And just like that, the world changed overnight! With its unexpected twists and turns, 2020 has been a year that has shaken many people to their very core. As human beings, we crave certainty and safety. The ability and desire to survive is coded into the very depths of our DNA. Our fight or flight response is triggered on a continual basis.
Your business environment
As if navigating the stormy seas of our own personal emotions hasn’t been difficult enough, it’s not just our own safety and survival that we have to think about. It’s that of our business partners, our employees, and our customers.
We also need to consider our vendors, our extended team and the rest of our business.
The new reality that has changed the world overnight demands that we take a closer inspection and perform a deeper reflection on our business operations, including our sales activities. Businesses have had to ask themselves some serious questions about whether investing in an eCommerce platform is the safest road to… well, safety.
eCommerce – what does a digital agency CEO think?
Will this blow over? Should I just ride it out and see what happens? Is investing my money a good idea or should I be saving it in case things get worse?
A new wave of marketing campaigns has been catapulted toward the business community. You can’t scroll your Facebook newsfeed without having an endless stream of sponsored posts shouting at you, “Let us help you get online, quickly and cheaply”. Our fight or flight response kicks in. We start to operate and make decisions from a place of fear and survival.
Quite understandably, we are inclined to run towards the cheapest eCommerce solution with the fastest launch time, further scrambling to keep our heads above water. As the CEO of a digital agency that offers eCommerce websites, what I am saying may seem counter-intuitive for my own survival. Advising my fellow business owners to pause, and take a breath. Do some research before letting the mass-marketing message of eCommerce scare you into signing on the dotted line.
After all, there are cheaper and faster options than an eCommerce build that could be a better fit for your business. Will it make me a richer man saying this? Certainly not! Will it make me a happier one? Probably!
According to a survey by MarketingSignals, the failure rate for eCommerce start-ups stands at 90% after 120 days. This is attributed to poor online marketing performance coupled with an overall lack of search engine visibility.
Understanding the costs of eCommerce
There is no cheap or fast way to build an eCommerce business. If you invest in an eCommerce solution, straight away you’re running at a loss. Even if it’s a cheap solution, at around €1,000, you have to make at least €1,000 in profit to just break even on this investment. You could build it yourself on a free website builder. Doing this would save you the cost of a developer, but then the website might not be optimised for user experience. Even worse, it may not lead online users to go through the sales funnel.
As a low-cost, fast-paced alternative, you could work on creating a powerful presence on Facebook. Their commission structure is highly affordable and it’s a great way to allow your audience to shop from you.
Help others, help yourself
It’s in unprecedented times like these that we find out who we truly are. What we really care about. Where our true morals and values lie. As business owners, when we say we care deeply about our customers’ best interests, sometimes that means giving them some free advice and turning them towards the direction of something else, perhaps something that doesn’t involve us.
When all has been said and done, and 2020 becomes just a distant memory, we’ll have little left but the stories that we’ll tell for years to come. We will, eventually, be able to climb out of the metaphorical life raft which we’ve dearly clung onto. Sometimes, for many businesses owners, this raft was their hope and faith. Once this is over we’ll come to understand that surviving the pandemic was a great accomplishment
However, if we can look back at the number of businesses we helped to survive… that’s a feeling that will last forever.