E-commerce is constantly evolving, innovating, and shifting. It is flexible to adapt to customer wants and needs. It is also adaptable because it has to, given the constant updates most digital platforms go through. With so many changes happening around the e-commerce industry, some accurate information will get lost in the digital din; as a result—myths!
Many myths of e-commerce are going around the industry. While some are amusing, many can actually cause damage to your online marketing efforts. Most of these myths are based on inexperience; others are complete nonsense. You could end up spending your valuable time and resources on things based on hearsay or inaccuracy.
As the saying goes, “knowing is half the battle,” and your e-commerce development plans will only be successful if you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. This article is all about these myths of e-commerce you will need to know to come up with a foolproof online marketing plan.
Let’s get myth busting!
Myth #1: E-commerce is a self-sustaining business.
The first myth on our list is the belief that online sales can be achieved with little effort and time. It is obviously completely false because, much like any other business, you must strive hard and put in the effort to reap the benefits.
There are many failure stories available over the web for everyone to see. Sources like Forbes and Huff Post believe that 90% of e-commerce startups fail within the first 120 days. Online marketing errors and lack of focus are common reasons. Contrary to what many “internet gurus” would have you believe, it is only possible to build an e-commerce empire if you know exactly what you want to achieve, work hard for it, and learn all the tricks of the trade.
Instead of thinking of the e-commerce industry only as a means to make quick cash, consider it a way to meet your customers’ needs. It will not be easy and will take a lot of work and a lot of frustrating trials and errors. You can still build a profitable online business if you remain focused.
Myth #2: Amazon is the only place to sell your products.
The most common misconception regarding the e-commerce industry is that you must sell on Amazon. It is easy to see why so many people believe that. Take a look at Amazon’s growth over the years – the online selling platform giant holds a considerable market share in nearly every product category, and it has millions of customers to boot.
However, you can still sell products in large quantities elsewhere. A study in 2020 showed that eBay was the most preferred marketplace for online sellers in the US. The ease of use, customer support, and profitability of the marketplace were highly valued by merchants. Amazon, on the other hand, ranked only seventh in the same study.
Although choosing the right sales platform is a crucial decision for your company, it’s also essential to consider the cost of reaching and serving customers. These will vary depending on the market, but they are generally higher in areas where many brands attempt to sell their products.
Lastly, selling online on marketplaces with less competition might be easier. Alibaba, eBay, and BestBuy are all great alternatives to Amazon.
Myth #3: Brick-and-mortar stores are no match for e-commerce.
There is a good chance that your city center has seen significant changes in the last ten years. Many corner shops might have closed. Others are struggling to stay afloat. Only big chains have kept their doors open.
E-commerce can be easily attributed to all this. It’s a shift in customers’ needs and wants. Online shopping is becoming more popular because of its convenience. Brick-and-mortar stores must adapt. How? You can complement your offline store experience by offering digital services. This is also called Omnichannel Commerce. It aims to combine customer experience across all channels.
Offline stores will always be part of our lives. But our shopping habits have changed drastically. Instead of seeing e-commerce as a threat to brick-and-mortar stores, consider it a way to meet your customers’ needs in new and relevant ways.
Myth #4: Selling offline products online is easy.
E-commerce can be marketed as an easy way to increase your revenue streams. You would only need to list your products and then start selling them online. Although there is nothing wrong with this idea, it doesn’t reflect reality.
Most of the time, brick-and-mortar businesses tend to forget about online marketing, which is vital because it’s how people will know about your business and the products or services you offer online. Without online marketing, your business will likely get lost in this crowded digital world.
Another problem when selling wares online is getting your products to your customers. Consider the following: You’ve made your first sale and sent the product to your customer. The customer, however, complains about receiving a damaged product. What will you do?
The problem is that there may be better choices to ship your products to customers than your regular packaging. Your product must withstand all the handling it will receive on its journey to the customer. You must pack your products in such a way that you can get them to your customers in pristine condition.
It’s best to consult your e-commerce platform if you need help with how to go about it.
Myth #5: Online shoppers care only about the price.
This pandemic has led to more people shopping online. It has revolutionized commerce purchasing and accelerated digital transformation in almost every industry.
We are also facing a high cost of living crisis, which will likely last several years. However, online shoppers are not primarily concerned with price. A recent survey by Oberlo found that price was not a top 10 reason people shop online. The motivations behind people shopping online are more complex than just price. Although price plays an important role, it is not the only factor. Other factors include free delivery, coupons and discounts, and customer reviews.
Myth #6: Customer experience only applies to your website or app.
Sometimes, it is easy to think of customer experience (CX) as something that applies only to e-commerce websites and apps. Your brand must provide a seamless, engaging experience for your customers wherever they are. It could be on a search engine or in a physical shop. Customer experience must be consistent and captivating wherever it is offered.
These are only a few myths of e-commerce. E-commerce can be complex if you believe in the hype without understanding it. Worse, you can fall for inefficient business planning, poor sales, loss of investment, and even irreversible debt.
That’s why it is prudent to know more about e-commerce before entering its doors. Yes, e-commerce may be lucrative, but it’s only when you’ve done proper research and know precisely what you’re getting yourself into. The myths mentioned above are just some things you should be wary of.
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