eCommerce – expectations vs. reality
Ecommerce is growing every day, and more and more retailers are taking their first steps. Starting an online business can lead you to the deception that something happened naturally. In that article, we will look at six expectations that are way far from reality.
To make a site like “X” for $10,000
We often meet retailers who want a site like a very well-developed online store on the market, but behind this request stands a low budget. Typically, web stores that are well known were developing over a long time, and behind the results customers see are huge budgets.
Apart from the difference in the budget and the time of building, other differences are:
- Businesses working for many years have tested different approaches to find these that work best for them. It’s not sure the results we see (and take inspiration from) will work for us.
- Resolved overtime problems are much more than we see. Only what is on the website is visible to users. For each such case, there are many connected processes – logistics, customer relationship, marketing, technical, manufacturing, etc. It is natural starting online retailers with no experience to meet issues with these processes and to be hard to resolve them.
- Creating a large-scale online store goes together with marketing. What does this mean? If we are a retailer of fashion goods and decide to build an online shop but do not invest a budget in marketing, it is likely to grow very slow, because no one will know about its existence.
It is important to note that large online businesses have allocated much money for awareness, reach more users, communicate mass campaigns, sales, etc.
What is our advice: Start with the required minimum and develop over time. For a start-up retailer who has no experience with e-commerce, it is good to start with a more affordable platform for creating an online store. This way, he will be able to get acquainted with the processes behind the business, allocate the necessary budgets in the right places, consult with experts, and make a long-term plan on how he wants to scale the business. He can decide to automate specific processes, migrate his store to a larger platform, and so on. To find solutions he needs at the beginning and which ones can happen at the next stage, to reach business goals.
I will start selling from day 1
The following common expectation is that once a web store is built, it will start selling from day one.
Again, if you are new to online business, then probably no one knows you exist. To reach sales, you need to have an accumulated audience, and it does not happen in one day. Here comes the aid of marketing. Run an ad on Google and Facebook to generate traffic. Start with a low budget and test different audiences to see which ones work best for you.
If you have no experience with online advertising, then be sure to consult with experts in the field or hire someone to do it for you.
The site does not need support.
A common request is to make a website for X BGN for a current period. But what happens after the site is life? Many additional requirements arise. And if the retailer does not know how to work with the system the website was built on, it will become ancient because of not updated information. Be it improving functionality, updating plug-ins, and solve technical issues that customers may face.
Here comes the need for quality website maintenance. It guarantees you the quality work of your site, and in some cases – improvement.
I’m selling in a marketplace. I don’t need my own online store.
Marketplaces are platforms where many merchants have the opportunity to upload their products and sell them without the need to have their website (learn more here).
However, selling them does not exclude the fact that you (as a business) do not need a website. It’s like going to a local market, opening a mini store with the products you sell, but not putting your business name.
Your website is your business card in the digital space. Consumers shopping in marketplaces often check the retailer shop to check their legitimacy and quality of service. Relying on an external sales platform, you will be guided by their work policy, while in your store, you can be flexible.
The most important thing is to get traffic on our site
It is very often companies look for better website traffic. That can be a mistake because you can forget to pay attention to the next steps. If you are bringing many users to your site, but the site is hard to use, and you don’t have the tools to keep them, you’re likely to lose them.
Think about the value you would give them with your products and create the need for them and the convenience of acquiring them.
The user places one order, he will buy again.
The sales focus is natural for every business. Once the user places an order, we can not suggest that he will order again from us. Think about tactics to retain users and turn them into loyal customers. For example:
- Let them know when you send the order to the courier.
- Send them an email to ask them about feedback.
- Call them to ask if they received their orders and do they met any difficulties.
- Send them special offers through email marketing.
As in life, not everything is black, and not everything is white. Strive to think beyond your expectations and consult with the right people to make sure what you want is what can happen. Until then, follow our blog for more helpful articles and tactics to build your online business more efficiently.