MYTHBUSTING CAN SURE BE FUN!
Myth, ever wondered what the word meant exactly, did you, well I never did…but I do know what “Mythbusting” means, I mean who wouldn’t?
Mythbusting empowers us and makes us realise the difference between the truth and reality. In the world of e-commerce too there are many myths.
And today, this blog is dedicated to bust all of those!
In contrast to brick and mortar stores ecommerce marketing presents an exclusive set of challenges. Although there are more consumers shopping online, there are even cases where they would prefer to walk into a store and actually see the item personally. This is a major obstacle for ecommerce marketers to jump; they must produce a welcoming, personal experience that will trump any need to make a purchase decision in a retail store.
With the prevalence of technology, information is easily accessible to everyone and the pressure now, is on businesses to provide the best possible products and services to customers. Customers, today, are spoilt for choice and there are a huge number of options out there for them to select from. So when you can grab someone’s attention utilize that as best as you can to make a sale.. If you don’t, they’ll simply find another place to shop from.
There are many misconceptions prevalent in the e-commerce industry that doesn’t allow inexperienced ecommerce entrepreneurs to grow their business. We’ve debunked some of these myths below.
Myth #1: Once your website is setup, the traffic will come Automatically ,i.e., Build it and they will come.
Just like any store, an online store needs traffic. And since there is no foot traffic in the online world, you need to get your internet marketing hustle on to drive traffic to your online store.
Unfortunately, this is a common misconception among the ecommerce newbies while setting up their website. They think that ecommerce is just about getting a domain and setting up a storefront. But that’s just pipedream. There are thousands of competitors in any ecommerce niche. Hence, without promotional campaigns and active ecommerce marketing you may finish up with no sales and a failed business.
An ecommerce website without active marketing (SEO, Search Ads, Social media, etc) is as good as not having a website at all.
Myth #2: Revenue is the most critical metric to measure
Or that Only price matters.
Competing on price has been successful for the few, but unrealistic for the majority since it requires that you generate a massive volume of sales for substantial profit. Setting yourself apart as a leader and authority, or offering stellar customer service and ease of shopping, can allow you to command a higher price.
There are some web metrics that give a better picture of where your company is situated in your industry and in the minds of consumers. Focusing on your pay per clicks, conversion rate, and bounce rate are some of the few statistics that will give you a more realistic picture. By not considering these metrics, you could be ignoring the fact that your website is badly designed or you aren’t developing engaging content that captivates prospective customers; or maybe your landing pages are not persuasive enough for people to fill out a form or download a special offer.
Myth #3: Mobile consumers do not convert
Mobile is responsible for the recent years’ increase in online traffic. In mobile internet usage has now overtaken desktop usage and the same applies for ecommerce as well. If your website is not optimized for mobile or you don’t have mobile commerce options, your business will lose out to your competitors. E-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay bring in huge numbers of mobile sales every day and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t too. For better conversion you just need to optimize your site for mobile as best as you can.
Myth #4: My business is too small to sell globally
The best thing about ecommerce business is that it helps you go beyond geographical restrictions. With an ecommerce store you have the ability to sell your product anywhere & anytime globally. It is obvious that your warehouse location is very important, if you are selling perishable goods. But for non-perishable items you can shipping them anywhere with global shipping partners like Fedex.
Myth #5: Content marketing is waste of time
Many SMB owners believe that their work is done once their website is launched. But, you need fresh & qualitative content consistently to help your search engine visibility and continue targeting your audience. Content marketing is simultaneously linked with SEO campaigns, enabling you to reach out to search users. With a proper content marketing strategy you can not only increase your search rankings and generate sales but also enhance your brand visibility.
Myth #6: Negative Online review may destroy your business
Every business faces criticism once in a while. In the online world criticism comes in the form of negative online reviews. But negative reviews don’t mean the end of the world. You should take negative reviews as an opportunity to improve your products and process and educate other users about how considerate you are in acknowledging negative feedback and acting upon it. Dealing with negative comments/reviews the right way can increase your brand credibility.
Myth #7: Running an online business is much cheaper than a real world store
Running an ecommerce business is as costly, if not more, as running a brick-and-mortar store. Ecommerce is much more than just a catalog. It also involves supply chain management, shipping, warehousing, extensive marketing, etc Costs for managing all these is significant. So don’t get into ecommerce because it’s cheaper to start. It’s not.
Myth#8 :– It’s Easy
Undoubtedly, there are infomercials on after I go to bed that tout how easy e-commerce is for anyone. But in reality, there will be obstacles to overcome: customer service fires that need to be put out, charge backs that will require attention, and technical issues you need to get help to solve. So it’s not easy but is doable with persistence.
Myth #9 :– It’s Free.
You get what you pay for and nothing is free. You may be able to save money doing many of the tasks yourself, such as writing product descriptions, taking product photos, and marketing. You will still have a hosting bill, cost of goods, and fees for processing credit cards.
Myth #10 :– No Experience needed.
You may not need e-commerce experience; however, experience in starting a business, marketing, merchandising and branding will all help you succeed.
Myth #11 :– It’s not a business.
E-commerce is e-business which means this IS a business. You need products or services, marketing, company policies, accounting, IT, fulfillment, customer support and more.
Myth #12 :– Manufacturer pictures will work.
Stock images show you as a copycat whenever someone is searching for a specific product. Take your own pictures and stand out from the crowd.
Myth #13 :– Fraud.
In the beginning you need to check everything for potential fraud. Fraudulent orders cut your profits and could put you out of business; especially if you leverage drop shipping.
Myth #14 :– Competition.
Know who your competition is before you open up shop. Like a hawk, watch every move they make, so you don’t get caught by surprise on anything. Google alerts on company names is a good place to start.
Myth #15 :– One year, one million dollars.
I would love to know where people get this one from. It is possible to build a million dollar online business in a few years; previous experience in other e-commerce businesses is a huge predictor of success though.
Myth #16 :– Your Passion for Your Product is Your Best Tool
Like the stickiest of myths, this one’s half-true. If you opened Mirrors, Ladders & Umbrellas Unlimited because those are your three favorite things in the world, that’s going to be a huge asset when it’s time to communicate what’s great about them. But it can also hold you back. Sometimes having a passion for something leads to communication gaps wherein you assume that because you know or believe in something, it means your audience does too. This is the same thing that happens when someone tells a bad story; their memories and feelings about the event they’re describing can pave over the fact that they’ve accidentally left out key information that can help other people understand why to care.
Keep your product-oriented passion in there as a key ingredient, but add equal parts passion for business and passion for your audience. That last one is essential; don’t assume that your market research is done because you think you’re the target audience. Your target audience isn’t you, and their unique needs will drive decisions about your product line that may not line up with the choices you would have made for yourself.
Myth #17: Low Prices = Competitive Edge
Do you know a guy who can get you an amazing deal on wholesale mirrors, ladders and umbrellas? Perfect! So all you have to do is set your prices as low as possible and you’ll have a natural competitive edge, right? Not quite. The “set your prices low” myth branches off into three distinct problems: first, it devalues the work of your entire industry by setting off an out-pricing frenzy that will shift customer assumptions about what these products are supposed to cost. Second, it leads to extremely lazy marketing and differentiation because you’ve mixed up pricing and marketing strategy. And third, your wholesale supplier plays the field. Someone will always find a way to beat your price, making this an unsustainable way to fuel your business.
You may not ever be able to out-price Walmart, but there are still a lot of people out there who don’t shop at Walmart.
Think about what really sets your products apart, and then set a fair price. You may not ever be able to out-price Wamart, but there are still a lot of people out there who don’t shop at Walmart. Maybe they want something durable and high-quality, or unique and artisanal, or innovative and cutting-edge. Find what makes your products better, and don’t sell yourself short.
Myth #18: You Were Successful In Business Once, So You Can Do It Again
It’s really cool that you were a top-tier salesperson at a Fortune 500 company, or that you ran your first business out of your college dorm room, or that you operated a thriving brick-and-mortar 15 years ago. Those are all experiences that will help you out, and all the qualities that made you successful are still in you. But this is a different business, and ecommerce is a space that changes significantly by the day. If you assume that the way you used to do things is the way you should do them today, you’re going to start the race way behind.
Two parts curiosity, one part adaptability, and three parts finding the right people. Stay up to date on trends, strategies and industry developments, and flex your thinking to meet the needs of your new audience. But also remember that you don’t have to be the expert on everything; you just have to find the experts and empower them to do what they do best.
Myth #19: Keep Your On-Page Content to a Minimum for Optimum UX
No, it’s probably not a great idea to write 4,000 words about your product on the product page itself. But a lot of people tend to take the “keep it simple; keep it clean” mantra and use it to hyper-correct themselves out of any decent content at all. It’s a common website myth that people don’t want to read, and given the logistics of shopping on a mobile device, it’s an understandable one. But books still exist, and so does long-form journalism, and so do editorials and lengthy Facebook diatribes and blog posts. It’s not that people don’t want to read; it’s that they don’t want to read the wrong content in the wrong places.
Good writing plus good design. If you want people to read, it helps to have engaging content. It also helps, however, to find a way a seamless and unobtrusive way to showcase that content, and here’s where designers step in to work miracles that I could never personally dream of. When I handed the copy of this How to Start an Online Store page over to my boss, we both looked at the length and took a gulp. But we couldn’t really find any information that needed to be cut, because it’s a complicated subject. So we put the work in the hands of a designer, who found a way to make the final page beautiful and digestible. How do we know we made the right choice? People have been reading it, and Google took notice of that. If your copy contains the information people need to know (and hopefully no more), they’ll read it.
Myth #20: You Have a Logo and a Color Palette, So You Have a Brand
Branding is an ephemeral concept to describe, so it’s normal to grasp onto the most tangible branding components you can. But your design isn’t your brand; it’s just another vessel for communicating your brand. If you decided to wear nothing but blue and green with yellow accents every day, would you really expect that to tell the whole story of who you are? No, because people still don’t understand why you’re doing that or how it expresses your identity (why are you doing that, by the way?).
People don’t become loyal to brands for the colors; they become loyal because they share your ethos.
You need several more ingredients, including the secret sauce. You’ll be mixing it all up in a way communicates your values, the heart and soul of your brand. People don’t become loyal to brands for the colors; they become loyal because they share your ethos. Start by thinking about what your brand stands for, and use copy, design, customer service, partnerships, products, outreach, people and photos as the tools to express that.
Myth #21: Your Online Business Will Be the Only Source of Income You Need
Did you step on a crack and break your mother’s back, and then you let a black cat cross your path so you lost your job? I’m really sorry about all that. It’s going to be okay. It’s not, however, a good time to start a business. A lot of people see events like this as the perfect time to set out and finally chase their dreams, and there’s a logic to that: the flexibility of running your own business means you can work while you help out your mom, for example, and being job-free can give you the time that you need to really focus on the business. Unfortunately, financial uncertainty doesn’t really create the type of hustle that leads to long-term success. It’s too easy to make poor decisions, take shortcuts, and aim for quick wins when you’re desperate. On top of all that, businesses cost a whole lot of money to start up and grow.
Set “quit my job” as one of your business goals, and design a plan that will get you there. Then work on it as much as you can in your free time, but keep your day job. It may take longer than you wanted, but you’ll make it – safely, intentionally and sustainably. And you won’t even need the help of a lucky penny! But it couldn’t hurt, so go find one.
Myth#22: If You Have Great Products, People Will Buy from You
Reality: Great products are essential to any business’ success; however, that isn’t the whole story. Having products that evoke quality and prestige are important, but if you can’t effectively create relationships with your prospective customers and build trust, there’s no guarantee that they will still want to buy from you. There are a lot of companies out there that do what you do, so how are you going to set yourself apart?
An area of ecommerce that consumers tend to say is lacking is a personalized experience, one that makes them feel like they’re in a retail space but they can still shop in their sweatpants. Take the time to really understand your target market and the type of shopping experience they’re looking for. Do they want to be able to chat online with a personal stylist? Do they want coupons or discounts?
Knowing what your consumers want and when they want it is by no means an easy task, but if you do your research and listen to your customers’ feedback, you should be on the right track to differentiating yourself from a cluttered marketplace.
Myth #23: Pricing Is the Number One Factor Considered When Making an Online Purchase Decision
Reality: It’s true that we live in a money-conscious society, but we can’t necessarily say that pricing is the ultimate determinant of a purchase decision. There’s rarely one factor that trumps all others in the decision-making process. Think about all of the elements that go into any major purchase; you want to know that the brand is credible, trustworthy, available for support, provides an easy shopping experience, has an attractive website, features reviews, the list goes on and on.
While it’s tempting to try and take the price leader approach, try to focus on simply being price competitive. By falling more in the middle of the pack amongst your competitors, you can use your other differentiating factors to stand out and not have to worry about making up for financial losses. If you offer more personalized service, hassle-free returns, or have rave reviews from customers, show that off! Don’t be afraid to let your strengths shine because you’re solely focused on providing the cheapest products.
Myth #24: All Ecommerce Platforms Are Created Equal
Reality: This could not be farther from the truth! There are two types of platforms, hosted and self-hosted, and while you might prefer to completely manage your website yourself, there’s something to be said about leaving it to the professionals. Hosted ecommerce platforms provide access to a support team and the majority of site management is off of your plate, so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Of course, this comes at a higher cost versus self-hosted software.
On the other hand, self-hosted platforms give you the freedom to design and manage the site all on your own or work with a hosting company if you could use some extra guidance. Some of the top hosted ecommerce platforms are Shopify and BigCommerce, and the top self-hosted platforms are Magento and WooCommerce.
It’s important that you don’t make a rash decision to select a self-hosted platform or the cheapest hosted platform just to save a few dollars. Even if you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t make it all about money. If you do prefer the self-hosted platforms, it’s generally recommended that you work with a reliable hosting company to oversee development and management to prevent site crashes or malfunctioning shopping carts. Like your customers would do before purchasing from you, do the same with these platforms. Look at company reviews, customer support availability, ease of use, customization capabilities, and price.
There is a lot to balance as an ecommerce business owner, and it’s important that you don’t fall for common misconceptions or assumptions about managing your online presence. The most important thing to remember is that online shopping is an experience; it’s not always intended to be some quick purchase with little thought put into it. People do go online to thoroughly research products, alternatives, and reviews, especially for bigger ticket items.
Developing a web presence that’s welcoming, informative, and personal is essential to succeeding in the market. Build your site around strong content that invites and excites, and take your time in selecting platform software that best fits your business model. Looking at the bigger picture is likely to make you more credible and trustworthy, which will ultimately aid in financial success.
As a business owner there are lots of things to balance, and it’s imperative that you don’t fall for common myths about managing your online presence. The most important thing to keep in mind is that online shopping is an experience. If you are providing an experience people love you will have a profitable business.
To achieve the success in the ecommerce world, build a web presence that’s welcoming, instructive, and personal. Develop your site with strong content that invites and excites, and take some time in choosing the platform software that best fits your business model. If you look closer such things are likely to make you more credible and trustworthy, which will help you build a long lasting business.
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