Progress always involves focus, at least somewhat, being moved away from current methodology and ideas. In the early 2000’s, as the information age boomed, many department stores began to struggle. Well-known traditional store-front businesses, such as video rental and retail stores, gave way to online companies. This transition is now being referred to as the retail-apocalypse. American staples such as Bloomingdale’s, Blockbuster, K-Mart and Toys-R-Us have fallen to online giants like Netflix and Amazon
. Major department stores like Macy’s, Dillard’s and JC Penny have been reporting losses for almost a decade and in 2020 JC Penny filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. On top of this natural transition, overtime, through economic factors, the 2020 shutdowns and quarantines also claimed 12,200 more stores.
More and more “Mom & Pop” shops and department stores are becoming things of the past. At the same time, more people are starting up e-commerce stores and operating them from home. Etsy, E-bay, and Amazon all allow a person to sell their goods without the overhead of maintaining a physical store. With- still rapidly booming- Apple, running an online business has become easier than ever with just about any tool or program at your finger-tips through the app store. Programs like Venmo and PayPal, alongside more commerce-specific Shopify and Apple Pay, have made online transactions a breeze. Small start-ups that have historically been restricted by only accepting cash payment, can now accept multiple forms of payment, including credit/debit cards.
Growing internet access and social media has allowed everyone to stay in touch with their mother’s, great-aunt’s, cousin’s, son-in-law. As a result, online businesses naturally have an exponentially larger audience to promote their brand to than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Also, it’s much easier to motivate your potential client to browse your selection from the comfort of their own home, instead of coaxing them to physically come to your store. You also have much more access to marketing tools that can help narrow down your target audience and increase the efficiency of your efforts to increase purchases.
In 2021, the e-commerce industry is exploding, with a 12% increase from last year. The approximately 281,000 US e-commerce businesses are estimated to bring in over $9 billion in sales by the end of the year, according to insiderintelligence.com. With the second largest population in the US, it is not surprising that Florida also has the second most online businesses with nearly 4,000 in operation. Sarasota County is home to over 45,000 non-employer businesses.
While the management of E-commerce businesses can differ greatly from running a traditional store front, there are some aspects of the industry that will never change. For example, keeping accurate and up-to-date financial records. As we have discussed previously, improper bookkeeping habits make it nearly impossible to keep track of where your money is going. This lack of information may lead to tax fines or missed tax deductions. An extensive knowledge of your cashflow is important for getting business loans and keeping an overall idea of your company’s financial health. With bookkeeping being such an important part of growing a business it is astounding that nearly 75% of small business owners are intimidated by the seemingly daunting task. Hiring a third-party consulting and solutions company can be very beneficial to a brand-new venture. Setting up software platforms and programs to keep track of transactions & sales, analyze data, and help the day to day tasks such as invoices and payroll take away much of the headache involved with operating an online business.
Online stores and retailers are on top and show no indication of slowing their roll. Now is the time to start the business that you have always dreamed of running and today it is a more achievable goal than ever before. For the help you need to get going Omnis offers an array services for small business and online companies including bookkeeping, consulting and solutions. We can help get your e-commerce business rolling with a tailored plan that meets your specific needs.