7 E-Commerce Myths Debunked

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When you are creating your online store, there is always that sense of doubt. You may hear people say things about running an e-commerce business that causes you to pause and think twice about what you are doing.

There are many myths about e-commerce and running an e-commerce business. Regardless if you are superstitious or not, here are some common myths about ecommerce that are so foundational to the way you run your online store and business that if you worry too much about them, you can set off a chain of events that will constantly feel like you have bad luck written all over you.

E-Commerce Myths to Watch Out For

Myth #1: Your Passion for Your Product is Your Best Tool 

This one is hard to explain because on one hand, it is half true. If you open a business that relates to one of your most favorite things in the world, it is going to be a huge asset when it’s time to communicate with potential customers what’s great about the services you provide.

For example, if creating clothing and fashion pieces is your passion, then opening an online store full of your creations will definitely do you some good. But, on the other hand, it can also hold you back. When you have a passion for something it can lead to communication gaps between you and your customers. You may assume that because you know or believe in something, that means that your audience automatically feels or knows the same things too. 

Keeping your passion for your product in your e-commerce business as a key ingredient is important, but also adding equal parts passion for business and passion for your audience. Never assume that your market research is done because you have your target audience. You are not your target audience, and their unique needs will ultimately drive decisions about your product that may not line up with choices that you would have made for yourself. 

Myth #2: Low Prices Equal to a Competitive Edge

This myth about setting your prices low can cause quite a few problems for you and your business. It devalues the work of your industry because it will set off an out-pricing frenzy that is most likely going to make customers constantly question what the products they are buying are supposed to cost. It can also lead to lazy marketing efforts because mixing up the pricing will mix up the marketing strategy. Even if you have lower prices than your competitors, marketing efforts are still essential to running a business. Lastly, your wholesale supplier will almost definitely play the field. Someone will always find a way to lower their price to beat yours. This makes it an unsustainable way to fuel your business. 

There are certain big-box stores that it is almost a guarantee you won’t be able to out-price, but there are a lot of people who don’t shop at big-box stores. What you should focus on is figuring out what sets your products apart from the rest and then setting a fair price to showcase that. Customers look for something durable and of high-quality. If that is something that you can offer, set your prices accordingly. Find what makes your product better than the rest and never sell yourself short. 

Myth #3: You’ve Been Successful in Business Before; You Can Do It Again

This one is hard because on the one hand, it is great that you were thriving in a salesperson capacity or you previously had your own business, but on the other hand, this does not guarantee success.

The experiences that you were lucky enough to gain in the past are crucial in helping you run your new business, but the qualities that made you successful in the past, may not make you successful now. You may be running an entirely different business than the one you worked in before and especially in e-commerce businesses, things change day by day. If you assume that the way you ran things before is the way you should be running things today, you’re going to start way behind from your competitors and there is a less likely chance that you will catch up. 

But, this isn’t to say that you can’t learn the way of the business today and keep an eye on how it is constantly changing. You can increase your chances of being successful at your new venture by staying up to date on trends, strategies, and industry developments. It is also helpful to expand your thinking to meet the needs of your new audience. But, keep in mind that you are one person and you don’t have to be an expert on everything in e-commerce or your business. You just have to find people who work with you and create a team that will always do their best. 

Myth #4: Performance Success is all About Revenue 

Revenue and profit may be your end goal when creating your business but it is not everything and does not tell the whole story. For example, you are selling clothing and a potential customer constantly engages on social media and interacts with your campaigns, but doesn’t capitalize on the offers presented in the ads. Maybe this is because the user is trying to lose or gain weight and doesn’t want to buy any new clothes because they won’t fit in three months, six months, or a year down the line. This doesn’t mean they won’t need those new clothes eventually. Or, they may recommend to a friend this great clothing store they know about and that they should check it out. 

Brand awareness is worth a lot for your business but it should not be solely measured on revenue alone. It is important to consider the goals of each strategy and then find a way to measure that success. It is not the marketing teams job to convert your audience, it is their job to cast a wide net and reach a lot of new potential customers. When you measure each channel on the right metrics and not just on revenue, it will in-turn, drive better decisions and give each department of your team to focus on what they do best and not focus solely on revenue when that may not be their job.  

Myth #5: Keep Your On-page Content to a Minimum 

While it is probably not the best idea to write a huge product description that is 2000+ words, it is crucial for your business to produce quality content for your customers. Yes, you want to keep it clean and simple, but you want to create decent content as well. 

It’s a common myth around websites that people don’t want to read, which is untrue. Things like books, blog posts, news articles, etc. do still exist and if they are lengthy, people still read them. It’s not that people don’t want to read, it’s that they don’t want to read the wrong content. 

You want to combine good writing and good design. If you want people to read your product descriptions or pages, you want to have engaging content. If you think that the number of words on the page is too long, but when reviewing the page, you can’t find anything to cut, that’s probably because it needs to be there. If your page and content contains the information that people are looking for and useful information that they need to know and nothing extra, people will read it, regardless of the length. 

Myth #6: Having a Logo and Color Palette Automatically Means You Have a Brand

Your design isn’t your brand. Yes, it is important to have a compelling design and corresponding colors, but it is just another component for communicating your brand. If you see someone wearing black all day, every day, would think that tells the whole story of who this person is? No, because what a person wears and how they look does not define who that person is. 

It is imperative to have more things in play to define your brand. People don’t become loyal to brands for the colors or for the logo. They become loyal because of the customer experience, what you offer to your customers, how you treat them, etc. When you are creating your brand, start by thinking what your brand stands for and then use a multitude of ingredients, such as copy, design, customer service, products, outreach, people, photos, and more to express your brand and who you are. These are the tools that are needed create a brand that customers can trust. 

Myth #7: Your Online Business Will Be the Only Source of Income You Need 

It is no secret that some people see unfortunate things that happen in life as a great time to start a business. For example, you are taking care of a loved one so you have to stay home and take care of them. People see events like this as a perfect time to chase their dreams and start a business. There is a logic to this because you can create your own hours and stay at home or anywhere you are needed. But, with this comes financial uncertainty. 

Starting a business is hard on not only your finances but also on your health. It is easy to make poor decisions and take shortcuts to aim for quick fixes. Businesses cost a lot of money to start and to continue to grow. Income is also not guaranteed right at the start and it may take a long time to create traffic for your business and see any real income. This is why it is important to note that while starting an online business and going after your dream is a great idea and very noble, it can’t be your only source of income, at least at the starting point. 

Wanting to start your own e-commerce business, quit your job, and become your own boss is a great goal to have. Before doing that though, it is a crucial to make sure that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you are in a bind. Work on creating your business as much as you can in your free time, but keep your day job as well. It may take you longer to grow your business and eventually quit your job but you will make it there one day. In the long run, your wallet and health, physically and mentally will thank you. Starting an e-commerce business is a lot of work, but by keeping these myths in mind when you are starting out and working every day towards your goal will help ensure that you will be okay and hopefully leads you to long-term success. 

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