A Look at the Sudden Growth in Opportunities for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

A Look at the Sudden Growth in Opportunities for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

Due to COVID-19, the unemployment rate in the United States has risen dramatically almost overnight. Very few companies have not been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Some businesses have actually benefited from the situation, particularly those already positioned for ecommerce. People working from home are spending more time and money online, which has led more individuals than ever before to consider making the transition from employee to entrepreneur, particularly in the ecommerce space. Niches that have witnessed a sudden spike in sales include kitchenware, health supplements, and home exercise equipment. Many other potential niches exist that entrepreneurs could develop in order to meet the needs of people who are spending more time at home than ever before.

Ecommerce is a unique sector that involves a lot of work, but it can be scaled quickly. For instance, after Nick Peroni established the company Ecom Empires, he scaled the ecommerce store from nothing to more than $21,000 in revenue in less than a month. For Peroni, growing an online store has been a fairly straightforward process with clearly defined steps. Peroni is only one example of someone in the ecommerce industry who has stepped up to provide a pathway for the newly unemployed or underemployed to start their own at-home ecommerce companies.

Another example is Nathan Resnick, who established Sourcify, which runs a Product Sourcing School. Individuals can enroll in this school to learn how to bring their own products to the digital market. In the past couple months, the number of people signing up for the school has increased by 30 percent, and scholarships are available for those with difficult financial situations.

Identifying Key Resources to Launch Ecommerce Projects

Many other resources have become available for people who are thinking about becoming involved in ecommerce. Another example is Shopify, which hosts thousands of online stores. Shopify offers a 90-day free trial, which makes it easier than ever to launch an ecommerce site. Individuals may also be interested in the Ecommerce Launchpad, which is available for just a dollar. This service walks people through all of the steps involved in setting up and expanding an online store, which includes how to obtain affordable online advertising. During this time, ad space on Facebook and Google is actually more affordable than ever. Entrepreneurs can even outsource their logistics through companies like ShipBob, a large logistics center that services a variety of ecommerce ventures.

Now may seem like an ideal time to get started with ecommerce, particularly for people who are newly unemployed. At the moment, the future bodes well for ecommerce, although it is important to consider that sales may change in the months ahead after people begin to return to work. People should focus on which categories are doing well right now and figure out where gaps might exist in offerings. While starting a company in a segment that is experiencing a spike in sales can boost income in the short term, individuals should also have a plan for continued revenue once the world returns to normal. Luckily, current products make it possible to get a jump start on launching a site so that sales can begin almost immediately. Individuals should carefully examine the available options in order to figure out what best suits their needs before deciding on a particular product.

Addressing Current Needs with An Eye toward Future Sales

When considering which products might be most successful in the current marketplace, potential entrepreneurs should look to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Items that are lower on the hierarchy will take precedence in an uncertain economy. This explains the uptick in wellness, health, and safety products, all of which are foundational parts of the hierarchy. Products that are considered a luxury will not be as profitable under current conditions, although sales will likely increase in the months to come. In other words, entrepreneurs who plan to become involved in the ecommerce space during the coronavirus pandemic need to be positioned to meet both needs and to shift focus as overall sales patterns start to change. Often, companies can represent the same product in different ways through advertising in order to appeal to customers in diverse settings.

Some of the industries that have witnessed an uptick in recent weeks are relatively new and may not have a clear place in the ecommerce market. These opportunities are perhaps the most lucrative for those entrepreneurs who want to build a solid foundation of sales now and then continue to grow during the period of economic recovery. For example, customers are more interested than ever in wellness products that can help them to handle the stress of the current situation. The world will likely look quite different after the coronavirus, even if it only means that more people than ever before will be working and studying from home. Products designed to improve the quality of life for these people will likely continue to have a significant market even when those in other industries return to work.

About the Author

Joanna RileyJoanna (Jo) Riley is an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate in technology, and is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Censia. Jo has a highly experienced background in building and scaling companies, which she attributes to her deep passion for people and building technologies that allow people to be their best selves. She brings her wide knowledge of the industry to better transform the way enterprise companies hire talent. You can connect with Joanna Riley at @joannakiddriley on Twitter or on Linkedin. Read her full bio here.