E-commerce has become an extremely popular business model in recent years as it has become possible to easily start up a website selling products. This has led to a number of myths and misconceptions becoming commonplace whether it is about the kind of website your need to succeed or the metrics you should track. Here we examine five of the most common myths about e-commerce and look into the truth behind them.
Myth 1: The Product Is Everything
It is naturally true that if you want to make succeed in the world of e-commerce, you will need to have a great product – this isn’t a myth. But it is a myth that having a high-quality product is enough in itself to guarantee sales and success. E-commerce is a marketplace that is easily flooded given how easy it is to set up a business selling online. So if you want your business to be successful, you need to offer something more than just good products.
The truth: Without proper marketing and customer service, a great product won’t count for very much at all. Ultimately, if you have a great product that you can sell at the right price, you need to be doing everything you can to market it effectively. If you really want to be successful you should look into strategies for SEO and content marketing.
Myth 2: Any Website Will Do
Many businesses rush into the building of their website, choosing the platform they are familiar with in order to get something up online as soon as possible. This is a bad move – if you are trying to sell your products, you need to have a website that looks great and converts well. Take your time researching the different options available.
The truth: E-commerce platforms are not created equal. There are a wide variety of different site builders and platforms available for you to create your e-commerce site. Whether you are using a WordPress site with a WooCommerce plugin or going for something more professional like a hosted Magento site (see these from Magento hosting specialist Wirehive), you need to look into the finer details and produce a high quality site.
Myth 3: You Should Only Focus On Selling To Desktop Customers
There has been the idea for a long time that customers are much more likely to make a purchase through a desktop than they are through a mobile device. This has meant that many ecommerce businesses purely focus on optimising their website for sales through desktop. However, if you are doing this you may be alienating more of the market that you think.
The truth: More web traffic actually comes from mobile devices than desktop. This means that the majority of people landing on your site will be through mobile devices and if you have a website that is not optimised for mobile, you will be potentially losing out on sales to that traffic.
Myth 4: The Only Important Metric To Track Is Revenue
There’s no doubt that any business needs to understand its revenue. Revenue is the lifeblood of the business as it is the bottom line on paying staff, buying from suppliers and affording expenses. But focussing too much on purely the amount of money you are making doesn’t generally give you an idea of how you will improve.
The truth: it is essential to track a wide range of metrics to make a success of an e-commerce business. This includes things like clickthroughs from search engines, conversion rates on your website and bounce rate. Tracking this data is vital for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your site, and increasing your sales.
Myth 5: A Small Business Doesn’t Need To Worry About Data Protection
If you are interested in setting up a small business that focuses on e-commerce, you might assume that you don’t need to worry too much about data protection. Unfortunately, however, it is the case that you will need to start taking your data responsibilities seriously.
The truth: Regulations like the GDPR affect businesses of all sizes. The GDPR comes into force in May 2018, and it means that businesses of all sizes will need to take additionally steps to protect the data of their staff and customers.