The door to e-commerce opens for the “creator economy”
For as much as social media has opened the door to opportunities for people of all descriptions when it comes to building followers for content and creation, effectively triggering what is now known as the “creator economy.” , it is still believed that only four percent of the more than 50 million creators in the world are full-time creators who effectively monetize their content.
The data on this “creator economy” is cruelbut perhaps not surprisingly, as barriers to entry into the world of e-commerce and monetization still exist in the form of bullying factors causing creators considering monetizing their content to reject the idea.
Historically, these bullying factors have mostly taken the form of either the monetization processes themselves seeming too complex to be easily accessed, or a lack of resources and support deterring creators from taking advantage of their role in the business. “economy of creators”.
More recently, turmoil in the global economy has emerged as a discouraging factor for new entrants into the e-commerce world from ambitious creatives. But according to Shaun Broughton, general manager for APAC with e-commerce platform Shopify, that shouldn’t necessarily deter creatives or anyone else from considering making the leap into the world of e-commerce.
“Some of the most successful businesses have started during an economic downturn, and we are confident that talented entrepreneurs will find new niches and business opportunities in any environment,” Broughton told Power Retail, “That being said, we understand today’s concerns about inflation, consumer spending, cash flow and ongoing supply chain issues that can prevent merchants from investing in their business.”
The answer to this, and the initial issues faced by discouraged creatives from monetizing their efforts, is something Shopify has been particularly keen to address.
In particular, the new e-commerce platform announcement ‘Startup plan‘ sees the perceived barriers to entry into e-commerce deconstructed, eliminating concerns about both price and complexity in the form of a US$5 monthly plan allowing creatives and other e-commerce aspirants to access their own “no-code” digital storefront.
“With the launch of Starter Plan, creators and entrepreneurs won’t need to make a huge capital investment in their infrastructure, so they’re able to grow their business in a way that works for them,” says Broughton, “We empower creators to take ownership of their customer relationships, so they can increase lifetime value and build high-impact communities, giving them greater control over their own economic independence.
“This offer provides an affordable alternative for as little as $5 per month, helping to facilitate no fear when starting a new store or a new brand.
The recently announced plan is designed to specifically tackle the barriers to entry once posed to aspirants of all kinds planning to enter the world of e-commerce, simplifying logistics and easing price burdens to better enable aspirants to focus on their brand.
“With the launch of this plan, we are lowering the barrier to entry and empowering creators of all kinds to apply their creativity and passion to their business ambitions, so they can build brands, businesses and heirlooms,” says Broughton, “It offers a lite version of Shopify with a ready-to-use theme that merchants only need to add images, details, and product descriptions to. [in order] to populate their minimalist online store.
“Creators have continually used the power of social media to build an engaged audience, and with the wide variety of tools and platforms now available, they can create new ways to monetize that audience. class in the hands of all creators, with tools that meet their unique needs, we are leveling the playing field to drive the next stage of growth for this next generation of entrepreneurs.
The entry of this new generation of entrepreneurs into the world of e-commerce also has the potential to offer valuable lessons for existing e-commerce retailers, as the rise of the “creator economy” forces businesses of all kinds to understand the increased importance of their “brand” in the modern societal climate increasingly fueled by social media interaction.
“Successful designers almost all have an innate ability to understand the aesthetic their audience wants from their brand, but when it comes to commerce, there’s so much more to consider. In recent years, retailers online have found creative new ways to engage with their audiences, especially with the booming creator economy,” says Broughton, “A quality retail brand seeks to meet consumers where they find themselves – whether online, offline or on social media, allowing them to connect with your brand through multiple touchpoints. An engaging digital storefront that appeals to your target audience has always been important.”
“Online, that means creating a beautiful and seamless customer experience that’s applied consistently across all touchpoints, making it easier to convert ‘storefront’ shoppers into customers.”
Essentially, argues Broughton, the formula that creators use on social media to attract their audience is the same one that can offer them success in building consumer appeal in an e-commerce context. The converse is what retailers can learn from creators about how best to apply that same formula.
“By creating a strong and trusted brand, consumers in turn become less price sensitive when making buying decisions,” Broughton concludes, “providing businesses with the best chance of maintaining long-term margins.”
All in all, lowering the barrier of entry into the world of e-commerce for new aspirants is likely to prove mutually beneficial for both those aspirants and those already in the same space. Each has the opportunity to learn from the other, with all ultimately benefiting from growing and maintaining the “brand”.
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