Many online businesses are booming, and Hong Kong is one of the best places to start one.
The current business climate is one of uncertainty – many predictions are that the Covid-19 crisis will cause a worldwide recession affecting both new and established businesses in Hong Kong and across the globe. No one can be sure what the coming months and years will bring, but now is the time to prepare your business to survive the storm:
New businesses start up every day. Entrepreneurs take their dreams in one hand and the risks in the other and weigh up whether to take the plunge. But with the Covid-19 crisis sending billions of people in Hong Kong and across the globe into lockdown, governments scrambling to cope and massive changes to the world economy, surely if you’re planning to start a business right now, the most sensible idea would just be to … wait a bit? Well, not necessarily. There are some surprising upsides to starting a business in the current climate, as well increased risks.
Hong Kong was one of the first locations to report Covid-19 cases in the current global pandemic, and saw the advantages of early, decisive intervention. Its lockdown policies resulted in a successful fall in cases, with a total of just 110 reported by the start of March 2020.
That a company with the brand-recognition, prestige, and (presumably) budget of Hong Kong's esteemed posh supermarket, City Super, should have opted to use DIY-online-store-building platform, Shopify for their e-commerce website, surprised me - I'll be honest.
I have nothing against Shopify. Awon Golding's beautiful millinery website uses Shopify. Plenty of perfectly nice-looking e-commerce websites use Shopify. But Shopify tends to be what you use when you're testing out a new product (or a new market). It allows you to get your products up for sale fairly rapidly, and with minimal set-up costs. In return for this you pay some punchy ongoing and transaction costs, and your wings are somewhat clipped in terms of the features your website can include.
E-Commerce presents a fantastic opportunity for selling your products to a very large market, but comes with a number of challenges and potential pitfalls to the uninitiated.
There are various off-the-shelf systems which can enable you to get started pretty quickly and cheaply; however, many of our customers report finding these systems restrictive, and, over a long period, not as cost-effective as they seem at first. These products can be useful for exploring an idea, a new product or testing an unexplored market.