Happy International Youth Day! Meet the Thriving Youths in eCommerce
International Youth Day kicks off on August 12, 2022. To commemorate this day, we’ve put together an article celebrating thriving youths in eCommerce and eCommerce opportunities young people can take advantage of.
Did you know that eCommerce is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world? Of course, this began long before 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic pushed eCommerce growth into overdrive. And there are no signs of it slowing down.
For young people, eCommerce offers freedom, money, and a chance to flex their creative muscles and insights for cash.
What’s International Youth Day?
The United Nations founded International Youth Day in 1999, with the day designated for every August 12. According to the UN, youth are people between the ages of 15 and 24. The goal of International Youth Day is to raise awareness of the specific issues the world’s youth face and to celebrate their achievements.
Each year has a specific theme, with last year’s theme being Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health. This year’s theme is Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.
This year’s International Youth Day theme aims to bring awareness to ageism against youth and leverage the full potential of all generations. Young people especially face a significant challenge in the form of ageism, and ageism against the young is often insufficiently addressed in workplace settings.
According to the UN, young people report many instances of ageism and its associated barriers to significant milestones, such as:
- Political participation
These age-related obstacles impact young people in real and tangible ways, negatively affecting their personal well-being, professional development, and livelihoods.
On a broader scale, ageism against youth prevents organizations from designing policies and social services appropriate for all age groups, especially teens and young adults.
Unfortunately, youth-directed ageism is a real problem, especially in the workplace. However, this is one area where eCommerce can help young people thrive.
Ageism at work
While there’s been a lot of talk regarding ageism for older workers, age-related discrimination against young people is often left unaddressed.
A 2019 survey of workers from Glassdoor found that workers between the ages of 18 and 34 reported more instances of age-related discrimination than older employees.
Additionally, the survey uncovered that while older workers may face ageism, younger workers faced more instances of ageism in addition to sexism and racism.
Here’s what ageism against young people in the workplace often looks like:
- Older workers are less likely to consider feedback from younger coworkers
- Younger colleagues are the targets of stereotypical and negative age assumptions
- Seasoned employees assume younger workers can’t be trusted with critical work tasks
In the US, there are protections in place for workers 40 and older, but no such equivalent for workers under 40 exists.
So for younger workers tired of not being taken seriously in the workplace, eCommerce offers them a chance to avoid the ageism trap and discrimination at work.
The eCommerce industry boom
eCommerce has been a buzzword since the 1990s. But with new technological advancements and the rise of remote working options, the eCommerce industry has exploded. To date, it’s the fastest growing industry in the world, with the most significant growth occurring in Asia and the Americas.
In addition, the trend of online shopping is growing day by day. So for enterprising youth, eCommerce offers a million and one possibilities for servicing paying customers and making money. For many, starting a thriving eCommerce business is far more rewarding than earning a paycheck from an employer.
Let’s take a look at a group of bright high schoolers who started a booming eCommerce platform during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
High school eCommerce Heros
Right before Covid-19 hit, high school students Audrey Hillard, Kate Henry, and Meg Harrison from Strathcona Girls Grammar school were active participants in the school's TC Envision program.
The program teaches students entrepreneurship skills and helps them establish small businesses. Via the program network, the girls got in touch with a group of mentors from The League of Extraordinary Women. But then, the pandemic started, and many schools and associated programs were shut down.
The students’ businesses would have debuted at an in-person, annual marketplace event in a normal year. But since it was canceled due to the virus, the girls decided to explore the eCommerce route instead.
Necessity as the mother of all invention
The trio of plucky entrepreneurs founded Envision Marketplace, where other students in the TC Envision program could debut their businesses online. Essentially, the girls didn’t let the pandemic ruin their plans. Instead, they took the school's annual marketplace and put it online.
The other students were able to open their stores under the girls’ larger online marketplace. As a result, the trio processed over $7000 in sales within less than one month.
Employment opportunities for thriving youths in eCommerce
Young people have the highest unemployment rates of all demographic groups. And when someone starts out at the bottom rung of the career ladder, they make the least amount of money.
With inflation rates and the cost of energy and housing soaring across the globe, young people face many challenges in making a living and supporting themselves. But eCommerce gives the youth a chance to not only survive but thrive.
Low barrier to entry
Starting an online store requires far fewer startup costs than opening a brick-and-mortar store. For instance, you don’t have to sign a lease with a security deposit for rent. Better yet, you don’t have to pay rent! Compared to a physical store, you can save thousands of dollars in annual overhead by opening an eCommerce shop instead.
You don’t necessarily have to hire staff to operate an eCommerce shop. It’s possible to run a thriving online business with just yourself at the helm or with the help of freelancers.
Getting a salaried job that pays sufficiently often requires years of experience and schooling. That’s expensive, not only the cost of the diploma but also the opportunity cost. Think about it — you’re not working and earning while schooling.
Young people who don’t go to college or have to drop out to support their families can start earning a living much more quickly with an eCommerce business — no degree required.
No store hour restrictions
When you own and operate a physical storefront, you’re subject to the laws of time and space. But an eCommerce business can run 24/7. You also don’t have to give workers time off for holidays. Instead, your online shop can run during any major event.
Reach customers anywhere, anytime
An eCommerce business also allows entrepreneurs to reach customers anytime in the world and anywhere. Even if you live in, say, the Philippines, you can sell merchandise to US customers, and really, customers anywhere. With a physical store, you’re more limited in whom you can market and sell your products.
Lower ad costs
Reaching a vast customer base that’s not restricted to a specific geographic area can also mean lower advertising costs. In fact, it can be essentially free to advertise an eCommerce business. With a store blog, you can write and publish SEO blogs that can help your website reach people searching on Google.
Additionally, PPC ads can cost far less than if you were to run a radio, TV, or print ad targeting a specific location.
Ability to provide more information
Another major advantage eCommerce business owners have is that the online world enables them to provide more robust product and service information to their customers. Demo videos, reviews, product ingredients, descriptions, email, web, and social media content enable this easy information exchange.
With a physical store, business owners and customers are limited in the transfer of knowledge by how much an individual employee knows and can communicate adequately.
A physical store means you’re much more limited in scalability. You face unique infrastructure and financial constraints. But, with eCommerce, this isn’t the case. You can scale much more quickly, cheaply, and efficiently if your business operates exclusively online.
Start your thriving eCommerce business today.
Both young and old can benefit tremendously from opening an eCommerce store. But for young people especially, eCommerce opportunities are incredibly beneficial for helping them overcome the specific economic challenges they face.
If you’re looking to hang your eCommerce shingle out, Lingble is here to help. We can take your eCommerce plan from a budding idea to a booming business with all the necessary online marketing infrastructure in place.
Get ready to become a thriving eCommerce youth? Reach out to us online today, and let’s talk!