Selling your e-commerce business will consist of beginning your search for a prospective business owner with a comprehensive understanding of the online retail market. Transferring your diverse client base to a buyer will need to be undertaken with care to protect the interests of customers and the future of the business.
Your approach to securing a buyer will reflect on your business ideals and the identity of your business. An eco-friendly, online supplier of consumer goods is likely to experience serious financial repercussions without paying heed to the trading history of a new owner. Whereas, a fast-fashion online retailer may have more flexibility when selecting a new owner.
At Selling My Business, we will work together to understand your business and service offering to source an experienced buyer with the relevant experience to continue the business. The changing nature of the market offers a host of opportunities to proactive buyers looking to buy a retail business.
If you are considering selling your online retail business, you may wish to enlist professional advisors to guide you throughout the business sale journey, from preparing your business for sale, valuing your e-commerce business, to sourcing a suitable buyer. There are many factors you may consider when appointing a business sale agent, including the key question, do they have practical experience selling e-commerce businesses successfully?
The trading landscape between online and offline businesses is significantly different, which highlights the importance of selecting a highly experienced business sale agent with a proven track record in this field. If they are experienced, they will likely have an extensive database of registered buyers and industry connections to market to. At Selling My Business, we have a growing directory of over 10,000 verified parties, build by our veteran team of business sellers and valuers.
Buying an online retailer or e-commerce business is a highly desirable move taken by both young and old industry players. Establishing an online retail business can be conducted with ease and minimal overheads through a dedicated website or seller platform.
Etsy, eBay, Instagram Marketplace, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) and other fulfilment networks can help small businesses increase domestic and global sales. The cost of digital advertising is also a fraction of traditional advertising, making this a sustainable and cost-effective way to operate. Amazon (FBA) currently connects over three million, third-party sellers globally, and counting.
As a dropshipping business, your website entirely depends on brand perception to attract customers and secure income. The operating structure splits the responsibility between the merchant and supplier, as the merchant will manage the online shopfront and the supplier will take responsibility for supplying stock and shipping logistics.
This order fulfilment method is extremely efficient as your responsibility will end when the customer crosses the payment gateway. A profitable and reputable dropshipping business can provide valuable custom to third-party suppliers, increasing the appeal to prospective buyers.
Dropshipping remains to be a new operating method in the world of e-commerce and online retail. The innovation of dropshipping can be simplified in three steps:
Dropshipping is a fulfilment method dependent on key fulfilment supplier networks, such as Shopify and Amazon Marketplace. By joining these networks as a merchant, you will be able to benefit from storing inventory at fulfilment centres across the country, or even globally, to maximise buyer reach, minimise overheads, and streamline the behind-the-scenes process.
Selling a dropshipping business can attract business buyers looking for a low-overhead online shopping business, without having to own stock, store stock or plan shipping logistics as customer orders are directly forwarded to the supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler or fulfilment house.
Buying a dropshipping business requires minimal start-up capital and inventory investment, making it an ideal acquisition opportunity for business buyers looking to acquire a non-traditional e-commerce business. Operating a dropshipping business can provide the operational flexibility to switch between suppliers at short notice and sell a diverse range of stock, without the pressure to sell stock purchased upfront first.
Armed with a strong domain, polished online store, and strategic online advertising strategy, dropshipping companies are easy to maintain, upscale, and can therefore attract a host of buyers.
At Selling My Business, we have experience in valuing dropshipping businesses to calculate how much they are worth and represent over 10,000 registered buyers. Our business brokers are highly skilled in selling online retail businesses and dropshipping websites. We also offer a free dropshipping business valuation to find out how much your company is worth.
Many physical stores are embracing an omnichannel approach to reach potential buyers on a national or global scale. The costs associated with maintaining an online business are minimal in comparison to owning a physical retail store, increasing demand for ownership from prospective buyers across the country.
As the coronavirus pandemic halted all but essential trade, leading to the closure of physical stores, the online retail sector experienced an unprecedented upturn in trade, promoting accessibility during the health emergency. The online retail sector overcame the pandemic, highlighting the importance of digital accessibility during uncertain times.
When advertising your online retail or e-commerce business for sale, you will need to present your company in the best light to maximise your chances of securing a sale. This consists of collating relevant information for the viewing of interested parties, such as financial records, contract details, and a breakdown of company assets. You will need to organise your affairs, streamline outgoings and ensure that company reports are up to date. If the reason behind the sale of your business is genuine, you may wish to detail this in your memorandum.
A sales memorandum will typically consist of the following information:
Company information – Company background, service overview, target audience, and sale price
Financial position – Company turnover, assets, goodwill, intellectual property
Premises – Online retailers often operate remotely to minimise overheads, making relocation or working from home a realistic option. Do you own or lease warehouse space to store stock? Is the property freehold or leasehold? If leasehold, what is the remaining term for the lease?
Financing options – Do you offer seller financing or is it a self-financing opportunity? Business owners looking to sell their business under time-sensitive conditions may offer finance options to accelerate interest, encourage a higher price and stimulate a faster sale.
To begin advertising your business for sale as an online retailer, the Selling My Business team will produce a sales memorandum that will contain information, essential to the decision-making process for prospective buyers. This will be circulated amongst a vast pool of interested parties as part of our marketing strategy.
If you wish to advertise your business for sale discreetly, we can ensure that a non-disclosure agreement is signed before the memorandum is viewed. You may decide to take this route if you wish to protect the information in relation to your business model, operational structure, or financial position. If news of a possible business sale is likely to create job uncertainty or trigger hostility from creditors, you may wish to conduct a confidential sale.
Our business sale agents will take all reasonable care when negotiating with prospective buyers by conducting extensive due diligence checks. By assessing the commercial position and background of the interested party, we can filter legitimate buyers with the financial capacity to enter into a sale agreement.
"Having started shop in the early 2000’s, I was ready to sell my online shopfront to a buyer with proven experience of successfully operating an e-commerce retail business. The team at SMB secured a perfect match, and now I’m retirement ready."
Isabella – Online Clothing Retailer, Coventry
Valuing an online retail business consists of assessing the financial position of the business, growth potential, and company assets. We offer a free online retail and e-commerce business valuation for business owners looking to sell shop. To conduct a business valuation, we require three years’ worth of recent company accounts.
Founded in 1956, we are specialists in administering the sale of retail businesses, using our knowledge of market trends, buyer appetite, and business valuation data. Due to the nature of online retail businesses and high volumes of stock, company assets are taken into careful consideration, in addition to finance facilities. Online retail businesses can be highly profitable entities as they are low-cost to maintain and can be managed remotely. The Selling My Business team are well connected to actively searching parties and can introduce you to interested buyers.
At Selling My Business, we have an in-house team of business valuers with decades of experience in preparing retail businesses for the sale process. A business valuation is essential to determine how much your business is worth and calculate a suitable sale price that reflects market value. This primary stage can help organise your finances and prepare for life after selling your online retail shop.
The Selling My Business team will run through how to value an online retail business and offer a free e-commerce business valuation. There are many reasons you may consider selling your retail business, due to retirement, ill-health or to direct your interests to pursue a new venture. Selling your business can pave a suitable exit route as your business passes on to a new owner with the required funds and track record to help the business thrive.
Contemplating selling your business? Our free, comprehensive guide will walk you through how you can sell your company. Our FREE guide covers all of the essentials, including:
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