The most important and unbeatable advantage of e-commerce is that it provides a massive opportunity to expand any business you may have by being able to target and attract customers from all over the world thus expanding the horizons of your endeavour far beyond the physical borders of your actual location. In a nutshell, electronic commerce, most commonly known as e-commerce is the ability to perform transactions online through a website. This means that any business offering any product or service can sell online on a 24/7 basis.
E-commerce has been an established form of business for many years in most European and other countries of the western world. But, what is the case nearer to home? Admittedly the fact that Cyprus is a small and in many ways isolated island, often means that it almost always follows innovative trends rather than initiating them. In the case of e-commerce Cyprus is still lagging behind in comparison, but it is catching up swiftly, in such a way that we can comfortably say that e-commerce in Cyprus is currently booming and has become a popular business trend.
Many factors have contributed to the growth of e-commerce in Cyprus in recent years and in the aftermath of the economic crisis that had hit the country, including the collapse of banks, the “haircut” of deposits, the cut on salaries and many people losing their jobs. Right after 2013, unemployment levels in Cyprus rose to unprecedented levels, as high as 15%, which is considerably high especially in such a small population.
The silver lining of the whole situation was the increased number of Cypriots who turned to self-employment and even starting their own small businesses in order to combat unemployment and the predicament they found themselves into. In fact, many people found it much easier to start an online business venture rather than a traditional offline company, due to the easier process and the much lower initial capital requirements that an online business entails.
Besides being a possible and plausible way to offset the evils of the economic crisis, more and more Cypriot entrepreneurs are turning to e-commerce because it is truly a new way of doing business that opens up vast opportunities and possibilities for reaching out to a very wide audience of potential customers on a worldwide scale.
The upsurge in businesses trading through e-commerce has also brought an increase in the willingness of Cypriot consumers to buy online. Cypriots are already covering many retail needs via e-commerce from businesses based both in Cyprus and abroad, mostly buying personal use items such as clothes, shoes, accessories and jewellery, arts and crafts, home decoration items, beauty products and others. On the other hand, Cypriot businesses that have resorted to e-commerce do not only sell such goods, but have set up e-commerce companies for the provision of services as well, such as legal, financial, marketing and other advisory agencies.
Having an e-commerce business is not without its risks and downsides, such as the potential isolation that may come from working alone or with a limited number of people, the uncertainty of not having a guaranteed income, the fiercely competitive environment since you compete with similar businesses from across the globe and not just locally, let alone dangers such as card fraud or the hacking of your e-commerce site.
However, the potential benefits from e-commerce far outweigh any of its disadvantages and they are not limited to the low start-up costs required to launch an e-commerce business. E-commerce is a flexible type of business that allows maximum speed of operation, this allows both the expansion into new markets, while small businesses can grow larger by attracting customers on a larger global scale. Trading online via e-commerce instead of offline allows a business to rely more on automation, communicate faster with its customers, offer them more choices and enable even customers in remote locations to obtain access to an array of products and services. Moreover, for an e-commerce entrepreneur there are many luxuries, freedoms and lifestyle perks such as working from home, not having to follow a specific time schedule or having to report back to a boss.
Cyprus is a hospitable seat not only for Cypriot e-commerce entrepreneurs, but for EU citizens wishing to start an online business on the island, since Cyprus is an EU member since 2004 and all EU citizens are free to establish their venture on the island, without needing a Cypriot partner. Cyprus is also an attractive location for online businessmen due to its favourable tax regime, excellent legal system, advanced infrastructure in telecommunications and a very skilled local workforce. Moreover, due to the country’s wide network of double taxation avoidance treaties it is possible to for an e-commerce business to operate from abroad and still trade in Cyprus.
For all intents and purposes the present and future of e-commerce in Cyprus seems bright and it is certain that it is not a passing whim but rather a newly-emerging business activity that is destined to grow further and expand in the years to come, creating countless opportunities for those business who join the band wagon. Therefore, if you are a resident in Cyprus and you have a great idea, an innovative service or a superb product to offer and need maximum exposure to potential customers fast then it is time that you take advantage of the limitless opportunities put at your disposal through e-commerce and the wonderful world of the world wide web! For expert help and assistance on how to get your own site, your own e-store and your very own online business, contact us today for a free consultation!
SEO Expert, Marketer
When I’m asked what I do for a living, I debate in my head how to answer the question. Should I say: "I’m an SEO" and wait for the inevitably confused look? Perhaps I should go with my best friend’s answer, instead: “He looks through and organizes information on the internet to get high rankings on Google.” You have to admit, anyone who can organize the internet is probably pretty cool. Should I keep my answers brief, or should I take a little time and educate them about the awesomeness of SEO?
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