The rise of eCommerce has opened up numerous opportunities for individuals seeking a flexible and potentially lucrative career. Being an online seller allows you to run your own business, work from anywhere with an internet connection, and reach a global customer base. However, like any career choice, there are pros and cons to consider before taking the leap. Let's explore the advantages and disadvantages of being an online seller to help you determine if this is the right career path for you:
Pros of Being an Online Seller
Flexibility and Independence
One of the biggest advantages of being an online seller is the freedom it provides. You have the flexibility to set your own working hours, allowing you to achieve a better work-life balance. You can work from the comfort of your own home or any location of your choice. Being your own boss gives you the independence to make decisions and shape your business according to your vision.
Global Market Reach
Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, online selling allows you to tap into a vast global market. With the right marketing strategies and platforms, you can reach customers from around the world, expanding your business beyond geographical limitations. This opens up endless opportunities for growth and revenue generation.
Low Start-up Costs
Compared to setting up a physical store, starting an online business requires significantly lower initial investment. You can avoid expenses such as rent, utility bills, and store fixtures. Many e-commerce platforms provide affordable or even free options to get started, allowing you to test the waters without breaking the bank. Moreover, digital marketing tools enable you to reach a wide audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Scalability and Growth Potential
Online selling provides immense scalability and growth potential. As your business gains traction and customer trust, you can easily expand your product offerings, reach a larger audience, and increase sales. With the right marketing strategies and customer service, you can create a sustainable and profitable business over time.
Cons of Being an Online Seller
The eCommerce industry is highly competitive, and standing out among thousands of online sellers can be challenging. You will face competition from established players as well as new entrants. To succeed, you need to invest time and effort in market research, branding, and marketing to differentiate yourself and attract customers. One other way to make a name for yourself amongst thousands of other online brands is to own your customers. Even when selling in online marketplaces and third-party apps, make sure to let customers know they can also order directly from you. This allows you to keep the profit all to yourself while increasing brand recognition.
Running an online business comes with its fair share of technical challenges. You need to be proficient in managing online platforms, setting up secure payment gateways, and handling customer data. Additionally, keeping up with technological advancements and changes in algorithms and SEO practices can be time-consuming. However, when selling inside the world's most popular Super Apps, you can keep it simple. All you'll need to do is continue working on your social media strategy while investing in In-App Commerce.
Fulfillment and Logistics
Shipping and logistics can be complex and time-sensitive aspects of online selling. You need to ensure that orders are processed efficiently, products are packaged securely, and deliveries are made on time. Managing returns and handling customer inquiries related to shipping can also be demanding. You can also get a little help from ChatGenie to ensure the most seamless logistics workflow. When you sell with In-App Commerce, you can get access to integrated delivery partners like GrabExpress, Lalamove, and pandago and offer same-day delivery as well as traditional couriers. You can even activate automated delivery to make booking even easier for you and your customer.
Self-Motivation and Discipline
Working as an online seller requires self-motivation and discipline. Without a structured work environment or colleagues, you need to stay motivated, manage your time effectively, and stay on top of your business operations. Building a sustainable routine and maintaining focus can be challenging for some individuals. Starting or running a business can be intimidating. It's important to get help when you can, especially when all it takes is one subscription.
However, to really see the difference, we asked some of our biggest merchants to tell us more about their journey to digitalization and eCommerce and how they differentiate offline and online selling:
“I think the main factor would be relevance in today’s world, but being more specific it definitely solves a lot of problems. Some are: accuracy, especially in figures, agility, efficiency, and less prone to errors.”
“At the forefront, the expansive reach and convenience that digital platforms provide are indisputable. With the evolution of consumer behavior in this digital age, the shift to online platforms became an essential strategy to broaden our customer base and maintain a competitive edge. Furthermore, online sales significantly reduce various resource expenditures, such as operating costs, logistics expenses, and human resources.”
”The ambition to increase our customer reach, improve the customer experience, streamline inventory management, and implement dynamic marketing techniques drove Mario D'boro's choice to embrace digital technologies and internet platforms for our shoe business. We were able to tap into a worldwide client base, provide a personalized shopping experience, optimize our processes, and remain competitive in a digitally driven environment as a result of the transformation.”
“The process is simple and manageable, attracting a large number of users and generating effective sales. Selling online requires less effort compared to the offline method.”
Being an online seller offers numerous advantages such as flexibility, global market reach, low start-up costs, and scalability. However, it also presents challenges, including intense competition, technical hurdles, fulfillment logistics, and the need for self-motivation. Before embarking on a career as an online seller, carefully consider these pros and cons. Success in the eCommerce industry requires dedication, adaptability, and a passion for entrepreneurship.