Debunking Common Myths About eCommerce

April 7, 2020

Author: Georgia Townshend

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As simple as it sounds, eCommerce is not that easy.

In fact, there are a few fallacies the good ol’ internet may have you believe. Whether you’re thinking of shifting online to accompany your physical store, or starting your business from scratch, there’s definitely a few that you won’t have realised might be standing in the way of your growth.

So here they are, debunked.

Myth #1: It’s easy!

It’s time consuming.  Even more so for someone who is not comfortable with website development and its many parameters (hosting, design, features, security, payment gateway and so on). In the end, your time has a value and building and maintaining a site can become time-consuming very quickly, and often produce a bad result.

It’s like wanting to build your own house, technically you CAN do it yourself; but if you haven’t got the knowledge and the time, you will end up with a tent in the middle of your garden.

Myth #2: It’s free/cheap.

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 some marketing. You will still have a hosting bill, cost of goods, and fees for processing credit cards.

Many eCommerce platforms, usually the ones promoting the fact it’s easy and cheap – have a cost monthly to pay, and a fee to be applied for each transaction, in the long term these platforms can quickly become expensive!

Myth #3: Only price matters… Low price = competitive advantage.

Competing on price has been successful for a few, but is unrealistic for the majority since it works on economies of scale, meaning that you need to generate a massive volume of sales for substantial profit. Setting your prices low causes three distinct problems: first, it devalues your entire industry by setting off a price war that will alter customer assumptions about what 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 just as you do. 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 Kmart, but there are still a lot of people out there who don’t shop at Kmart.

Myth #4: Build it and they will come.

Just like any store, an online store needs traffic. The Internet is a huge place and the only way for anybody to find you is to invite them in and make yourself visible. 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. This doesn’t always need to be paid advertising! Which brings us to the 5th and final myth.

Myth #5: You need to spend a tonne of money on ads.

Well, no. The good news is there’s a lot you can do to market your products and store online without having to spend a fortune on ad campaigns (though, strategic use of ads is certainly recommended!). What you do need to do is make sure your website is SEO friendly and (relevant) content rich. Start a blog and post relevant, usable content that your customers will appreciate. Or, choose a couple of social media channels your audience relate to and provide regular, quality content! This will all help your site rank better and be found by your customers.