8 Common Myths About Selling Online

If you’re thinking about starting an online business, make sure you review the most common myths below before jumping in!

Myth 1 – The only value of an e-commerce website is to sell online

It’s great if a site visitor goes through the checkout process on your web store, but as a promotional products distributor, simply generating leads from your site is also extremely valuable.

More often than not a site visitor will research product on your website and ultimately decide to request a quote before buying.

From there, you can engage your lead, follow-up with a presentation, and ultimately process your order.

Myth 2 – Your website will automatically generate traffic

One of the largest misconceptions about operating an online business is that after you build and launch your website, you can sit back and relax while site visitors come pouring in.

Even the most well-presented website with the best products, pricing, and checkout process, does not stand a chance if marketing strategies are not put into play to encourage web traffic.

Make sure your website provider builds your store to be naturally SEO-friendly to rank higher on search engines. Start a blog and contribute relevant, keyword-rich content to your audience.

Websites are not crock-pots. You can’t set ’em and leave ’em. You need to factor in a program of adding new content to your website to give it the best chance of succeeding.

Myth 3 – You need to have a Facebook shop

Social media is a less popular sales channel than you might think. Online shoppers use social media to comment on companies and products they are familiar with, while discovering new ones, but don’t necessarily make purchases.

Social media users “warm up” to brands before making online or in-store purchases, so measuring activities such as likes and follows is a fairly strong indicator of customer loyalty. Still, social media does not dominate as the most important online shopping avenue as of today.

Myth 4 – You don’t know enough to start an online business

Once upon a time you might’ve needed technical know-how to create an online shop, but these days there are several website service providers who’ll give you everything you need, out of the box.

You do, however, need a strategy; pick a niche industry, or product range, or price point.

Decide whether you’re going to take a customer-service centric, Zappos-style approach, or become a specialist in a particular area (i.e. safety programs), or sell on price.

Don’t try to be all things to all people – narrow your focus and aim to help people, rather than making a few bucks immediately. This overall approach will ultimately lead to success!

Myth 5 – Low price is the main reason customers spend at one site over another

According to Oracle research, 81% of consumers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience. Price point is not a critical selling factor in many cases.

This is somewhat odd given the fact that cheaper pricing and better deals are among the top reasons why consumers say they shop online. It seems that cheap pricing might initially attract a consumer, but won’t in itself keep them coming back consistently.

Key drivers for consistent purchasing include fast and reliable delivery, a “fair” return policy, early and exclusive access to products, and innovative products.

Further, the “convenience” factor is important to consumers as well. For example, customers say that they prefer websites that save their address and other personal information.

Make sure your website is built with user-experience taken into consideration and allows for a smooth checkout process.

Myth 6 – You don’t have the money or time it takes to sell online

The cost it takes to start an online business is minimal in most cases. With increased competition, web services are cheaper and more effective than ever.

Regarding the time is takes to start an online business, if you want something badly enough, you will always find a way to make it happen. Spending time here and there to begin with, recording your ideas, and brainstorming your approach is a great way to start. Inch by inch, day by day, and you will be there soon!

Myth 7 – It’s useless to compete if someone is already doing what you want to do

This is not a valid excuse that should prevent you from pursuing your idea. In fact, if someone has already began implementing your idea, then chances are it may be a good one, hence worth pursuing!

There are a plethora of sites that are selling similar product or services on the web, and many factors that influence consumers to purchase from one site over another, so don’t worry about what others are doing and concentrate on the value that you are going to add!

Myth 8 – You need a big advertising or marketing budget to sell online

The web is an ideal place to utilize grass-roots strategies for marketing. For example, taking advantage of networking, email newsletters, partnering, and affiliate marketing are just a few of the ways that you can leverage minimal resources while remaining effective.

Content marketing – adding blogs and pages to your website full of useful, entertaining, keyword rich content – is effectively free. It’s time consuming, but it’s a sound strategy for improving your website search engine ranking that costs nothing at all.

We’ll write more on marketing on a shoe-string but I’ll leave you with this thought:

Ambition is the first step to success

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