The good the bad and the ugly of ecommerce
Running an ecommerce business sounds like a dream. You have a faster buying/selling procedure. Business is open 24/7 and it has a much wider reach. There are no geographic limitations. Not to mention it is easy to start and manage with the right help and there is no physical company set up. Sound amazing right. Well, in this article, Wesley Longueira discusses all things good, bad and ugly about ecommerce.
Ah yes, the dream of going to bed and waking up in the morning and there is more money in your bank account. You have set up your online store and have taken the same strategy you have always used and simply put it all online. How clever you are. Why isn’t everyone else doing the same as you? Wait, thank goodness they aren’t. It must be too difficult for them. Now you have built it and surely you will be able to retire in the next 6 months. Well, realistically, make it a year.
Yes, all of this is a possibility and it does happen every day, just not to people I know. The reality is no one has overnight success. It has been years of dedication and focus that culminated into one night of success. It all started to work and what was a trickle is now a good constant flow and with dedication becomes a gush of fortunes.
The general experience I have when helping people set up their ecommerce is that they want to get it done really quickly and treat it very much as a bolt onto their business - 2 things that rarely work in your favour. The first question you have to ask yourself when starting out is: “where do your clients hang out online”. Do they buy online and will they be buying the same product you are now selling online? Rarely are the answers 100% clear, so here are some tips to use when setting this all up.
The good. When properly executed, ecommerce can really take your business into the stratosphere. I have seen ecommerce be a win-win for everyone. Clients can check out when they want and where they want. They don’t have to wait for quotes or invoices and the rules are pretty clear on how to get refunds. The product is then delivered in the expected time frame and condition. On the business owner’s side, I have seen how people have thought it all through and have integrated their marketing CRM system to offer people goods and services and had an all-in-one system that allows them to make multiple offers automatically. Then to have that automation stop when the purchase is successful. On top of this, they had the data to be able to offer more at a later stage or even offer loyalty programs and so on. On occasion people have gone all in and have integrated and automated all the way so that the CRM talks to the ecommerce and accounting software. This seamless delivery is achievable when you choose the correct systems from the beginning so that you know where you want to end up.
The bad. This is when people really have not thought it all through. They have really just bolted on the ecommerce to the business in the hope that customers will figure it out. It’s never clear what they are getting and the check-out process is difficult, if not impossible. They end up going for what is in front of them and seem to solve the problem for today, but create many frustrations for tomorrow. These decisions are often influenced by price and knowledge of what is available. The reality is you can never turn on the floodgates if you just create more work for yourself and create bottlenecks for yourself and customers.
The ugly. Possibly the worst I have seen is when people are stuck with legacy ecommerce systems. 3 or 4 years ago they may have signed up to a system that was all the range. Now they find themselves in a place where it is too difficult to migrate in the short term and sit in a bit of purgatory. They leave a lot of money on the table and often ask themselves why they started. The ugliness can be overcome when you focus on what you really want to achieve and simply take the plunge. The benefit is that it is usually a quick migration, as you know what to look out for and your business is geared for this kind of action. What is always a surprise is how much money has been left on the table in these situations and the lesson is to never let it happen again.
Some platforms that I would consider when moving into ecommerce:
Woo Commerce. Just because it’s so simple and customisable. It will take some techy help, but the beauty is it integrates to everything and there is normally some plugin that will help you achieve what you want. The bad part is you need a bit of tech support to keep it going and the ugly is, when it breaks, you are on your own in the short term.
Shopify. It is fantastic for a quick get up and go. It has a million options to customise and largely integrates to other systems with a bit of convincing. The bad is that the costs seem to add up very quickly and, when customising, you need some support to keep you moving.
SAMCART Ultra-simple and focused on keeping you pointed in the right direction. It’s not very customisable, but the deep integration into key systems is stunning. It does seem like a lot of money for what you are getting, but the reliability can’t be ignored.
QUIVERS. For an ultra-sophisticated multi store you can’t beat it. Some of the functionality is simply out of this world and the ability to run a global business with retail store delivery is something to behold. The cost of support for customisation comes with the territory, but is well worth it when taking your global brand online.
Infusionsoft. As all-in-one CRM ecommerce systems go, you can’t beat this. The ecommerce is left wanting in some areas, but for any growing business it ticks all the right boxes. The bad is that not every region is covered and the ugly really is that, with a bit of effort, Infusionsoft could truly make it world class.
Clickfunnels. The glory of Clickfunnels is the ability to extract every cent out of each check out with upsells and one time offers flying at you from every angle. It really is the next step for ecommerce but has some way to go in the reliability stakes and, in many regards, tends to be overrated.
So, if you want to make sure that you have the good and avoid the bad and ugly then head this simple call. Do your homework. Focus on your client’s journey first and then your journey. Test and learn fast and above all, focus on results.
Written By: Wesley Longueira