Why now is the right time to launch an eCommerce business?

At Unzipped we are passionate about helping fashion entrepreneurs launch and grow in the eCommerce industry. In this post, we will explain why now is as good a time as ever to launch an eCommerce business. We want to give fashion entrepreneurs the courage to see their ideas through to completion by sharing tips and statistics which show why you should launch now.

The proof is in the numbers.

There is a mountain of data out there showing why it is now a good time to launch an eCommerce business. Much of it is extremely helpful but it can also be a little overwhelming. To help you I have selected some of the most pertinent for you to consider.

“Global eCommerce sales amounted to nearly 3.5 trillion dollars worldwide in 2019, proving eCommerce is an increasingly lucrative option for businesses.”
(source Statista)

“It’s estimated that around a potential 3 billion buyers from emerging markets will have access to the internet by 2022.”

That is a sizeable amount of potential customers from emerging markets. {India, China, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa.}

“Since 2016, sales made via mobile devices increased by 15%. By the end of 2021, 73% of eCommerce sales will take place on a mobile device.”
(Statista, 2019).

Ecommerce is and has been growing at an extraordinary rate for years now and this has been accelerated by COVID.

Why wouldn’t you want to launch before the market is saturated? Now is the time to hire the team, invest in building your digital infrastructure and be ready to ride the growth train. Especially as there is a greater opportunity to hire talent that may have been laid off and/or you have the opportunity to support small digital business.

“Market analysts say that the eCommerce industry will be the biggest beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic. Penetration rates, which are currently at 15 percent, are expected to increase to 25 per cent by 2025 (MarketWatch, 2020).” That marks a 67 percent increase in five years.

Success, however, will only come from brands who conduct thorough research.

Yes the industry is booming and yes you have access to growing consumer spending but you need to ensure there is the demand for your product and that it answers a current pain point of the consumer.

Don’t launch unless you have a proven in-demand product.

There is no rule book.

For years fashion brands have operated in a similar or, in some instances, the same way. Only recently, driven by increased interest and consumer demand, have brands been changing how they operate. One example is how brands have to think about the ethics of how their product is manufactured.

It cannot, however, be denied that COVID has brought devastating changes to the industry. The way the industry has performed and successfully operated for years has now altered dramatically.

  • China, India and Bangladesh, are no longer necessarily the powerhouses of production.
  • FedEx or large postal providers may no longer be the right choice for the future of shipping. Lack of personalisation and an overworked service resulting in slow or even lost deliveries.
  • A brand historically planning collections 6-9 months in advance now seems foolish and simply un-workable! Brands should have the flexibility to produce a collection based on demand. But to achieve these brands needs to address their choices; which materials they use, where to produce their collection and how it is shipped.

Brands now have the freedom to write their own rule book and decide what works best for them. There are no boundaries to adhere to anymore. The ‘norm’ isn’t normal any more.

This is an exciting time for new fashion brands. You don’t have to conform to how it was. Now you have the creative and business freedom to launch how you want. You don’t need to consider the old rules as they were ripped up by COVID. Crucially, think blue sky, think smart and safeguard for your brands’ future.

"Brands now have the freedom to write their own rule book and decide what works best for them. There are no boundaries to adhere to anymore. The ‘norm’ isn’t normal any more."

Unzipped

Bricks and mortar – what’s the future?

Due to COVID, most retail stores were closed in March and some remain shut even after easing of restrictions. The future of physical shopping is un-known. While some try and relaunch under new restrictions, others choose to sit back and learn from those that try.

My concerns for fashion brands that still persist in having a physical store presence are:

  • Rent has been frozen for most since March now. But for how long will this last?
  • Interest rates will rise and who will pay the price?
  • The more stores that close on the high street or malls, the less appealing it is for the shopper to return and the lower footfall means fewer sales. It is only a matter of time for the domino effect to result in even more closures.

That is why now is the right time for a new and existing business to launch and focus on an e-commerce business. E-commerce won’t see any of the above factors affect their online store the same way as physical shops. The only effect fashion brands will see is a greater number of entrepreneurs capitalising on this golden opportunity and launching their online business. You risk greater competition the longer you wait.

Now is the time to launch, build trust and an online community. Be ready to blossom in 2021.

A greater volume of data.

As more and more consumers stay at home and use online shopping as their preferred method, more data is gathered. For new businesses, this will be the difference between being a success or failing – but only if it is used correctly.

Consumer mindsets and demands (July 2020) are so very different from this time last year due to COVID. This presents a hugely exciting opportunity for new fashion brands to think of something unique to bring to the fashion industry. Don’t follow the safe, predicable trends of 2019.

Brands need to use Google search words, use tools like Tiyo, to really research and understand the consumers’ current pain points and then create a product and service around that.

Always ask yourself, what makes your brand unique? What is your U.S.P? Be confident that it will solve a consumer’s problem before you progress any further.

Consider the consumer benefits of using eCommerce.

Finally in answering why now is the right time to launch an eCommerce business let’s consider the benefits to consumers. Why? Because you always need to think customer from day 1 to be a successful fashion brand.

  1. Convenience and familiarity. COVID isn’t going anyway anytime soon. This prolonged forced use of eCommerce shopping will mean consumers get used to it, therefore it becomes a part of their lifestyle. It is convenient and suits their needs
  2. Cash-less, which is an option for most western countries. Money is dirty and poses a health risk.
  3. Consumers can shop on the go, especially when brands have compatibility for mobile phones.
  4. Delivery to your door. With eCommerce purchases, consumers can choose when and how they want it delivered for their convenience and safety.
  5. The ease of shopping especially if brands link their product on all social media channels, makes it easy for a consumer to make a transaction. Instagram has seen browsing time increase during COVID.

I hope this has given you the confidence to believe that now, is as good a time as any to launch an eCommerce business. If you have a great idea, now is your time to validate it and move through the key 6-steps to launch a fashion brand online.

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