Ecommerce businesses, web marketers, internet consultants, web-based travel sites, B2B web directories, community websites and eBay-related franchises – the information age has spawned a raft of new franchise sectors.
And if demand for online goods and services soared with the rise of broadband, then the explosion in mobile devices is accelerating growth further still.
The one advantage the high street has over the internet – that you can physically hold, touch or wear the product before buying – has been eroded (fatally in the case of specialist camera retailer Jessops).
Customers can now try goods and seek advice in a physical store and then – without even leaving the shop – buy from any online competitor that undercuts the price.
An apocalyptic development for countless high street giants such as Comet or JJB; further validation of the wisdom of their decision for entrepreneurs who enter the virtual, rather than traditional, retail sector.
Digital ad spend now matches traditional
With online ad revenues accounting for half of all UK advertising spend in 2015, the seismic shift from traditional to a hybrid approach has now taken place. By 2018, it's expected that 56.5% of all advertising spend in the UK will be digital.
Internet marketing franchises such as WSI and Spoton.net are capitalising on the boom in digital advertising, total global revenues from digital advertising are expected to reach £173 billion in 2018.
With online ad revenues accounting for half of all UK advertising spend in 2015 , the seismic shift from traditional to a hybrid approach has now taken place
For the aspiring franchisee, the virtual marketplace has much to offer in terms of lifestyle benefits as well as business prospects.
From the hard-headed financial perspective, web-based franchises are often comparatively affordable and non-burdensome in terms of running costs. None of the internet-based franchise opportunities on this site demand a personal investment in excess of £20,000, and 7 require £10,000 or less.
Compare this to the roughly one in four franchises across all sectors that require an investment of at least £20,000.
With no premises required and few, if any, other staff needed, overheads are also generally modest compared to other sectors.
Facts and Stats
- The UK has the world's most internet-dependent economy, with online activity worth £180bn and 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
- Boston Consulting Group predicts this will grow to 12.4% GDP
- Global online ad revenues match non online revenues
- 71% of shoppers believe they'll get a better deal online than on the high street
- Online shoppers abandon their shopping carts 26% of the time when forced to register an account
Little surprise, then, that those interested in buying websites, which often require neither premises, staff nor even stock, were less likely to use bank finance than other buyers, 41% against 46%, according to a survey by BusinessesForSale.com.
Fortunately, a lack of IT savvy does not preclude you from being able enjoy such benefits. As is generally the case with franchising, few systems specify IT skills as a prerequisite to candidature.
In fact, this article might just as well have been called Sector spotlight: sales franchises.
While it varies from model to model, the franchisor commonly maintains and improves the technology in house while the franchisee attracts customers and manages existing relationships.
Which is just as well. While the inexorable growth of the virtual marketplace and proliferation of possibilities is tantalising, the sheer, dizzying rate of change can quickly render the unprepared obsolete in no time at all.
Whether it’s Google branching out into the same realm – just consider how its maps app has trounced poor Street Finder – or the evolution of technology, it’s a constant battle to stand still, let alone, get ahead.
Websites constantly need to think about the next iteration, making it friendlier for mobile users or accommodating other trends, so having the in-house coding muscle of a large, nationwide brand equips you to cope.
Ready to enter the world of internet and home based franchises? You can find our latest opportunities here.