5 reasons to start an e-commerce business

There are many advantages to starting an e-commerce business. Source: coursera.org
There are many advantages to starting an e-commerce business. Source: coursera.org


E-commerce businesses are something that I would love more folks to spend some time learning about on Google or YouTube. There are many advantages to starting an e-commerce business, especially for those who may not have the capital or resources to start building a large-scale company.

The good news is that the digital world has changed many things and now businesses can come in all different shapes and sizes.

Since times are getting a bit harder, folks may need to start thinking about how they can begin generating new income outside their jobs. Physically working two and three jobs may not be feasible for everybody: you have life, you may have kids or other responsibilities, and it takes a toll on our bodies.

Now, I am not saying building an e-commerce business is easy, but it is doable and the benefits are there.

I want to give you five reasons you should start an e-commerce business or at least start doing more research on it.

1. Low cost, low barriers to start

2. Don’t need brick-and-mortar store

3. No need for complicated websites

4. Time and location freedom

5. We have the tools needed

Low cost, low barriers:

Let’s use the example of fish farming. Let’s say you decided you want to farm fish, on any scale. You are going to need capital, land, equipment, and resources and getting it started may not be feasible for most people, but this is the route that a traditional entrepreneur would take.

If you are thinking e-commerce business, maybe to start supplementing income, you could have a website built, start looking at suppliers for, say something like fish feed, and focus on those that allow for dropshipping (direct delivery to customers), create traffic coming to your platform and when clients pay for the products on your website, your supplier would have it shipped directly to the consumer.

This would still allow you to be a part of the industry, create an income and not have to take on all of the major overheads, giving you a good start.

Don’t need brick and mortar

One of the biggest overheads for most people looking to sell products is having that brick-and-mortar location. E-commerce businesses move away from physical locations and exist 100 per cent digitally; you can dive into a hybrid model later on but you can start by just being digital.

If you build your website, use any Caribbean payment gateway like Wipay or First Atlantic Commerce. Clients will be able to pay for your goods/services online, and we have lots of logistics companies who can deliver your physical products anywhere in Trinidad and Tobago for a low fee that you can pass over to consumers and they don’t have an issue paying.

No need for complicated websites

Platforms like Shopify, Wix, Fygaro and WordPress all allow you to build basic websites that are equipped with payment processing so that you can start selling digitally.

Don’t overcomplicate your website when starting. You can either build, use a template or have someone put together a starter website for you.

The most important part is learning the basics of digital marketing, creating content and some search engine optimisation so your content shows up on Google and you have an effective website.

There are free courses available on platforms like HubSpot that dive into all of these things.

Time and location freedom

Now you have a platform to sell both your physical and digital products and have a logistics company to deliver your goods. You will realise that you are going to start seeing you can have location freedom – you won't need to just work from home, but you can work outside your home.

Your work will also not be tied to a nine-to-five schedule. You are going to have the flexibility to create your schedule.

We have the tools

Years ago, TT didn't have the tools needed for a small-timer to create an online business and get paid digitally.

Go on Wipay and First Atlantic Commerce’s website, look at all the platforms they integrate with and then research the platform you would like to learn about.

Check out Fygaro as well; it works throughout the Caribbean. We have all the tools needed to get paid from international clients and the new local Visa debit cards from the bank all work to pay local vendors online, increasing the number of people who can buy from you.

Jump on Google and type "e-commerce business ideas." Research and start thinking about the types of businesses you can start. Start small. If you are working, focus on creating a supplemental income.

E-commerce is the hanging fruit for passive income, and it’s the most accessible. We have the tools and platforms; we just need you to start the research.

Keron Rose is a digital strategist who works with Caribbean entrepreneurs. Visit KeronRose.com or listen to the Digipreneur FM podcast to learn more about building your online business.


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