An Overview of e-Commerce Working Capital – Available Options and Why You Need Them?

E-commerce financing: How working capital may help digital marketers expand

Client satisfaction and revenue development typically go hand in hand in every firm. The bottom line will benefit from higher product sales and happier consumers.

But as everyone with expertise in eCommerce knows, it’s not that easy. Your progress may become stagnant or even stop altogether due to unforeseen costs, rising liabilities, and delays in cash flow. Even while every firm faces problems with working capital, online sellers have significantly fewer financial options than their competitors. Since it’s challenging for these businesses to acquire traditional capital, many new online enterprises find it tough to take off and sustain a constant revenue stream.

We’ll explain the true role of working capital in generating eCommerce ROI in this blog, along with the kinds of funding sources you should search for to make absolutely sure your capital is working well.

Working Capital: What Is It? And Why It’s Important for Your Online Business?

It is the cash inflows that your company has on hand to pay for ongoing expenses. Working capital can fill up any shortfalls and keep your firm operating smoothly if your spending ever exceeds your assets, such as when paying employees, purchasing merchandise, or paying for everyday operations. To put it another way, it is what maintains your company ahead of industry statistics.

Why Do Ecommerce Owners Still Face a Working Capital Challenge?

Despite the worldwide e-commerce sector’s explosive growth, merchants don’t always have access to traditional lenders like banks. In actuality, only around 13.5% of small businesses—the majority of which are brick and mortar—qualify for a conventional big bank loan. The majority of banks stick with what they know because e – commerce market is still a relatively new business. Additionally, the underwriting procedure for online merchants may be a little more difficult. Banks may view a loss of sales as being excessively risky due to factors including algorithm modifications, data leaks, and website outages.

E-commerce enterprises usually lack “physical assets” that may be used as security, which is a drawback when seeking for traditional loans.Most e-commerce companies are compelled to look for alternate sources of funding outside of conventional lending institutions because of the nature of respective business models. Online finance companies have filled the vacuum left by large banks in recent years and have developed into a more dependable means of obtaining operating capital for eCommerce business owners. The application process is all digital, therefore turnover is significantly faster. You may be able to get cash flow within a few days, according to the selected platform—something you simply cannot rely on with conventional lenders.

Options for long-term financing for e-commerce businesses

Any financial support used to establish, run, or grow an online store is referred to as e-commerce financing. Traditional loans and credit lines, equity financing, revenue funding, factoring, programmatic funding, and cash floats are a few aspects of eCommerce funding.Let’s examine each of these choices in detail:

Investmenting in equity: The process of acquiring money in exchange for stock in your business is referred to as a “equity investment.” Private individuals, venture capital firms, and angel investors are all examples of equity investors. Usually, a firm receives this form of funding for the first time during early stages of its development.

Financing for programmes: A venture fund may provide programmatic funding; however, this funding is non-dilutive which does not call for the investor to get any more shares. Funding for programmes functions similarly to a combination line of credit. When you need money, you can get it by paying a set fee rather than paying interest or exchanging equity. The business has more freedom as a result.

Financing based on revenue: With revenue-based financing, a company promises to repay a loan over time by giving the financier a portion of its future profits up until a predetermined dollar number is reached. It shouldn’t be a surprise that once the money starts coming in, e-commerce merchants have stronger leverage and more finance alternatives.

Financing (or factoring) for invoices and purchase orders: Similar to income finance, factoring involves more revenue transfers than only using cash flow to demonstrate creditworthiness. Payment request or purchase order finance entails the business giving up the right to receive future income from unpaid trade receivables in return for a portion of that income now. Factors charge a fee based on a portion of the unpaid invoices. You will pay a greater fee if your organization is given an increased risk score because that percentage is risk-based.

(Merchant bank advances) Cash float: Loans given to a company by a creditor are known as merchants cash advances, and until the loan is repaid, the lender will take a portion of each transaction made via a card terminal to cover the repayments. There are no interest rates or fixed monthly payments associated with this kind of financing. Before taking this action, e-commerce firm owners should consider whether they actually need the money today. If so, a bank’s short loan or credit line is more economical.

Also Read: The secret to enabling SME growth in B2B is “Buy it Now and Pay Later”

Why do e-commerce businesses need working capital?

If you have spent any time at all in the world of eCommerce, you know that business expenses rack up. Working capital offers the following solutions to this issue:

  • Working capital allows for smarter inventory planning Online retailers need to plan ahead for busy shopping seasons. More inventory needs to be kept on hand during busy times like holidays,Black Friday, Christmas, in order to lower stock issues and cater to customer turnover.
  • Working capital gives better publicity campaigns access to spend more money on digital marketing such as email campaigns and ad placements.
  • Working capital might aid in your expansion into new markets or products.
  • A lot of B2B clients depend on working capital to reimburse their suppliers and vendors after generating sales, in contrast to B2C sales where buyers pay immediately upon receiving a product.
  • Working capital may provide you with the necessary financial buffer to maintain your company afloat if your items are seasonal.
  • Working capital turns out to be the most essential in times of crisis or seasonal peaks.


Getting money to cover necessary company expenses can be challenging for many firms, especially e-commerce businesses. This is mainly because funding applications must meet extremely strict criteria, including minimal cash holdings. An ideal source of funding will adapt their funding alternatives to match the pace at which the eCommerce ecosystem is developing.

MSMEBlog discusses issues with finding suitable funding sources for MSMEs and guides them with the procedures to acquire the necessary financing. Visit MSME Blog website for more information on MSME finance.

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