Business owners are revamping their websites to add e-commerce platforms. Owners want their websites to be equipped with the latest functionality and integrate their storefronts into Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, E-Bay, and other sales channels. Business owners are requesting this functionality even if they do not sell physical goods. They are using Shopify to sell more than goods; they are selling tickets, rentals, digital downloads, and more.

E-commerce is growing on par with the blog in terms of website requirements. The blog was the must-have add on for all business websites in the past ten years for content marketing and news. Now, an e-commerce platform is also becoming a requirement, even for businesses who don't sell physical items.

The e-commerce market is outpacing expectations and expected to double by 2021. Businesses are watching how social media is fueling online buying patterns and are reengineering their websites for e-commerce.

As Shopify reports:

It might start on a Pinterest feed, or when someone sees their friend’s jacket. It might end after a search at the store, or at a buy button through Facebook. Most people (86%) shop around on at least two touchpoints (i.e., channels). The good news is shoppers that do this tend to spend more. Javelin Strategy predicts that mobile commerce, accounting for $161 billion at the end of 2016, is set to jump to $319 billion by 2020.

Businesses with e-commerce shops staged on older platforms are seeking advice on how to upgrade to newer formats such as Shopify. Businesses who have never had an e-commerce platform are looking to add one. Perhaps surprising to some, businesses are asking for an e-commerce platform to be available to turn on in the future with a switch; they want their platforms to be equipped for e-commerce from the start.

Why would a business want an e-commerce platform if they don't sell physical items? According to Shopify, businesses can sell all sorts of non-physical items on their e-commerce shops. These items include:

Read more about how to sell non-physical items on Shopify.

If you're looking for a new or updated website, e-commerce functionality is a must-have, even if you are not currently selling anything online.  Set yourself up for future success by building a website with an e-commerce platform that can be turned on with the flick of a switch.

If you're an expert in your field, you may want to one day offer digital downloads such as books or courses through your site. Whether you sell physical items or not, you can benefit from building an e-commerce website.