E-commerce is changing business models: Is your company ready?

The search for convenience has led the world to innovate and even make a once impossible future a reality. One concrete example is how the Internet made it easy for everyone on the planet to connect and interact even from miles away with just a click of a button.

In order to take advantage of this limitless connectivity, business managers and entrepreneurs have found a need to conceptualize new and updated business models that would satisfy a new generation of customers in their constant demand for products and services—from the comforts of their home.


Finding economic refuge in a digital environment

Image source: willemisbrucker.com

E-commerce has increased the ability of an organization, big or small, to claim a vast outreach and attract millions of customers around the globe. Since it is still in its early stages, old companies may try to integrate their old business methods with new marketing strategies suited for an online marketplace.

The opposite applies to startups who can just start from scratch and figure out more effective ways of introducing their products and services by abandoning traditional marketing methods and taking risks in trying out new and more updated business styles.

E-commerce’s single most lucrative segment is the online retail sector, which is dominated by the sale of consumer electronics, apparel, and personal accessories. As reported by the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. online retail sales during 2013 totaled roughly $262 billion. By 2016, this figure had grown to $395 billion, an increase of 15.6 percent over the prior year.


On meeting quotas and staying competitive

Image source: adobe.com

However, electronic commerce may have led to more effective ways of providing goods and services but the challenges that businesses face have also become more complex especially when it comes to reaching quotas and managing competition. Nowadays, one’s failure or success will always depend on how one is able to actively respond to customers’ demands and consistently keep positive reviews in order to build a credible online reputation.

Product-oriented businesses are now a thing in the past as customer-centric practices have been proven to fare well in this new environment. For instance, managers have to understand the needs of the customers as well as their buying behavior by utilizing data from online platforms such as social networking sites.

Perhaps, as a business owner, the most important question that you should ask yourself is: are you ready?

REPOST: 7 Ways Entrepreneurship Helps You Be a Better… Anything

Entrepreneurship teaches one to learn and master several key skills that he or she may eventually use in other fields of endeavor. Here is an article from ENTREPRENEUR which explains how such skills can help one become a much more well-rounded person.

Whether you ultimately decide to be a poet, salesperson, scholar, chef or anything in between, entrepreneurship can give you the skills that will improve your chances of success.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

For some people, entrepreneurship is a way of life. Creating something new and leading a team is living the dream, and a destination in its own right. For others, it’s only a means to an end, or might even be considered a detour en route to even bigger and better things.

If you’re struggling with the notion of entrepreneurship, seeing the appeal but either fearing the risk or recognizing that it’s not your ultimate goal, think carefully about your options. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about making a lot of money or leading a company to greatness. In fact, the experience of entrepreneurship can make you better at . . . well, almost anything you can think of.

How? Here are seven ways.

  1. Critical thinking

There’s no application that doesn’t demand at least some level of critical thinking. Being able to spot and compensate for your own biases, analyze the roots of various problems and discover alternative perspectives on certain subjects can help you address issues more thoroughly, and make smarter plans for future development.

In the professional world, this means being more efficient and seeing better results. In your personal life, it may mean better understanding your relationships and identifying key areas for personal improvement.

  1. Creativity

Entrepreneurship also forces you to be creative. While you can’t force creativity, you can practice it — and the more time you spend generating creative thoughts, the better and faster you’ll be at doing it in a practical environment. How you apply that creativity is entirely up to you.

It could help you in a creative hobby, like painting or photography, or give you fuel for professional visions like marketing campaigns — or maybe even another business in the future.

  1. Adversity

Entrepreneurship is rife with hard times. The strategies you thought were brilliant (and, hypothetically, perfect) may not work nearly as well as you thought they would, or you may reach a point where your finances are stretched so thin that you have to consider closing up shop.

Though times of adversity and failure will test your patience and fill your life with stress, they’ll also teach you valuable lessons about the nature of challenges and hardship. You’ll learn that failure is only temporary, and you’ll grow more confident — not to mention, likely to stop worrying about the smaller problems you face in everyday life.

  1. Independence

As the founder of a business, you’ll be in charge of all the decisions. You’re the ultimate source for accountability, and you’re the one who makes the rules. At first, this will be both exciting and intimidating, but as you become more familiar with your role, you’ll start to accept that level of independence and direction as fundamental to your being.

After you gain some experience, you’ll be more decisive and confident, and less dependent on others, which will be beneficial no matter what you do afterward.

  1. Management

It doesn’t take long to realize how much entrepreneurship demands. You’ll be spending countless hours working on your ideas, and managing full teams of people (not to mention partner, vendor and client relationships).

In some ways, entrepreneurship can be seen as a juggling act. In others, it’s a game of micro-economics, demanding that you work with limited resources, like time, to gain the greatest value for the money you put in. In any case, entrepreneurship teaches you the fundamentals of management, which makes you a better decision-maker, better planner and better allocator of resources. There’s no downside to these benefits.

  1. Personal branding

Spending time at the helm of your company, you’ll have the chance to develop your personal brand. You’ll get some press coverage as the “face” of your organization, you’ll attract more followers to your social accounts and you’ll likely have the opportunity to publish more content under your name.

All of this can be used in the future to build your resume, help you stand out from the crowd and prove your expertise in at least one niche.

  1. Connections

Even if you don’t consider yourself a social butterfly, you’ll gain from adding connections to your network. Entrepreneurship gives you a good excuse to find and retain those connections. You’ll have greater access to employers, mentors, employees and teachers, but also hobbyists and specialists, whom you may call upon for personal projects, as well. Just be sure to keep in touch even after your stint as entrepreneur.

No matter what other goals you have in life — whether you want to be a poet, salesperson, scholar, chef or anything in between — entrepreneurship can give you the skills that will improve your chances of success in your professional life.

Entrepreneurship is an unparalleled experience that offers a diverse range of opportunities for improvement, opportunities that are accessible to just about anyone. If you have the ideas and the motivation to back you, I highly recommend it, and even if you fail, you’ll come out better for it.