With all the scams out there, the phrase, “making money online” has unfairly become attached to a negative connotation, when actually, making money online is the future of commerce. eCommerce has made the world much smaller, given consumers tons of options for just about everything they may want and need, and it has ignited the entrepreneurial spirit of a generation! eCommerce has also created a competitive space which drives quality, innovation, and efficiency. These are good things. Good for you as a consumer and for you as a marketer.
Hang Your Sign on the World!
There was a time when you could open a small “Ma and Pa” business in your community and hope that your neighbors would support your business and keep you afloat. You would set conservative financial goals, work really hard, but still silently worry about possible competition cutting into your narrow profit margins. And that wasn’t the only concern for small, local business owners. We have heard the stories about the big box stores coming into town and making it impossible for “Ma and Pa” to compete. So you would have to figure out a way to survive, or close. Having a small business was a noble, but precarious existence. That has changed. With eCommerce, you can extend your customer-base well beyond your local community. You can very easily offer your products and services to the world!
The Growth of eCommerce
eCommerce started in the 1960s when businesses began using the internet to share documents. Eventually, as broadband was introduced and larger volumes of data could be sent and received online, businesses discovered the enormous opportunity that existed. Companies large and small begin using the internet to take their products and services directly to any customer who had an internet connection. A pizza was actually one of the first secure purchases made online in the early 1990s, and from there the industry has grown to an impressive $279 billion industry. Since 2007, total eCommerce purchases have grown from 5.1% and has almost tripled to 14.3% of retail sales by the end of 2018. Statista.com forecasts that consumers could spend around $4.8 trillion for online purchases in 2021.
Social Media’s Role in eCommerce
The popularity of the internet has not only meant greater access and more options for consumers, it also means that consumers don’t have to take as many risks when dealing with online businesses. Consumers can inform and influence other would-be consumers by providing instant, pubic feedback on their experiences with a particular business or product. And, people are apparently glad to give their opinions – good or bad! The social aspect of customer engagement has put the concept of “referrals and reviews” on steroids!
Consumers air their elation or frustrations to help themselves and others. There are actually many beneficiaries of social feedback. Through public appeals, consumers can demand improvements in products and push for higher levels of service and quality from the businesses where they spend their money. And as a result, businesses work very hard to get positive reviews from the online community. Feedback from the public has resulted in increased innovation and improvements overall. Social consumer engagement has made a difference, and it has become a powerful marketing tool.
Facebook is probably the most popular social media platform and has continued to grow by fostering both personal and business relationships. According to statista.com, Facebook had nearly 2.5 million users at the end of 2018, with an upward trend every year, as indicated below.
Users in Millions
Of these users, most access social media on a daily basis. According to statista.com, Facebook saw $34 annualized income per user in 2015. That is significant!
Where’s the Money?
Since the beginning of eCommerce, companies like eBay and Amazon have been out front in making money online. Both companies have relied heavily on individuals, as opposed to B2B commerce to fuel the dynamic nature of their markets. Amazon saw revenue of over $232 billion last year. Of that, a large share of Amazon sales were achieved through affiliate marketing. Amazon generates nearly 40% of their total sales from affiliates and sellers.
Many other large retailers are also following this model of using marketers, affiliates, authors, and bloggers to drive sales. For those individuals, accessing corporate wealth becomes easier through affiliation, rather than investing in the stock market. Individuals can share, in a way, the profits of their favorite products and services, through affiliate marketing.
An affiliate is defined as “a person or organization officially attached to a larger body.” The affiliate model can be approached in many ways and with varying levels of effectiveness or “success.” Because this profession has grown so rapidly over the past several years, there are literally thousands of programs out there which try to sell would-be marketers a best “method for success”.
The search for financial independence has led thousands of enthusiastic entrepreneurs to take the challenge to engage the eCommerce market. But because income through affiliate marketing varies so widely, the business model has been labeled “risky.” And this may be the reason the phrase”make money online” gets its bad wrap. The truth is that any business venture can be risky when not approached systematically. Although this business model is still new and evolving, there are many success stories of individuals who have learned to do affiliate marketing the right way. In this field, “success” is what you want it to be. Some marketers are looking to supplement their income with a couple thousand dollars per month, and others have turned affiliate marketing into a full-time career and are making 6-figure incomes.
Almost any person with internet access can take part in this new eCommerce economy. Almost any person can “officially attach” to companies like Amazon, and many others – to share the wealth in a simpler way than investing.
The fact is – not all affiliate marketing programs are equal. Some are set up as obvious “get rich quick” schemes, which just don’t work. It took Amazon nearly 15 years to figure out the best model, and even Amazon continues to learn and evolve. In the same vein, any successful business takes time, information, education, and a commitment to make it work. If you are a serious marketer, and you haven’t found the right formula to get your business where you want it, please keep reading.
I have found an affiliate program which does work. It’s called Wealthy Affiliate. This program is systematic, thorough, and proven effective. And the good news is that it won’t take 15 years to become successful! In my experience with Wealthy Affiliate, progress was immediate. On day 1, using the step by step instructions provided, I created and launched a website designed for money-making! I now own several domains that I can sell in the future, if I choose to. I have a great community of like-minded entrepreneurs to help me everyday, and the list of benefits go on and on. I encourage anyone wanting to participate in this exciting time in business history, and anyone wanting to explore “making money online”, to take a look at Wealthy Affiliates.
Let me know what you think and Welcome to JB Marketing and Consulting!