Thinking about starting an online store? Or do you have a brick-and-mortar store and feel an online retail store is just unnecessary work? Check out these five e-commerce myths and discover the truth before you make a decision either way!
This concept only works in the movies. When it comes to driving website traffic, an e-commerce site needs just as much marketing as any other type of website. Imagine launching a website and receiving no website visitors. This isn’t only possible; it’s very likely if you don’t have an marketing plan in place. As an online retailer, you should especially focus on growing your search engine exposure through on-site and off-site SEO, and concentrate on growing your social media networks.
Myth #2 – Anyone can build an e-commerce website.
You have many options for producing a new e-commerce website. You could go the do-it-yourself route with a program like Shopify, or you could have your friend who makes websites in his spare time do it. Your IT company may also state that they create websites. If you already like your IT company, that might seem like a good option. After all, they know computers, right? The problem is, if you are serious about making money with your e-commerce business, you must plan your retail online marketing strategy at the same time you are planning your e-commerce website design strategy. In fact, your website design strategy must be PART of your marketing strategy. To create a website that people actually visit, you have to plan how you are going to get website traffic, and then ensure your website contains features needed for your strategies. For example, imagine your website is complete. You love the way it looks and the shopping cart function works perfectly. But then you realize you aren’t showing up in search engine results. You discover that, in order to show up in search engine results, the code and content of your website has to include certain keywords, a specific URL structure, and other important SEO elements. You also realize that you have no blog and no social media icons on your website, so you have no way to share your site in social media networks – which you need to draw website traffic. All of a sudden, the website you thought was complete isn’t. The benefit of choosing a digital marketing team to build your e-commerce site is that digital marketing specialists build your website with marketing AND functionality in mind so you don’t end up with a website that doesn’t get any visitors.
Myth #3 – PCI compliance doesn’t matter.
If you accept payment via debit or credit cards, no matter how big or small your business is, you are required by law to follow Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Essentially, any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID) must comply. Simply having an SSL certificate for your site does not meet compliance. If you are not in compliance, your bank could be fined $5,000 – $100,000 per month, and they will likely pass that fine down to you. Check your merchant account agreement to learn your bank’s policies for non-compliance. Because PCI compliance is so important, the person who creates your e-commerce website should be knowledgeable in PCI requirements.
Myth #4 – Site speed doesn’t matter.
An e-commerce site is likely to have a large number of product images and other features that could potentially slow the load speed of a website. If someone goes to your website and it doesn’t load quickly, they are very likely to leave your site and go somewhere else. Additionally, load time affects SEO. If your site is slow, it will most likely hinder your search engine rankings.
Myth #5 – Selling online adds no value to my brick-and-mortar store.
There are many ways that selling your products online can benefit your brick-and-mortar store. 81% of consumers research a product or service online before they make a purchase. If you have products with great descriptions and customer reviews on your website, people will be more likely to choose your store than a competitor who doesn’t provide helpful information. Additionally, if you share information about your products in social media and you have those products to sell on your website, you will capture the type of shoppers who are inclined to make immediate purchases.