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We all know that eCommerce is big. You’ve probably heard that it’s the future of retail business. But do you know how big it really is? Enjoy the following figures.

In 2017, global eCommerce sales reached $2.3 trillion. In 2021, they will reach $4.5 trillion.

In 2017, $672 billion in China, $340 billion in the US, $99 billion in the UK.

In 2021 they will grow to $1.32 trillion, $670 billion, and $194 billion respectively.

In 2018, eCommerce sales reached $26.9 in Gulf countries. In 2022, it will grow to $48.6 billion.

In 2016, Lebanon recorded $837 million in online sales. In 2021 it will reach $1.8 billion.

You might think this means entrepreneurs and retailers in Lebanon should not get in eCommerce, right? Wrong! The fact of the matter is when you open an eShop, your market is not limited to the one you are based in; the world is actually your market. So take a minute to soak in all the figures mentioned above… and imagine the potential. Here are some advantages of opening an eShop, whether you’re a start up retailer or find yourself running your family’s boutique that has existed for generations.

  • Global Market: reach potential customers anywhere in the world.
  • Open 24/7: allow shoppers to make their purchases instantly when it suits them.
  • Higher conversion rates: shoppers tend to buy more when they can do it instantly.
  • Broader offer: sell intangible goods like eBooks, workshop videos and tutorials.
  • Marketing: Search Engine Optimization gets your website top ranks on Google. Consistent good quality posting on Facebook and Instagram builds trust with shoppers and engagement with your brand hence driving more traffic to the website.
  • Convenience: shoppers can search for products, compare, chose & purchase the right one and wait for the delivery. Who has the time to go to a shop and get stuck in traffic?
  • Less overheads: no high costs of rental, décor, security systems, utility bills and staff allows you to sell at a competitive price. Don’t forget that you also eliminate shoplifting.
  • Personalization: connect with customers through order tracking, delivery confirmation and product recommendations based on purchase history.
  • Influence purchases: buyers go online decide what to buy. If you’re not online, you’re missing out on sales opportunities.
  • Better analytics: powerful tools like Google Analytics, social media, mailing lists and eCommerce platforms allow you to target the most suited shoppers for your products.
  • Omnichannel: even if you have a brick and mortar shop, having an eShop allows you to maximize your sales and even helps in creating more awareness for your boutique.
  • Flexibility: competition is fierce in today’s world; an eShop allows you to announce a promotion, change your prices and spread the word all in a matter of hours. Conventional marketing would take longer and cost much more.

We would hate to be misunderstood in the sense where you think that starting an eShop is easy money. Sure it has a lot of potential and can be scalable to huge levels, but if you want to do it right, it’s a full time job. It requires patience, perseverance, a strong will to succeed and just like any other business, money to be invested. But when all these requirements are being applied every day, the world is truly your oyster. Good luck, work hard, but don’t forget to have fun.

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