Because so many of us are up on the web so much of our time, we think we know everything about it. When we decide to create a business, we know it will be an e-business, or at least it will be on the web just as much as it is in the physical world. We think about all the stories we have heard about building our own website business and feel that we understand the basics.
After all, we know that in order to get customers from around the web we will need to be sure our international payment gateway is solid and secure. We pride ourselves on understanding that keywords help, that finding some niche that others want is important and we see ourselves as sophisticated when it comes to the web. But there are plenty of old wives’ tales about e-commerce that can lead you astray.
Myths abound about the web just as there are urban myths about alligators in the New York subway systems. But unlike the alligator myths, these folk tales about building on the web can hurt you in the long run. So be aware of what is real and what is just an e-commerce myth.
Huge Web Audience Means Huge Sales
There is a heck of a lot of websites out there competing with your site. Just because you feel that you know everything there is to know about a certain topic or you have the best quality products to sell, that doesn’t guarantee a thing. Right now, there are over a billion websites and chances are there is at least one or two that are doing right now what you plan to do with your website.
Don’t expect that simply because you have built a website that meets a need that you will have customers that come to it. You may be able to start with a small number that know you, perhaps even your Facebook friends can help to build awareness of your website. But unless you do something to get the word out, you are dead in the water my friend. So, while there are indeed huge numbers out there of potential customers, being heard above the chaos is your first big step away from the myth of numbers on the web for e-commerce.
Just Sell the Goods
If your website is all about the goods you sell, but doesn’t have a feel for who you are and why anyone should buy from you, it will be a tough sell. That is because even if you have a pretty site, if it doesn’t say who you are and why you want to sell to them, they have no reason to stick around.
This includes having a good logo that reflects your mission. The colors of the site, the images you use and everything you say needs to fit with this mission as well. Your “About Us” page should tell your story and give anyone who visits the site an idea of the person behind the site. Make sure to include a physical address for your business here as well, to show you aren’t some shadowy fly by night business.
All I Need is Social Media
Yes, these days you do need to include social media in your plan as well as that all important website. But if you don’t have an idea in place for how it will fit into your overall marketing plan (you do have one, right?) then it doesn’t do you much good.
So, make sure that you understand that you need more than just a website, that this website needs to be a reflection of who and what you are and integrate your social media into all your plans. Good hunting!