13 Data-Backed Reasons Why TODAY Is The Best Time In The History Of The Internet To Start An Online Business

“Is it too late to start an online business?”

 “Have I missed the bus?”

“All the profitable niches are already saturated, right?”

“Can I still make money online? Any hope?”

These aren’t new questions.

In fact, I’ve been hearing them for a good part of the last decade.

For example, look at this article from 2010 in which Yaro answered this very question by his readers.

 

 

Or this blog post from 2009 that believed luxury brands had already missed the e-commerce boom.

 

 

Or this one from 2011

 

 

Can you see the trend?

People like you have been asking the same questions for years.

But while you’re standing on the sidelines asking silly questions and making lame excuses, action-takers are building one successful online business after the other, piling up wealth and fame, and changing their lives for the better.

So is it too late to start an online business in 2018?

No sir!

In fact, there has never been a better time to make money online and not only change your life but also impact millions of people around the globe by offering actionable solutions to their problems.

Don’t trust me?

Let me give you more than a dozen compelling reasons (backed by solid data, numbers, and examples) why today is the best time to start an online business.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

 

What You’ll Learn In This Post

  • Why Google's advanced algorithms are great for content creators and genuine marketers
  • How you can set up a six-figure e-commerce business without maintaining any inventory
  • Why you're already an expert that thousands of people will gladly follow
  • How common folks have a MUCH better chance of becoming online millionaires

 

1. Millions of New People Are Coming Online Every Month

For people in the U.S, Europe or any other developed region of the world, it’s inconceivable to live without the internet for even a day.

But did you know that nearly half of the world’s population still does not have internet access?

According to Global Digital Report 2018, 47% of the world’s population has no access to the internet.

 

Source: We Are Social

 

A separate study shows that every day around 1 million people are getting internet access for the first time in their lives. This roughly translates into 11 new internet users every second.

So just going by the numbers, the size of your target audience is growing at an insane rate. Billions of new people are going to join the internet in the next few years. Most of these people will become online consumers, shoppers, and searchers.

For them, even the most basic information about online marketing, SEO, freelancing, e-commerce, digital products etc. is going to be advanced knowledge.

Just imagine the possibilities and the business opportunities that’ll come with them.

This point alone is enough to prove that the internet’s saturation point is still decades away and starting a business today is 1000x better than doing it a year later.

 

2. People Are Actively Searching the Internet for Information

Where do you look for movie recommendations, cheap flight deals, food discounts or health tips?

Google, of course.

Nearly 93% of all online experiences start with search engines and 87% of smartphone owners use a search engine at least once a day.

 

 

According to Smart Insights, the number of daily searches on Google has exceeded 3.5 billion (1.2 trillion a year).

Another study shows that 91% people read online product reviews and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

In short, all of us are more dependent on Google for our daily information needs than ever before. And this is only going to increase in the coming years.

From an online business perspective, this means that no matter what niche you’re in, your target audience is actively searching Google and other search engines for relevant information and the solutions to their problems.

They want answers and their number is growing.

If you can improve your search visibility and give your audience what they’re looking for, search engines alone can fuel your business growth for years to come.

 

3. It Has Never Been Easier To Start an Online Business

How time has changed.

Just a few years ago, a simple static website, with basic looks and no fancy options, would cost you nearly $10,000 and took weeks to complete.

Today you can set up a mobile responsive website, a blog, an e-commerce store, a portfolio site or ANY other kind of website within minutes using WordPress. Even the best premium WordPress themes do not cost more than a couple of hundred dollars.

As a result, millions of commoners who know nothing about website development now have their own WordPress websites.

 

Source: ThemeIsle

 

Features like email marketing, list building, social media integration and user tracking that were once limited to giant corporations and used to cost a fortune can now be obtained with a single WordPress plugin.

From project management, landing pages, and file sharing to invoicing and payment processing, there are plug & play tools available for everything your online business needs.

And even when you need to do something technically advanced, you can simply hire freelancers from any part of the world for pennies and get the job done.

In short, you can start ANY online business you want.

All you need is an idea that solves a problem. Turn it into a business, set up your website, start building your audience and the rest is history.

Lack of resources or technical knowledge is no longer an excuse.

 

4. You Can Learn Any New Skills That You Want

Until a few years ago, lack of skills was one of the main reasons why most people hesitated to start their own business.

College education or professional training was expensive so there was little hope for people who wanted to upgrade their skill set.

Not anymore.

No matter where you live if you have an internet connection you can learn ANY skill you want. You no longer need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into college degrees.

Whether you want to become a freelance graphic designer, an SEO, a programmer, a copywriter, or want to learn skills like marketing, sales, and lead generation to grow your business, you can do it from the comfort of your home on your own terms.

You just need to have the desire to grow.

For example, this self-taught millionaire, Aaliyaan Chaudhry, who’s among the top service providers on Fiverr, routinely makes $100K+/month selling WordPress development and maintenance services.

 

 

He had a business degree but zero technical skills. So he turned to different WordPress blogs, YouTube videos and anything else he could find to learn WordPress development.

In a few months, he was able to acquire the necessary skills to launch his career first as a freelancer and later as the owner of a WordPress development company that employs more than 20 people.

You can do the same.

Join online learning portals like Coursera, edX, Khan Academy, and Udemy or simply search YouTube to find thousands of free courses on every topic imaginable.

This Quora thread has some inspirational stories of how ordinary people in completely different parts of the globe changed their lives by acquiring skills online.

 

 

No one can stop you from learning and getting ahead in life anymore.

Just decide which skills you want to learn, acquire them for free and use them to set up your own service-based business or build the product of your dreams.

 

5. There Are Numerous Ways to Make a Living Online

Starting an online business and making a living online is not as complicated as most people think.

In fact, it is MUCH easier than starting a real-world business because you don’t need to have a physical office or a factory worth millions of dollars.

There are literally hundreds of ways to make money online and all of them can be managed from anywhere in the world.

For example, you can immediately start making money by offering whatever skills you have as a freelancer on sites like Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer.

Or you could start a blog on any of your hobbies or passions, use it to build a loyal community, and eventually sell them products or services.

KnitHacker is a great example, among dozens of others, that I featured in this post.

 

 

It started as a simple blog but has grown into a vibrant community of thousands of people who love sharing and discussing knitting patterns and ideas for knitted clothing.

KnitHacker is now a profitable business that not only sells knitting patterns, clothing, and merchandise but also makes affiliate commissions by promoting different knitting related products from reliable vendors.

This is just one example.

From affiliate marketing, blogging, and advertising, to eCommerce, dropshipping and digital courses, there’s a never-ending list of ways you can turn your passions into profitable online businesses.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

 

6. eCommerce Growth is Skyrocketing

eCommerce (buying and selling of products on the internet) is growing at a staggering rate. eMarketer reported that global eCommerce sales exceeded $2.3 trillion in 2017, an increase of nearly 25% from 2016.

But this figure is likely to grow even faster in the coming years, as this study by Shopify suggests.

 

 

eCommerce is not a temporary boom or seasonal trend anymore.

It has become a necessity and business reality of today’s world.

To give you a sense of what I mean, Amazon, the world’s largest eCommerce website, recently became the third most valuable company in the world, reaching a valuation of more than $700 billion.

But like all other internet growth indicators, eCommerce is still on the rise and expected to reach almost $5 trillion by 2021.

What does that mean for you?

You obviously can’t compete with Amazon.

But you can start your niche focused eCommerce business and claim your chunk of the market.

This awesome case study of a Shopify dropshipping store in the survival niche is the perfect example of what I’m saying

 

 

From literally zero sales to more than $80K/month in recurring revenue is no mean feat. But Mark Macdonald was able to do it with his eCommerce store selling survival products.

Steve Chou of MyWifeQuitHerJob is another great example. Steve and his wife started an e-commerce store selling handkerchiefs and linens for special occasions and grew it into a multiple six-figure business in just a few years.

 

 

But you know what, you don’t need to start a dedicated store to take advantage of the e-commerce boom.

The rise in e-commerce means people are more willing to buy products online. This impacts every type of business.

For example, if you’re a blogger or an influencer you can add a store to your website and sell relevant products or merchandise. Or you could simply promote products from Amazon to your audience and earn commissions.

The possibilities are endless.

 

7. e-Learning Has Become a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must’ve noticed a steep rise in the number of advertisements promoting different digital courses and e-learning programs.

Like this ad, for example, that showed up in my Facebook Newsfeed

 

 

I see dozens of others every day on my Facebook timeline and in Google banner ads on different websites.

Is this a coincidence?

Not at all.

Digital courses and e-learning programs are among the fastest growing business models on the internet. According to industry forecasts, the global e-learning market is expected to reach $335 billion by 2025.

What does that mean for you?

People want to learn new skills and acquire education irrespective of their location. Digital courses and e-learning programs give them exactly that.

You can join this growing market by creating your own digital courses.

And trust me, it’s a lot easier than it sounds.

You don’t need any technical education to create a digital course.

Your course doesn’t have to address an academic topic. You can create an online course about literally ANYTHING.

You’re an expert gardener?

Create an online course to teaching gardening techniques.

You’re good at writing poetry?

Create an online course for people who want to learn this art.

You’re an expert yoga practitioner?

People would love to learn from your digital course.

There’s NO RESTRICTION on any topic for your digital course.

You don’t even need any fancy equipment or technical expertise to create a course.

Use your smartphone to film everything and host your course on platforms like Teachable, Kajabi, Podia, Gumroad or Selz. These tools will manage everything from lead generation, student registration to course delivery and payment processing.

Bushra Azhar, founder ThePersuasionRevolution, is one of the most remarkable success stories I’ve seen when it comes to selling digital courses. From literally no business to executing $500K product launches, Bushra is an example worth emulating.

 

 

Navid Moazzez is another hugely successful entrepreneur who’s built his whole business selling digital courses and eLearning programs that teach people how to leverage the power of virtual summits to grow their brands.

 

Credit to Navid Moazzez

 

Chandler Bolt, the founder of Self-Publishing School, is another successful digital product creator who sells courses teaching people how to become successful Amazon authors.

 

 

There are hundreds of other examples of people who’ve turned their life experiences, hobbies, and passions into profitable digital courses that are making them hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

There’s no reason why you can’t do even better.

 

8. People Are No Longer Reluctant to Spend Money Online

There was a time, not long ago, when people were reluctant to spend money online. That was mainly due to privacy and security concerns, and partly because they did not trust eCommerce stores to deliver the best quality products.

That’s not the case anymore.

According to Smart Insights, more than 80% consumers feel safer paying online when trustworthy card logos are displayed on the checkout page.

 

Source: Smart Insights

 

The volume of online payments is also growing.

PayPal, the world’s largest online payment processor, processed more than $352 billion in payments during 2017.

How does this say about your chances as an entrepreneur?

The more secure people feel while paying online, the more money you can make from your digital products and e-commerce stores.

This continuous rise in consumer trust shows that people no longer consider online payments to be unsafe, which was certainly the case a few years ago.

So, for the sake argument, today even if a company has the same number of leads as in 2015, it would still make more money from them because more customers will complete the payment process.

Clearly, things are moving in the right direction.

 

9. Search Engines Understand User Intent and Reward Quality Content

For me, and thousands of other content creators, the evolution of search engines is great news.

Google, in particular, now understands searcher intent and ranks content based on quality and relevance. After the Hummingbird update, Google’s algorithms can no longer be fooled by keyword stuffing, cheap backlinks or spun content.

 

Source: Search Engine Journal

 

That means cheap websites involved in black hat SEO techniques can no longer outrank genuinely useful and high-quality sites.

Black or Grey Hat SEO techniques might work for a few days or weeks, but they’ll be eventually detected and taken down by Google.

It has basically come down to the quality and the usefulness of your content, and the number of relevant backlinks pointing towards your page.

This gives you the liberty to focus solely on addressing the core issues of your audience without worrying about shady SEO shortcuts.

I agree there’s a lot more competition in almost every niche and businesses are trying to outdo each other in terms of content quality.

But if you really know your shit, isn’t that a great problem to have?

Clearly, you have a much better chance outranking someone based on the usefulness of your content rather than the number of fake social shares or links from comment spam.

 

10. It is MUCH Easier To Build a Loyal Community Around Your Brand

SEO is now more about user-experience and loyalty than keywords and meta tags. If a site offers amazing user-experience, by quickly giving its users what they’re looking for, it will not only rise in search rankings but also gradually build a loyal following around it.

This is a MUCH bigger benefit.

Having a community around your brand means people look up to you as an expert, regularly visit your site (return visitors), willingly share your content, and spread the word about you.

Google watches all of this with great interest.

In its effort to provide relevant and personalized search results to each of its users, Google utilizes user-engagement trends and word of mouth marketing about your brand on social media to determine your search ranking.

 

Source: Digital Marketing Philippines

 

Thankfully, creating engaged online communities around your brand is much easier because of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

Facebook Groups, in particular, are user-engagement goldmines.

Which is why leading marketers are increasingly investing time and money into building engaged Facebook Groups instead of Facebook Pages.

At NicheHacks, we know the utility of Facebook Groups because a major chunk of our traffic comes from our Facebook Mastermind Group.

Stuart started it with a few dozen members but because of high-quality discussions, thanks to some awesome moderation by Nader, and insanely useful content published on NicheHacks, the group now has almost 50,000 active members.

 

 

Needless to say its one the biggest assets of NicheHacks.

But we’re not alone in doing this.

There are hundreds of other brands that are driving hundreds of thousands of visits every month from their Facebook groups.

Thousands of B2B brands are using LinkedIn Groups to the same effect as well

 

Source: LinkedIn Blog

 

Here are a couple of really useful guides on growing and managing groups on Facebook and LinkedIn

Community building didn’t have the same impact on a brand’s search visibility as it has today.

This is such a HUGE benefit because you can focus your efforts on building your brand’s community and when it starts taking effect, Google will take care of your rankings.

 

11. Thousands of Companies Are Offering Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing has always been among the most popular ways to make money online.

But until a few years back, it wasn’t the most credible monetization method.

Not anymore.

Right now, affiliate marketing is growing at an astonishing rate. There’s hardly any mainstream online company that does not offer an affiliate program these days.

A study by Forrester and Rakuten shows that 84% companies with an online presence now have some form of an affiliate program and the total global spending on affiliate marketing programs by leading brands will exceed $6.8 billion by 2020.

 

 

To give you an idea of the impact of affiliate marketing, just consider this.

According to Similar Web, Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce store that receives more than 3 billion monthly visitors, gets almost 11% of its traffic from affiliate sites and referrals.

 

 

Leading affiliate marketing platforms like ClickBank and JVZoo drive millions of dollars in sales to thousands of companies around the world every month.

This indicates two things.

Firstly, it shows that brands understand the impact of affiliate marketing and realize that affiliates can help them grow exponentially.

Secondly, it indicates that the affiliate marketing party has just begun. There are thousands of new and emerging companies that are yet to join the affiliate marketing bandwagon.

All of this means more options and opportunities for you as a marketer.

Affiliate marketing is no longer limited to just a handful of industries.

As a marketer, no matter what niche you’re in, you can find high-quality, reliable and lucrative affiliate programs.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

12. You Can Leverage Partnerships to Grow Your Business Worldwide

The rise in internet penetration around the globe means that businesses are increasingly finding new partners in different corners of the globe.

Your target audience is no longer limited to a few cities or countries. You can expand as much as you want.

 

Source: We Are Social

 

There are hundreds of ways this is already impacting businesses and empowering entrepreneurs globally.

Whether you need to outsource software development to a freelancer in India or source products for your eCommerce store from China, you can do it all from your bedroom in just a few clicks.

For example, thousands of people around the world are making a full-time living with their Shopify dropshipping businesses. They don’t maintain any inventory and simply market products using Facebook Ads and manage product supply by partnering with a supplier from AliExpress or any other cheaper source.

 

Source: Shopify

 

Amazon FBA is another hugely popular business model that depends primarily on global partnerships. Thousands of business owners living in the U.S and Europe source private label products from countries like China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. and use the power of Amazon’s supply chain network to sell them to people around the country.

Some studies indicate that as much as 40% of the products on Amazon are sold by third-party sellers using FBA.

 

Source: SellBrite

 

Spencer Haws, the founder of NichePursuits, is also an Amazon FBA success story. Spencer is pretty well-known among the internet marketing fraternity because of his popular niche marketing blog and affiliate marketing expertise.

However, he decided to diversify a few years ago and stepped into Amazon FBA. Today, FBA constitutes a large portion of his online earnings.

Was all of this possible a decade back?

No, of course not.

Not at this scale and with such ease, at least.

By building such partnerships you can start a business with literally no investment or grow your existing business by reducing costs and targeting a global audience instead of limiting yourself to a small region.

 

13. New Niches and Opportunities Are Emerging Because of the Internet

Before social media and smartphones, alcohol and marijuana were the only addictions I’d heard of. Today, screen addiction is more widespread than most other forms of addiction.

But that’s just one of the thousands of new niches and industries that have emerged as a direct result of the internet.

And you know what.

They’ll keep popping up.

Every year there are new problems, new opportunities, new needs.

It has always been this way.

But because we now live in an increasingly connected world, we get to know these problems much quicker than before.

You’ll always have the opportunity to be an early mover when a new niche comes up.

Just look at the niches that have popped up over the last couple of years.

Virtual reality, Augmented reality, machine learning, live video streaming, blockchain, Bitcoin investing, alternate cryptocurrencies, fake news, Donald Trump (yes, he’s a niche in himself, lol) the list can go on and on and on.

You just need to keep your eyes open.

 

So What’s Your Excuse Now?

Are you still waiting for the right time?

I’ve got news for you.

The right time will never come.

It never comes.

You need to pick a moment and turn into the one that changes your life.

No one else will do it for you.

Your life – your profit, your loss.

So stop being a lazy wannabe entrepreneur and start taking action on what you already know.

Trust me, you know a LOT more than you think.

A LOT more than the 47% of mankind who’ve never been online.

It’s time to take action.

The right time is RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

Comments (20)

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  1. Anil Agarwal says:

    Today is the best time to start an online business and start making profits by also growing your brand online. Yes 10 years ago was the best time to get into online as there was no such huge competition which is there right now. You can't go back but you can certainly start fresh to grow your business empire online.

    Just start before even planning ahead and creating huge blueprints on how to make your online business successful. Start is what counts and helps you get ahead in your industry.

    The great thing about starting an online business in 2018 is that there are so many platforms for you to create your website, start collecting payments as we have payment options like Stripe. You can easily also find amazing products from various platforms such as Amazon, Walmart etc.

    It's also much easier now to build a thriving online community around your websites as people are using social media too much and also reading other blogs to gather more information.

    Thanks for the great reminder and keep posting such amazing information.

  2. Anurag says:

    really appreciable and motivational content. We always wait for the fortune without doing any work to get them. The main problem of every person is that we always came to the conclusion while we are calculating any online earning case study but we miss the hard work behind getting that result. but after reading this guide everyone like me get motivation to start at least one of the method to earn online.

  3. Garry Baker says:

    No doubt that this is the best time to start an online business... this could of easily been 23 or 33 reasons the time is now...

    The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now!

    One of the biggest excuses I used to have and I still hear people saying is I just don't have the time to start a business...

    How much time do you spend doing all the "other" things in your life?

    So I adopted the philosophy of taking my time back and even if I can only find 30 minutes a day that is enough to get started...

    And then you will find that each of those 30 minutes will add up and you will find more and more time as you build your online business, and then the next thing you know you will have it up and running and you will be a success...

    Time is your most valuable resource, so don't waste it...

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post, very helpful...

    • NicheHacks says:

      Garry, that's an incredible first comment on the blog! I agree with everything that you say and love that quote (I'm often using it myself).

      Today really is the best time to start a business.

      Sure 20 years ago there was less competition. However, there was also less people online, none of the tools available now to make our lives easy and automate everything, less products to sell, hardly any affiliate programs, it cost $20,000 to get a website built as there was no WordPress, you needed to hire high end and expensive tech people to do everything, and hardly anyone trusted buying online.

      Now everyone is comfortable buying online, there's endless products, people shop online daily, the internet grows daily, the amount spent grows daily, the opportunities are more than ever, there's more platforms than ever to find your customers or buy traffic, there's tools to automate and make everything easy, you can get started for $100.

      How can today not be the best time to start a business?! 😀

      Great comment, thanks!

  4. Becky says:

    I so enjoyed reading this article. And it really has opened my eyes a little wider with respect to...affiliate marketing. I like the research that you put together for us. Thanks a bunch.

  5. Melos Ajvazi says:

    Hey there Jawad&Spencer and the rest of the team,

    This is also my first comment here, even though this is not the first time I "stalk" the blog.

    I am amazed by the facts that I learned here. (1. Millions of New People Are Coming Online Every Month)

    Never knew that half of the percent still don't have access to the internet, that's a great opportunity for online business to reach out there.

    There is also one other important factor mentioned here, now it's easier than ever before to create an online business. Back in the years, just to create a website you needed to have web development skills, hosting and other fees are higher. Now you can get a website ready in 2 minutes, isn't that just awesome?

    Thanks for the post.

    Cheers,

    Melos

    • NicheHacks says:

      Welcome Melos. No one called Spencer on the NicheHacks team though. 😉

      Yep, the internet is growing rapidly and it's easier and cheaper than ever to start a business.

      There's really no excuse now is there? 🙂

  6. Chinedu says:

    Really, this is a wonderful article and an eye opener. Thanks

  7. Rawan Hajjar says:

    Hi,

    Do you have any posts or content about Amazon selling? like online arbitrage and Private label?

  8. Adnnan says:

    One of the Best article I have read today! Seriously you have covered everything to start an online business. This is not only motivating but also a superb source of information which is needed by any beginner to build online business. Although I believe, that e-Learning stats you have mentioned are little fluffy especially in Asian countries?

  9. Hello Jawad Khan, we are from Turkey and we really admire your work, we learned lots of things from your blog and that's why we started a online business. We have some investors but we couldn't create an online business strtegy and we need some advices. As I can read from your article, you recommend us to start online business but still we don't have enough information about bet businesses. We have a small internet site for Mariobet651.com, we are an affialite site and we need to learn what can we do different from our competitors? Thank you for future answer and King Regards.

  10. Karim Toulba says:

    I agree that 5 or 10 years ago, it was even easier to start an online business. Growing a traffic and ranking in search engines were even easier. Bu the downside, not many people - like today - were buying online. As of today, many marketers and business owners joined the competition. Yet, many more people comparatively are buying online.

    So for me, I think each single day has it's own potential. We're not going backward or forward. Instead, we can work hard to grow a business empire online. And it's very doable with all the tools that became available today.

    Stuart has mentioned once that " every year 30 million people joins the internet. This basically means more information shortage, more search queries and more potential customers.

    More products are even being launched everyday with highly-profitable affiliate programs. All these factors together proves that starting an online business today is easier than ever with everything became available.

    I would like to thank you so much for the thorough research you've made for that article. Please keep inspiring us..

  11. Denis says:

    Hi,

    I have been a big fan of your amazing website for quite a while now, and after reading this post, I was compelled to post a comment for the first time.

    First of all, I was blown away by the numbers. 4 billion users and 11 new internet users every second. WOW! It is so big, one can only try to imagine what kind of market that represents!

    I am one of those who only started late in the game, but now I am convinced me that I'm not too late.

    Like it's mentioned here, people tend to overcomplicate things as there are so many ways to make a profitable business online. The main thing is to be persistent, and take action every day! And you have proven here that the potential is still very existent for any niche.

    I learned and am still learning a lot from watching guys like you, and the common thing I found between you experts is a ton of quality content on your websites that make it an authority in your respective niches. Keyword stuffed articles and websites are now a thing of the past.

    I really enjoyed, and of course, learned a lot from this very educational and well-researched post.

    I admire your work Stewart and your team! Please keep on inspiring and educating us!

    All the best!

    Denis

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey, Dennis thanks for a detailed and insightful comment.

      Today really is the perfect time to start an online business, there's really no doubt about it.

      Consistency, taking action, giving value / solving problems, high quality content is key.

      Keep us updated with your progress.

      Thanks

  12. Thank you for amazing information.
    I think you are right about more people are now spending money over internet, but making people trust your site is another problem.
    Big companies like Amazon are currently attracting most of buyers online making small online businesses less profitable.