According to Statista, the U.S. ecommerce market will bring in more than $547 billion in 2019, with projections for more than $740 billion by 2023. Now is the time to jump on this business opportunity, as more and more consumers get products online.
There is plenty of potential in this market, and many different options for businesses to reach that potential. Courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, here are five ways to start selling online.
Your Own Ecommerce Store – This is the most traditional option. It has its advantages and disadvantages. It gives you the most control over every aspect such as changing content and customizing the back end functionality, but it also requires more work and potentially more cost in putting together.
Hosted Ecommerce Platforms – This provides you with the functionality of an ecommerce site without having to do a majority of the work that goes into that, but it also doesn’t give you as much control over the details.
Marketplace Sites – Sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon allow small businesses to sell their products alongside other sellers. They have advantages in that there’s less work and a built-in audience, but many charge a listing fee or take a percentage of each sale.
Social Media – With a majority of U.S. adults using at least one social media platform, you can reach potential customers there. For example, Facebook allows page owners to set up storefronts right on their business page and Instagram has a feature that lets users create shoppable posts. Again, the built-in audience is there, but it may require more work to convert them to buyers if they aren’t already looking for something.
Ecommerce Add-Ons – These give you an option in between building your own site and using a hosted platform. You create your own site and then use plug-ins or pre-made options to facilitate things like payments or buy buttons.