Having a place where we can present our products and/or services to the entire world and immediately start making business is the main advantage of e-commerce platforms. The flexibility and increasing number of features brought to the market in recent years significantly reduced the number of specificities and necessities required by companies to be developed by third-party companies. We don’t have to adapt to the e-commerce platform – the platform must adapt to our needs.
We have all the advantages of a versatile, easy to use, flexible, meet of our requirements and with global reach in our hands. Things could be better for us. Right? Almost. What most companies seem to forget is that these tools are widely available to anyone who wants to use them, and not just for their business. Our competition is not only the one we traditionally knew but is now, potentially, the entire world.
We have the entire world to sell to, but we also have the whole world competing with us. It’s a good thing… for consumers.
This will force companies to decide: do I bet on an online e-commerce platform? The answer seems simple enough to thousands of companies replying ‘yes’ but it is also complex enough that many of them are now thinking twice.
The problem of having all this technology available is that we have all this technology available, and many are taking the most advantage as possible. Companies didn’t just open an online store and waited for results to come. Or even wait for ad results.
As hard as this might sound, we go to market and have the last place all warm up and waiting for us, because we lack experience.
Selling online requires much more work than merely press an install button. It involves analytics, a plan, financial resources, human resources.
We can’t just ask one of our employees to, by the end of every day, deal with the online store. Take care of the orders that we might have received, reply to customer service questions or update some information. Companies with physical storefronts know that when a customer enters the store, they do not full-fill a form and come back the next day to see the answer.
It is crucial to understand that an online store isn’t just a store. It’s a set of services the customer expects. And to be able to make these services available we must invest. We can’t just equate the reasonability of becoming profitable and then invest. It doesn’t work that way.
And we can’t just add vital services as-we-go. The market is too big for other companies not to have the service you are trying to postpone.