It wasn’t so long ago that the thought of shopping online was an entirely foreign concept. Now with the ever-changing online retail landscape, it seems like an absolute must to join the party. This isn’t far from the truth. With the advent of more advanced computers, smartphones and tablets that are seemingly changing every minute, the ecommerce market is only gaining more traction. Many companies and businesses are greatly misinformed when it comes to creating and maintaining an ecommerce store. It’s not something to treat lightly, however, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare for you either. Here are some common misconceptions about the ecommerce industry.
Let’s clear this up.
- Managing an ecommerce store is cheaper than managing a bricks and mortar store.
While your online store may not maintain physical real-estate, it does function online which is just as important. Ecommerce is a journey and a process that needs to be carefully planned. You should be aiming for improved customer experience rather than merely focusing on a catalogue. Managing an online store isn’t cheap, but it is worth it and when it’s done right there is the possibility of watching your sales and customers grow exponentially. Realistic expectations and commitment to the venture are paramount.
- Once I launch my site, I can forget about it.
This is probably the most common misconception of them all. You should think of building your online store in the same way you would create a building for your physical store. A lot of planning is required to get the exact result that you need. Physical stores need to be maintained whether that be by painting, cleaning, renovations and the like. It’s the same for your online store. You constantly need to be updating and growing your store rather than leaving the proverbial paint to fade away. The more effort you put into maintaining your store, the more successful you will be.
- My products will sell themselves.
Just because your products are online, doesn’t mean that people know they are there. Unless your product is extremely groundbreaking and one-of-a-kind, some form on online promotion is necessary. A distinct marketing plan is a must-have for online promotion whether it be via social media, PPC, blogs etc.
- Design doesn’t matter as long as I have low prices.
Studies have shown that a customer will make a purchase within the first few minutes of being on your site. Therefore it is important to capture their attention with a well balanced and aesthetically sound website design. The layout, overall design and security features are incredibly important when it comes to building trust with your customers. If you are seen as trustworthy and reliable, your customers will thank you for it by purchasing your products. Customer satisfaction is integral to the success of your store, so it’s definitely worth investing your time into developing and designing an eye-catching ecommerce store.
- Product data is easy.
It’s easy to display a few products on your homepage. No problem. But this only acts as a brochure. The more products you have, the more information you have to manage. Your customers need to be able to find your products quickly and that is why your data structure is vital to the overall conversion success of your website. If your customers are bombarded with unorganised and hard-to-find products, they’ll go somewhere else. Data mapping is one of the most challenging aspects of creating an ecommerce store. It takes a lot of time and should be given the proper amount of consideration. Putting extra effort into the organisation of your product data will yield better results. Your customers will be able to find and purchase your products with ease = profit for you.
- I don’t need real world business experience.
As mentioned before: you should think of building your online store in the same way as you would a bricks and mortar store. You should have some idea of the business world and how to run a business. An online store requires management skills that more often than not are gained from the physical market. In saying this, however, not all bricks and mortar business tactics translate into the online world. Some do, and some don’t, and it is up to you as the store owner to discover and accept these differences.
There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about entering the ecommerce world. However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We at Neocreative are experts when it comes to ecommerce and can let you know what to expect without any nasty surprises. So if you’re an established business thinking about entering ecommerce or a brand new business looking to create a store, we’re here to help you.