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The current state of the e-commerce landscape for start-ups

There’s a steady stream of people turning to e-commerce to try their hand. Although 2023 proved to be a challenging year compared to some of the previous years, the rising cost of living only served to challenge people to find new ways to make money.

Enter the rise of the side hustle.

People are side hustlin’ more than ever. I’ve certainly seen no slow down in people taking my online e-commerce course. When it comes to e-commerce in 2024, here’s what I’m predicting:

1. Generic product sellers will get crushed by the likes of Temu

Chinese e-commerce platform Temu is proving the world really is getting smaller. Due to a slowdown in domestic spending in China, manufacturers are turning their attention to selling direct to consumers in markets like Australia. If you’re planning to launch a side hustle selling generic dog beds, you might want to think again. 

2. E-commerce is nowhere near its ceiling

In Australia, e-commerce sits at around 20 per cent of total retail spend, which means that it’s still actually quite small, at less than a quarter of the size of traditional retail. I predict that in the next ten years, it will reach parity with traditional retail, and as such, it’s a great time to start that online business, knowing that the best years are still ahead of us.

3. Rising paid media costs will mean you’ll need to nail organic channels

Gone are the days of putting a few bucks into Facebook ads and generating wild returns, these days start ups will realise strong gains by nailing organic socials. More people watch TikTok each day, more than all the streaming services bundled together. 

4. The power of content

The world craves content but has a little patience for it. You’ve got about three seconds to hook someone with your content. Start-ups need to hook ‘em, hold ‘em, then convert ‘em. Consider developing your own content machine – does it start with a vlog, cut up into socials, with the audio used on podcasts, or is it an old fashion newsletter, cut up into tweets and LinkedIn posts? Whatever your channel, brands need to focus on creating content that entertains or informs. Start-ups that can do these two things, stand a much better chance of success.

5. The path is rocky but the destination is worth it

Can you create generational wealth in 2024 by starting up in e-commerce? Absolutely. I’d have to say this industry creates more self-made millionaires than anything else I’ve seen. Macro-economic factors are tough, there’s no doubt, but the appetite to consume great products from cool brands is always going to remain strong. It’s about how you position your brand, and the product you bring to market – you need to be solving genuine problems with your products, or at least changing your customer’s lives in a small way, every time they use your product.

Remember, you don’t need a new idea, you just need a better idea.

The best time to start your e-commerce business was yesterday, the next best time is today.

This story was originally published on Inside Small Business.

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