E-Commerce - An Alternative to Brick-And-Mortar
By: Robert Spence
First gaining traction in the mid to late 1990’s, e-commerce has dramatically changed the landscape for retail shopping. The internet has given consumers the ability and convenience to order anything their heart desires while never having to leave their house. The wild popularity of the internet has also given entrepreneurs and the average Joe the ability to start their own business without going through the traditional steps of having a physical location.
We break down three reasons potential business owners should choose starting their business asan e-commerce over the traditional brick-and-mortar storefront.
Bing! This is one of the main reasons people choose to go with an e-commerce. When opening a physical store businesses need to have capital for things like rent, utilities, building decorations, and employees—and these things don’t come cheap. Not to mention that isn’t counting any inventory or advertising costs that go into running a business.
One of the biggest perks of starting an e-commerce store is the fact it’s inexpensive. Besides inventory, getting started only requires a domain name, a hosting account and some free time. Not to mention there are a number of easy-to-employ e-commerce platforms that will do all the heavy lifting for you.
Your customers are already online
According to Internet World States, roughly 78.1 percent of the total U.S. population or approximately 245.2 million Americans are active internet users.
In 2012 Google conducted a survey of potential holiday shoppers. The survey indicated that 44 percent of the shoppers intended to make an online purchase and some 51 percent would look online before making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. Clearly the internet is the engine driving retail.
Given this information, your customers are already online and looking for things to buy. E-commerce owners don’t necessarily need to build demand but rather access a large and interested market that already exists.
One of the biggest benefits of using an e-commerce is the mass exposure you’ll gain. Unlike a brick-and-mortar business where your storefront’s location is critical the internet allows for your store to be seen by millions of people all over the world. It gives business owners the opportunity to reach a market far beyond what your physical store could ever achieve.
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It’s a stepping stone into mobile commerce
If you haven’t already heard, mobile commerce is a thing. M-commerce is essentially the act of browsing and purchasing products from your mobile phone rather than a desktop.
E-commerce aided by mobile is growing at 4x the rate of traditional retail and now accounts for one out of every ten retail dollars. As a percentage of total online sales, mobile represents a relatively small percentage of transactions. However, the continued growth and adoption of the mobile internet could represent a huge opportunity for small businesses.
According to a recent report, by the end of 2013 there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people.
If this is true, establishing an e-commerce business now allows you to hit the ground running when the massive growth of m-commerce hits.
Overall, the cost of establishing and maintaining a brick-and-mortar store just isn’t worth it anymore—At least not now in the age of the internet. As e-commerce sales for retail goods continue to grow faster than offline sales for brick-and-mortar stores, the time is now to start your own business by creating an e-commerce store today!
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”