The ecommerce industry has seen an incredible boost in growth over the years. Worldwide sales in 2017 stood at $2.3 trillion with number expected to grow substantially in the coming years. Ecommerce has also provided budding entrepreneurs with the opportunity to begin something of their own with minimal investment and resources. Over the years we’ve seen numerous success stories emerging from the world of digital and ecommerce markets.
When starting a journey down this path, it is important to consider a few important factors, chief among them is whether you want to buy an existing store or build a new one. Each choice comes with its own benefits and drawbacks depending on your requirements. It is essential that you pay attention to the respective pros and cons before opting for either option.
Buy vs. Build
These are choices that depend entirely on the person starting the store and the final decision is based on their specifications. It is a choice that should be made however, because it is estimated that a third of all business owners have no digital presence, with luxury brands making up the largest chunk among these. Things now are changing though, particularly in niches such as the luxury watch industry.
Buying a business online is relatively easy. You can purchase one that is a completely formed and ready to use off the shelf solution and get to work right away. It offers convenience in that you don’t need to sink time and money into hiring experts for each function such as planning, designing, developing an online business. When buying a store, it is presumed that the business has been through all these phases already. There are other benefits of buying an online store as well. These include the following:
- You don’t have the investment and resources: Many small businesses that are just starting out in their are on a limited budget and therefore don’t have resources to spare for a complex development project. Buying out an already established store can solve this problem for them.
- You’re a simple set-up with a small product line: In this case, setting up an entire ecommerce store from scratch is not advisable because the development costs will translate to a large return period. In many cases is not a sound strategy, as it will take too long to recoup your initial investment. Buying an already set-up platform can minimize this problem, as ecommerce tends to be a low margin industry.
- The technical expertise is not available: Building an online store requires numerous professionals like planners, developers and designers in order to ensure that it runs smoothly. Furthermore, these professionals have to be good at what they do, which is not easy to come by. If you don’t have access to reliable experts who can aid the development process, it is best to side with buying a store off the shelf.
A number of aspects of building a store have been covered in the previous section, but if you have access to the budget and resources, e.g. professionals that you can count on, building a store offers its own sets of benefits:
- It offers you freedom: While already set-up store comes with a predesigned layout and structure, building a store from scratch means that you have the ability to customize each feature exactly the way that you want it.
- There is complete control and flexibility: In contrast to an off the shelf solution, you have complete authority from the beginning to the end of a project where you can dictate your requirements which will then be implemented into the core of the platform. This means that the final product is your design and not somebody else’s.
To sum it up, it is important to point out that at the end of the day the entire decision comes down to your needs and they should be the final call when choosing the relevant option. If you decide to buy a store, use a trusted platform and vet the seller and the store appropriately in order to ensure that you get the best deal possible.