eCommerce has become a driving force in the current climate of the internet. On the internet, rumours and speculation tend to spread quickly due to the fact that anyone can now share their thoughts on a topic. It is hard to know what is really true, and what isn’t. This applies to the topic of eCommerce. There are many misconceptions on eCommerce and how easy it is to make a successful business from your website.
From Amazon to eBay, everyone has to start somewhere when building up an eCommerce empire. It takes a lot of time and effort to thoroughly develop a quality website that people can find, visit and buy from. Setting your expectations before you get started can help you to see the journey you have ahead of you and what it will take to reach your eCommerce goals.
Myth #1 – Becoming an Overnight Success
From seeing companies such as Amazon initially blow up almost rapidly overnight, it gives a lot of us the perception that this is the standard and that you can grow your eCommerce website to a significant degree in a short period of time. Although some companies may have seen early success by marketing well for the success they want to see, many others have a slower build up as they establish their brand.
Many companies have come and gone within such a short period of time, and you would have to be very lucky to have a success story similar to that of Gymshark or ASOS. Instead, you should focus on what makes your eCommerce business unique. What are you offering the customers that other businesses aren’t?
Thinking about eCommerce in this way, catering to the customer and making your website special/unique rather than focusing on the sales aspect, will subsequently leave you with more successful business in the long run.
Myth #2 – Getting Instant Sales when your Website goes Live
If only this one was true! There are many businesses online that believe once a website is published, it’s instantly visible one the top page of Google. Usually this isn’t the case. It takes a strong marketing strategy to gain the attention of early customers – particularly to introduce your brand to the world.
It’s good to start off by asking yourself the following questions:
- Would you purchase from a brand new website with no name recognition or marketing?
- How would you expect a customer to find the website in the first place?
You then have a few options to way up, if you have a bigger launch budget then consider paid advertising (on Google and social media platforms) that will give you high exposure rapidly. If you have a smaller budget then focus on long term marketing strategies to give you brand recognition over time, which will in-turn help you with sales, then your marketing strategy can also help you to gain a loyal customer base so that you are able to keep your customers engaged and raving about you
Another consideration for this topic is also the website itself – you can pay all the money in the world to drive traffic to your website but if it’s poorly designed, confusing or not secure then customers won’t trust that buying from you is a good choice. Getting visibility on your website is key and website user-friendliness is just as important to success.
Myth #3 – Marketing is Expensive
The truth is that marketing can be done on ANY budget! There are many things that your business can do (even for free) that will help with your eCommerce success and help you find new customers and achieve more sales.
Take social media for example, anyone can open a social media account, and with perseverance and know-how skills, you can grow a social media page to market your business with no big budgets needed. Starting small and posting content that shares your brand on your products is a great way to get going and can often get positive attention if you’re sharing the type of content that resonates with your ideal audience. If you know who your ideal buyer is then everything about marketing is much easier!
Another marketing tool that can be used at every budget is content writing and increasing digital profile by ‘ranking’ for ‘keywords’. This basically means that when our customers are searching for products like ours, we can write articles that will show up in their searches and shine a light on what we do and sell. We recommend using blog writing to promote your eCommerce website In the business this is called search engine optimisation (SEO) and can vary from business owners writing about their expertise to companies hiring marketing agencies to create high-quality content on their behalf. Obviously the more content you can create the more your business can target the keywords you want to show up for and this will get you more traffic.
Myth #4 – Social Media Influencers are Essential to Sell Your Products
Social Media influencers are pretty much exactly what the name implies, they use their social media platform to influence their followers – often many have got their reputations by being role models or sharing wisdom or expertise in a certain industry. Many companies have used social personalities to highlight and promote their products – usually by paying them or providing their goods for free for honest feedback and reviews to a wider audience. This is an effective way of getting your product out to a particular audience, and has seen the growth of products such as HiSmile, and Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kit – but it’s not make or break!
One of the things to consider about social media influencers is that because they are paid to talk about products some promotions can seem less authentic than brands simply speaking directly to the customers themselves. It really comes down to the products you plan on selling in your eCommerce store and who your ideal customer is. Are your customers easily influenced? Do they follow trends and buy products to “keep up” with their friends and family? If you haven’t answered yes to these questions then social media influencers probably won’t boost your brand any more than other digital marketing approaches.
You do not need to pay expensive fees for online celebrities to advertise your products, when you can do it either yourself, by working with a digital marketing agency like us 😉
Myth #5 – That It’s Easy!
This is the biggest myth of them all. Many underestimate the time and effort that goes into building a successful eCommerce website and think that it is just a get-rich-quick scheme. The truth is that it takes a lot of perseverance and motivation to build a successful eCommerce business.
The best recommendations we can give for building a successful eCommerce business is planning – a strong business plan and launch strategy will take you towards your business goals quicker. From finding the right products to building a website that makes sense to your customers, that it’s then easy to use and easy to find online – all of these things will be executed more successfully if they have been planned and researched first.
One of the biggest mistakes that is often made by startup eCommerce businesses is that they budget for products and a website and miss out on planning their launch campaign. With everything we’ve covered you have probably already worked out that launching the products in the right way is just as important as designing a great website. You can’t do one without the other and still expect global success.
If your intention is to instantly blow up with success and then live your best life, then your perception of eCommerce might need adjusting!. At the end of the day, eCommerce is about providing the right products, to the right customers, at the right time.
Are you still interested in eCommerce?
We hope that we have cleared up a lot of misconceptions about building a successful eCommerce business. If you want to know what your next steps are then you can probably guess what we recommend – a good solid strategy!