We live in a digitalized era where e-commerce has become an everyday part of life. With top e-commerce companies like Amazon and Alibaba, buyers have access to an endless variety of products, and sellers can expose their products to potential customers all over the world. At the grassroots level, tools like drag-and-drop websites, dropshipping, and social media have many people starting their own small e-commerce businesses from home.
The question now is not “Can I start a business?” but “How do I make my business successful?” Although the tools and technology needed to set-up an e-commerce business are widely available, succeeding in e-commerce requires sufficient resources, strategic positioning, and constant evolution.
Below are three common misconceptions about running an e-commerce business and their corresponding realities.
Misconception #1: You can succeed in e-commerce with minimal resources.
Many believe that cost-saving is one of the most significant benefits among the numerous benefits of online business. They think that the only requirement for having an online business is the internet and a laptop or smartphone. They also feel that they can use various social media platforms for advertising their products or services cheaply and easily.
That is a misconception.
While there can be less fixed costs with online businesses, e-commerce businesses need sufficient human, technology, and financial resources to succeed. The most prosperous e-commerce businesses use dedicated teams and external resources to maximize their digital touchpoints’ utility.
Misconception #2: E-commerce businesses require less skill and experience to run than brick-and-mortar stores.
Another misconception is that unlike physical businesses with limited customers, online companies have unlimited customers worldwide. People think that because you can access almost anyone in the world through the internet, you should automatically try to sell to everyone to increase sales and profitability.
The truth? While it is true that people can purchase your products from any part of the world at any time, in a highly competitive landscape, e-commerce businesses that offer something unique to a highly specified set of customers are best positioned to succeed.
Choosing a specific target customer, knowing everything about them, and providing products or services that solve their pain points is how any business, online or not, succeeds. Since the barrier to entry is lower with online companies and competition is high, this becomes even more important.
Misconception #3: Setting up your website is the hardest part.
People think that because establishing a physical business is a difficult task compared to setting up an online business, there is less pressure and stress on online business owners. They think it’s easy for the owner to manage his business activities worldwide by sitting in his room or office with a laptop. Basically, they believe that all that is required in e-commerce is a website.
The truth is that running a successful online business is an ongoing process that needs continual investment and updating. The competitive landscape is constantly changing, requiring companies to evolve and adapt. The most successful e-commerce businesses will optimize their talent, strategies, and market opportunities, while others get lost in the noise.
The Bottom Line
While we live in a world where e-commerce exists everywhere, running a successful online business requires much more than a laptop and an internet connection. A successful business requires dedicated teams, ample external resources, strategic targeting, and an ever-evolving mindset.
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