Reasons to Start an eCommerce Business in a Down Economy

Updated: Mar 31

The coronavirus is running amok globally and bringing businesses to its knees. Cost-cutting will begin, if it hasn’t already happened for most companies. This means thousands, maybe millions, of people will be out of jobs in the U.S. alone if this virus continues down this path. It all sounds grim and hopeless, but it doesn’t have to be. As our economy worldwide seems headed down a path to recession, with it comes opportunities. There are many ways to make money in this economy, whether you want to supplement your income or if you’ve been laid off and need to generate income.


Starting a business is one of the better ways to make money in a recession, but you need to know what business to start. Do research.

Selling online is one great option to start generating money quickly. There are many reasons to start an online business in a down market.


Consumer Behavior.First and foremost, take consumer behavior into account. With most businesses shut down and everyone on lockdown, people are turning more and more towards buying items online. With the uncertainty of the economy, selling items cheap online can be a great strategy to surviving and thriving in 2020 and beyond. Look no further than dollar stores in 2008-2009. Yes, these are brick and mortar stores, not e-commerce, but the biggest takeaway would be their strategy. Dollar stores operate with low labor cost, small and simplistic stores, efficient supply chain, and a limited number of products. All keys to success when low prices are what matter most to your target market. Amazon has emulated this same strategy with their own bargain hunting section, “$10 and Under”. Look for “$10 and Under” to grow even more popular in 2020.


Supplier Discounts.A down economy means cheaper items become discounted. This is a great time to get great deals from suppliers whether you decide to do private label or wholesale. You could come out a winner in negotiations with most suppliers if they simply need business. Value-add products for cheap is a good way to have recurring revenue.


Inexpensive Marketplaces. In most cases it is extremely expensive to start a business, but an online business is the way to go on a shoestring budget. eBay, Amazon, and Shopify are some examples of cheap marketplaces to start selling online. If you have a small budget, selling in these marketplaces means no overhead costs such as furniture, utilities, salaries. You only need a computer and internet connection.


Freedom and Flexibility.Online selling provides freedom and flexibility. With the world available to you at your fingertips you can choose to sell anywhere and sell anything. If you find your product isn’t selling particularly well in one market you can sell in another. If your product isn’t selling at all, you can pivot to another product. E-commerce businesses provide great freedom that brick and mortar businesses can’t offer.


A down economy presents many great opportunities. Take advantage of the situation, put a plan in place and go for it.

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