eCommerce Myths Busted: Failing to market, account for all costs, and to seek help can lead to eCommerce marketing failures.
For this latest episode of eCommerce Marketing Myth Busters, it’s time to dispel some notions that are quite common to new sellers. Any experienced product marketing agency has encountered sellers with these untrue or half-true notions. They create obstacles to success that prove much easier to overcome early instead of later. Sadly, buying into these myths can cause online ventures to fail, even when they were based upon a sound business idea.
Three eCommerce marketing myths
To get started with eCommerce on the right foot, learn the truth about these three eCommerce fictions:
1. If it’s on the internet, buyers will find it
Most of the large eCommerce platforms make it simple for non-technical people to either set up stores and create listings. At the same time, just having products listed on the internet will not guarantee sales or even store visitors. That’s true even for retailers or direct to consumer advertising agencies with great prices, products, and service.
MarketingSignals put the reasons for eCommerce failures into two categories:
- Poor search engine visibility: Either the new store has no visibility in the platform’s search engine or in such major search platforms as Google. Generally, it takes some time to get noticed by these search engines, so nobody can expect a high ranking at first.
- Lack of effective marketing: New stores often start out with low search visibility, so they need to grow an audience through social media, blogs, paid ads, or even offline marketing. Internet stores need a sound marketing plan as much as they need products and a platform to sell them on.
About two out of three failed online retailers offered one of the reasons above as the reasons they closed up shop. Other less-common reasons for store failures included running out of cash and an ability to profit on sales made.
The truth: Just building an eCommerce site and failing to market it almost never works.
2. Free shipping
Certainly, listings with free shipping have grown pervasive on plenty of eCommerce websites. Some platforms even give these listings preference in their search engines. Savvy sellers and even buyers should know that shipping costs money. If there’s no separate shipping cost, then that cost was built into the purchase price.
According to The Atlantic, seeing shipping charges at checkout ranks among the most common reasons that buyers abandon carts. At the same time, sellers who fail to either charge for shipping or pad their prices to make up for free-shipping offers will risk losing money.
Free shipping offers have been touted as a popular way to increase sales. As a caution, The Atlantic article illustrated the example of Etsy. The site used to offer the most visibility only to their most popular sellers. They changed to giving some preference in ranking for free shipping and found overall conversion rates dropped.
After this change to the way Esty ranked listings, some of their previously successful sellers struggled. To cope, many Etsy merchants compromised by offering free shipping for minimum orders, hoping they could absorb the cost with higher revenues per sale.
The truth: Sellers need to factor shipping charges into their overall costs one way or another.
3. Sellers have to work alone
Success with online sales takes more than just developing or sourcing good products and then finding an online venue to sell them on. It’s also critical to account for all of the costs involved to the business, including shipping, marketing, and overhead. Sellers need to find their market and learn to appeal to them through targeted marketing. Once shoppers find the store, listings need to entice them to push the Buy button.
Here’s the good news. Startups owners can seek help from experienced people in all of these disciplines. For example, Shopify says that every six months, one out of three of their merchants seek assistance from a Shopify Partner.
The Shopify Partner Program helps connect merchants with individuals that can identify and solve common problems. For other platforms or even a dedicated business site, it’s also possible to find an experienced consumer marketing agency that can help.
The truth: A lot goes into running an eCommerce business, and smart sellers know when to seek help.
What’s the Truth about eCommerce marketing?
Plenty of online sellers had leveraged their hobbies or past business experiences into successful eCommerce stores. Of course, eCommerce marketing also offers physical store owners a great way to expand their marketplace beyond their town or even country. The global online marketplace has topped $4.5 trillion and is expected to keep growing, according to Shopify. There’s still lots of room for savvy sellers to grow a new internet business.
While plenty of shoppers enjoy the selection, convenience, and prices they can find online, it isn’t always easy for a new store owner to attract them because the opportunity to profit has also attracted plenty of competition. It also takes money to source, market, and deliver products to customers, and sellers need to account for all of their costs. On the positive side, even new sellers can find the right assistance to start managing all aspects of their business the right way from the very first day.