Deciding to open an e-commerce store can be difficult, but that’s just the start. It takes a lot of concentrated effort, time and money to make it successful and commitment must be long-term.
Here is some advice we offer to clients choosing to move forward.
Accept reality. The way in which consumers interact with businesses has changed and it’s not going back. You may be one of the lucky few that have not been impacted yet, but it’s coming.
Get started. Realize that you won’t do it perfectly but you can refine things once you are under way. The typical startup period can be as a little as a few weeks or many months. In fact, the shorter the development time the better as you will be forced to make some hard decisions quickly that don’t get easier.
Get help. Expertise operating doesn’t guarantee success with e-commerce. The on-line space doesn’t conform to the rules you are used to. If you are busy operating your existing business it may be hard to carve out enough time to commit the time to building your online storefront.
Budget accordingly. Although on-line stores are considerably less expensive than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, it does cost money to acquire the technology, load it with data and promote it, either through traditional advertising methods or on-line channels.
Be realistic in your objectives. The conversion rate (the shift from a browser to a purchaser) is about 2%. That means you need a lot of visitors to drive sales but you can significantly increase those figures through smart product selection, pricing and convenience.