Like any other business venture, it takes an investment of time and there’s a seemingly endless list of decisions to make. That’s why you need to do your research and go into it with an open mind and willingness to try new things.
But with so much information out there, it's hard to know what’s true and what might be a mistake for your business. For that reason I’ve put together a list of the biggest ecommerce myths I come across most often.
Setting up your ecommerce site is a multi-step process that requires a great deal of thought, planning and expertise. In addition to a viable product, you need an easy-to-navigate shopping experience, a brand, a marketing plan, compelling website content, a fulfillment solution, the ability to accept payments from your customers, integration with your other business software and a secure and reliable checkout page, among many other things.
Many of these alone can make or break your ecommerce success and you’d be hard-pressed to become an expert in all of them. I would argue you should focus on creating and perfecting your product and ensuring you’re finding the right customers instead of trying to build an optimized, end-to-end ecommerce solution yourself.
Here's another post on outsourcing your ecommerce and the associated benefits of doing so.
You can build the world's greatest ecommerce website, but you still have to attract customers to make it successful. And this is not an easy task. There is a lot of competition for the attention of online shoppers and you need to make an effort to get your solution in front of those individuals most likely to convert into customers.
This can be done by creating valuable content, building a presence on social media, placing online ads or optimizing your search engine page rankings. Wherever your target segments are is where your brand and product need to be to get that initial interest.
A common ecommerce mistake is under-pricing your product, especially when you’re first launching. While a lower price may make it easier to attract customers at first, you may actually be missing out on a significant amount of revenue.
Ecommerce pricing strategies should focus on how much your target customers value your product rather than linking it directly to your costs or just mimicking competitors. Low prices can also have the negative impact of lowering the value perception of your overall brand, making future price increases more difficult.
Don't make the mistake of thinking credit cards are all you need. While 76% of U.S. shoppers use them to make online purchases, debit card and PayPal use are also significant, at 50% and 54% respectively.
Furthermore, if you want to sell overseas, credit cards often aren’t the most popular payment method. Percentages vary by country and offering other billing and payment options can increase your likelihood of making a sale. So, make sure you know which ecommerce payment options are most popular with your target markets. While a few payment methods tend to dominate, the more options you provide, the more shoppers you're likely convert.
If your ecommerce platform has advanced globalization capabilities your cart can display prices in your shopper’s local currencies wherever they are in the world. A study by WorldPay found that 13% of shoppers abandon a purchase because the price was displayed in a foreign currency. High converting carts are a necessity for any business hoping to grow and succeed.
Don’t get me wrong – you need a good plan of how to get to market and attract customers to be successful. But it’s equally important to be open to pivoting when something’s working or not. This means testing different customer acquisition paths, content, cross-sells, up-sells, price points and checkout journeys. So follow your plan up to a point, but if you’re not seeing great success, try testing something new.
Ecommerce is always evolving which makes the challenge of attracting and converting online customers even more difficult. So, if there is one theme I could emphasize when it comes to ecommerce, it’s that you should always be flexible and ready to change. If you can do that, and not fall for many of the common ecommerce myths, you’re much more likely to find success.
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