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There are more online shoppers than ever, and global e-commerce is expected to continue growing. More than that, there are powerful Web-based tools for small business inventory management and website building, as well as business intelligence small business apps and sales forecasting inventory tools that automate many repetitive tasks and provide you with accurate sales data and business intelligence, empowering you to run an e-commerce business effectively at lower costs.

Here’s a breakdown of the best reasons why starting an e-commerce business in 2016 is a great idea:

  1. e-Commerce is going to grow at a rapid pace according to eMarketer

Worldwide e-commerce is expected to grow by up to 25% by the end of 2018, from $1.6 trillion at the end of 2015 to $2.5 trillion. This growth is driven by the increasing number of online shoppers (80% of Web users have made an online purchase), and especially that of mobile shoppers.

  1. An e-commerce shop is open 24/7/365

Unlike a standard business which is open only during certain hours, an e-commerce is virtually open all the time, which makes it more widely available to a larger customer base, and even to shoppers outside your time zone.

  1. Cheap shipping opportunities

While in the past cheap shipping was one of the big challenges that many eCommerce businesses faced, today the wide availability of shipping companies as well as innovative shipping models such as drop-shipping means you can ship you products for free locally without going bankrupt.

  1. An e-commerce store is easy to set up

Content management systems such as WordPress as well as professional yet affordable web-based site building solutions such as Weebly, Wix, or CreateSpace help you create great e-commerce shops on your own.

  1. An e-commerce shop is easy to manage

With powerful yet intuitive e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, complete accounting and financial management solutions like Intuit QuickBooks, and easy to use small business inventory management, sales forecasting, and business analytics tools like DataQlick, managing an online business has never been easier. And the best part is that many of these integrate with one another, to provide a unified, streamlined business management experience.

  1. e-Commerce marketing and promotion is more affordable than ever

Forget about local ads, costly billboards, or fliers. Sure you can continue to use these, but social media marketing, content marketing, and intelligent AdWords, Facebook, and Twitter ads help you reach a more targeted audience quicker and at a lower cost.

To learn more about e-commerce and specific aspects of it, such as small business inventory management, please check the many other e-commerce articles on our blog, including this post about the 7 key e-commerce trends of 2016.