As an established ecommerce web design agency, Peacock Carter spend a lot of time talking to ecommerce retailers and businesses looking to start their own online store.
From those conversations, we hear a lot of myths and misconceptions about ecommerce: so, what are the top myths about ecommerce?
1. Ecommerce enables instant, global sales
Ecommerce does allow greater reach to global consumers, but having an ecommerce website doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll instantly start selling to every country on the planet. Barriers to sale in other regions can include:
- Government-imposed bans on selling products to certain countries
- Excessive courier/delivery charges
- Additional insurance costs for packages sent abroad
- High levels of payment fraud
- Lack of localised content in the local language
- Lack of local knowledge/use of popular regional social media platforms
As you can see, there’s a long list of areas to consider when selling internationally, and a carefully considered – and localised – approach is required.
2. Build it, and they will come
Any website, whether ecommerce or not, needs a strategy to become – and remain – successful. Whether that is search engine optimisation or paid advertising (PPC), social media, or offline marketing, websites need some form of strategy behind them to succeed.
3. Ecommerce customers want lowest cost; I can’t compete
There are certainly many online retailers who do well from selling items in bulk at very low prices (think Amazon, etc), but not all ecommerce businesses have to compete on price. Many well known brands such as Nike and Christian Louboutin sell goods online without needing to offer a discount to customers, and your business can too.
Our ecommerce clients include retailers large and small, and they retail products such as food, jewellery, who all operate without discounting online sales. This works particularly well with niche or luxury products, but can work just as well for other products if your business is able to offer additional benefits, such as quicker delivery or better customer service.
4. Our IT department can build an ecommerce website
Your IT department are almost certainly very highly skilled, but web development and IT are two separate skill areas. And even if your IT department can build a suitable ecommerce website for you, you’re missing out on the valuable insight and knowledge an ecommerce agency can provide, to help your ecommerce website succeed online.
A good ecommerce agency should be able to advise on digital marketing, tax rules, shipping costs as well as conversation rate optimisation best practice, to ensure your website is actively working for your business and generating a return on your investment.
5. We can just sell on eBay/Amazon
Many sellers do sell solely on other market places, but there are many reasons not to rely only on platforms such as eBay and Amazon to sell your products:
- Marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon take commission from your sales (though this is in return for access to their members)
- Marketplaces don’t allow you to develop a direct relationship with a customer effectively: next time a customer wants your product, they’re not guaranteed to use your store on the marketplace
- Marketplaces tend to emphasise the lowest cost, so smaller retailers can find it hard to compete
Ecommerce that works?
Building a truly great ecommerce business takes time. Once your website has launched, your work doesn’t end: it will need constant attention, measuring and adapting to ensure you’re making the most of your position in the market.
Good ecommerce businesses are always aiming to be ahead of the curve and trends, so why not read our 2016 ecommerce predictions, too?