29 Apr 4 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time to Start Your e-Commerce Business
Greg Myers, host of the Leaders in Payments podcast, recently invited Yardline CEO, Ari Horowitz, to share his vision for the future of e-commerce. What was Ari’s biggest takeaway, informed by decades of experience as an entrepreneur? The future is now.
Here are the top four reasons why Ari encourages all aspiring business owners to get on the e-commerce bandwagon in 2021.
1. e-Commerce is Booming (and Here to Stay)
As someone with an intimate pulse on marketplace trends, Ari notes that while we leaned heavily into e-commerce largely out of necessity during the pandemic, the brick-and-mortar business is steadily reentering the arena. This might give some entrepreneurs pause, wondering whether a preference toward the online market was just a fad that will soon fade away.
Don’t be fooled. The convenience and expediency of e-commerce has become far too appealing for a broader, multi-generational audience (compared to pre-pandemic engagements that skewed toward younger populations) to lose its market dominance any time soon.
As it’s much simpler to start a business online without fronting the overhead for space rental, permitting, etc., Ari also predicts that the traditional schema for storefront–turned–online–store will “flip on its head.”
“Probably the biggest thing we’re going to see is that rather it being ‘hey we’re a retailer now we have to get an e-commerce strategy’ I think we’re going to see it go the other way—we’re going to see e-commerce companies or businesses start to figure out the brick-and-mortar extension.”
In other words, there’s still definitely worth in maintaining a balance between virtual and in-person customer engagement, but the quickest access to the largest consumer base will come from entering through the digital door first.
2. You Have Seamless Access to Intel
There’s currently an unheard-of amount of active consumer data out there for marketing and development interpretation. As the vast majority of our population engages regularly online, customer profiles are simple to identify, and virtually effortless to reach.
While it’s reasonable to assume there’s a target consumer for every product or service, the struggle before now—and the thing that exhausted the most time and money for early-stage entrepreneurs—was finding that audience and troubleshooting how to position the business where it’s both accessible and appealing to them.
A recent Lyfe Marketing study found that on a scale of “cost per thousand impressions” (CPM), old school advertising methods like print and broadcast TV required up to 6.4 times the amount of funding to achieve the same reach as social media. Aside from costing more, these methods are also highly generalized and don’t return real-time engagement data. Essentially, you would cast a wide, costly net into the world and wait for buyers to (hopefully) trickle in, oftentimes wasting months before knowing whether your initial approach was the right one.
Now, with a limitless web of real-time intel to find, track, and target your consumers, there are hours (and funds) to spare for optimizing your e-commerce business’ trajectory.
3. Every Early-Stage Hurdle…There’s a Platform to Help
While the process of building an online business was always a bit more streamlined than the brick-and-mortar model, it still takes a fair amount of navigation to scale from a single seller account to a profitable e-commerce brand. Thankfully, as the demand for e-commerce rose in 2020, so too did the seller resources.
There’s now a whole suite of tools available online that are tailored to take the pressure off the more cumbersome stages of business development, and Yardline partners are among the best of them.
Maybe you’re losing your grip on audits and reimbursements from consumer returns…Getida is your resident case manager.
Need to expand your marketing strategy? Perpetua optimizes online advertising for e-commerce sellers across Amazon, Instacart, Walmart, and Target marketplaces. (Yardline even offers embedded funding options through the Perpetua platform, thanks to our Perpetua Capital partnership.)
Looking to expand into overseas fulfillment but overwhelmed by the red tape? Our friends at SpaceGoats will take care of the admin for you.
You can even jump into the game by purchasing a pre-established e-commerce site on Flippa, or take to their marketplace once you’ve decided to sell.
As Ari tells Leaders in Payments listeners:
“This is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur—to be able to just define your brand and your product and know that the consumers are there… […] we’re having a lot of fun out here.”
The web is rich with expert-backed conveniences to prevent admin burnout, meaning you have unprecedented bandwidth to focus on creativity and branding: the things that made you passionate about your business in the first place.
4. There’s Maximum Capital Within Your Reach
Before Yardline, Ari was SVP of Strategic Partnerships at Thrasio, the leading acquirer of third-party Amazon sellers. He conceptualized the Yardline mission based on the number one roadblock he noticed consistently holds back businesses from reaching the scale to sell: access to capital.
Ari acknowledges the privilege he had as an Ivy League graduate when starting each of his businesses. Traditionally, cash advances were afforded to a small few with the right strings to pull and the headway to put up security. But as more companies—chiefly Yardline—leverage technology to make data-driven funding recommendations, and offer unrestricted, non-dilutive capital, the process is democratizing.
This means anyone can apply for funding: quickly, simply, and fairly. And not just the growth capital for inventory, marketing, etc. that Yardline offers. Access to venture, liquidity, and public capital is also abundant.
In Ari’s words, “we’re in the early innings of this.” Take advantage of your resources and get in while the game is hot.
Listen to the full podcast for more on the future of e-commerce, and how Yardline is staying at the forefront of FinTech to make it even easier for online sellers to take off.