A study conducted in 2014 by the American company eMarketer, specialized in surveys in the area of commerce, media and digital marketing, estimated a 22% growth in e-commerce sales in Latin America in that year, compared to 2013. These are data that prove that the investment in developing a virtual store can be worthwhile.
Selling online is extremely practical and economical. Once the initial investment to customize your website and sales system has been overcome, geographical barriers are broken down and the doors are opened for customers from all over the world, who will be able to access your products 24 hours a day.
Investment in electronic commerce
A well-structured virtual store requires a website with an electronic commerce system . That is the name given to virtual product purchasing platforms and devices. Since it requires the entry of personal data and credit card information for transactions, it is essential that the tool respects all security requirements.
You may think that developing such a system is extremely expensive. However, it does not need to be developed from scratch. “There are open source systems, which are free, like Magento, for example. Although saying free is relative, since it is spent in hours of programming so that it works correctly”, explains Mauricio Salvador, president of the Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce (ABComm). According to Salvador, the investment you must make to customize a sales platform for an online store varies from case to case. “I would say that an average e-commerce project costs between R$15,000 and 30,000”, he estimates.
If that figure seems high to you, think about how much is spent on structuring a physical space and remember that you will not have personnel expenses . In addition, the rent will be only for the servers, infinitely cheaper than that of a property.
Intermediaries: low investment
In the event that you need something simpler for the virtual store, without functionalities such as the shopping cart , for example, an online payment intermediary may be your best option. They are services that require almost zero investment in programming, since the page resolves just by pressing a purchase button. On the other hand, a commission will be charged on each transaction.
The best known service of this kind is PayPal, an innovative company that was born in Silicon Valley in 1998 and that today is present in almost 200 countries.
An even simpler way to receive payments online is by issuing PDF tickets or by informing the customer of the company’s checking account number to make a deposit. When the payment is credited the product is dispatched. The negative side of this system is that users do not trust it in the same way, since this is how most fake virtual stores operate.
But if you have an exclusive and original product and you are not sure if it is worth the investment in an e-commerce, you can try different payment methods . This way you will obtain at the same time an idea of the demand that your product presents in the virtual world and also of the most attractive method for the target audience.