The rise of the internet in the 1990s led to the radical transformation of trade and democratized entrepreneurship, making it possible for every person to start a business with minimalinitial investment. At the same time, digital stores revolutionized the consumer experience and triggered an irreversible shift in buying habits and service expectations. According to reports from Statista, nearly 1.7 billion peopleshopped online in 2017, and the number is projected to exceed 2.1 billion by 2021. Over the same period, global revenues from e-sales are forecast to rise from $2.3 trillion to almost $4.9 trillion. With mobile devices taking connectivity and convenience to a whole new level, e-commerce will only continue to expand its share of retail,which makes it a highly attractive sector for business endeavors. However, launching an online company may be relatively easier, but it is no different from starting a traditional enterprise when it comes to ensuring its success, comments Rick Rahim, president of BusinessVentures.com.
Many entrepreneurs fail to realize thata digital operation requires a solid business strategy, as is the case with every for-profit organization. Thiswill involve research into the market and the competition, a cost analysis, profit projections, and a marketing plan, among others. Notably, research needs to be a constant consideration since it will reveal areas that need improvement, be it with regard tothe brand image, product mix, customer service, price, or engagement. As Rick Rahimpoints out, the digital commerce sector is characterizedby swift changes and staying abreast ofthe latest trends is critical forsuccess.
Since the website is the heart of an online business, no effort should be spared to ensure it is as attractive and functional as possible.While an appealing design is important, other factors are far more essential, specifically optimization, security, and ease of navigation. Given the expanding share of mobile purchases, e-commerce operators should have a site that functions properly across all digital platforms. “Creating a seamless user experience across all platforms is vital for any e-commerce business.Mobile optimization, in particular, is essential,” Wayfair storefront engineering director Arthur Thompson noted in an interviewfor CIO.com. Credibility and trustworthiness are also paramount in digital commerce, meaning that an online store without the proper certificates has little chance of survival, much less success. In addition, many entrepreneurs overlook search engine optimization (SEO) and social media outreach, which have become crucial for page ranking, brand building, and user engagement – elements that many experts consider fundamentalfor business growth and profitability in the age of e-commerce.
A serial entrepreneur for over two decades, Rick Rahimhas launched and operated companies that have collectively generated more than $1 billion in retailsale to consumers. As the founder and president of BusinessVentures.com, the Virginia native oversees a diverse group of enterprises, with investments across manufacturing, e-commerce, apparel, pet care, and consulting. Recognized for his business and marketing acumen, he sits on the boards of multiple organizations and frequently shares his insights and expertise atnational conventions. The highly successful entrepreneur is also an accomplished helicopter pilot, often lending his skills to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Animal Rescue Flights. Through his companies, he supports numerous youth groups, charities, teen and homeless shelters, elementary schools, and religious organizations.