Will Online Small Business Models Gain Popularity in 2014?
As more and more commerce takes place online, the growth of the total market as reported by Census.gov to $67.0 billion for a 3.6% increase from 3rd quarter 2013 loans small business owners an idea of just how fast commerce is becoming a driving force in the shaping of our digital world. One of the main contributors to the rising popularity of E-commerce is the diversity of business models that the internet is able to support. An entrepreneur.com article on the rise of the subscriptions services market showcases just one of the ways that innovative business models can be supported by the depth of the market reachable on the internet. However, aside from the obvious benefits of an internet based small business model, the low costs of entry into the digital commerce space also are making it an attractive business model in 2014. With most banks wary of providing start up capital to all but the most qualified entrepreneurs, a digital model that can be successfully bootstrapped and begin creating revenue out of the gate looks more and more appealing when compared to the high costs associated with maintaining a brick and mortar location.
That’s not to say that small business owners on main street aren’t also loaning attention to growing e-commerce trends. On the contrary, some of the most successful small business owners in 2014 will be the business owners who can leverage a traditional brick and mortar business model with a robust social media presence and a digital storefront, drastically increasing their overall reach. At this point, it should not come as a surprise to small business owners that online commerce will play a part in shaping their own business’s directions. Regardless of how they feel about the increasing importance of the internet informing consumer decisions and spending habits, they should take proactive steps towards integrating digital into the way that they do business in the new year.
Digital commerce now goes beyond websites, a fact that forward thinking small business owners should consider. Apps and the preponderance of mobile technology now means that online transactions are happening in places that consumers would otherwise have no other option in that to go to the nearest open store. Instantaneous transactions through apps like Seamless and Uber are changing the ways that consumers think about services, making them more inclined to move toward models that simplify transactions and promise quicker gratification in the form of delivered goods and services. An app now also represents a potential platform for a business model, changing the game in regards to what is a commerce optimized web presence.
Photo Credit to Elvert Barnes on Flickr