accessories. This market is predicted to produce around $121.72 billion in revenue by 2025. A huge segment (around a fifth) of the market is phone cases. Even though people buy lots of cases yearly, there is still room for customized and specially designed cases, not to mention all the other varieties of phone accessories that can be sold.
Customization Beats Amazon
Many entrepreneurs shy away from customized or specialty items because they think the market will be too low to provide adequate revenue. The truth is that, as far as eCommerce is concerned, this is a chance to build a business that a huge conglomerate like Amazon can't really compete well against.
For example, one online business that has perfected customization and customer service is Dazadi. It sells large items, such as game tables or fitness equipment, that aren't easily shipped. But the consumer experience doesn't end there. It also arranges, with the help of ShipperHQ, for the truck drivers to unload the product and assemble it in the customer's house. That level of service can’t be matched by a huge company and gives smaller companies a leg up on the competition.
As an entrepreneur, you may be nervous about selling a small inventory of customizable items and having to sell your product line harder than a big online retailer, but it's worth it in today's marketplace. The bottom line is that, due to economies of scale, if you're trying to sell a product that doesn't require much customer input, the likelihood is that customers will be able to get that product through Amazon or eBay much easier.
There are so many eCommerce business ideas for entrepreneurs. However, one common thread is the need for an effective online platform. IronPlane offers solutions, large and small, to entrepreneurs who want to see their business ideas in an eCommerce format. Whether you’re just starting out or want to revamp an already existing eCommerce platform, IronPlane has the experience.