What makes a new e-commerce business successful? Entire books are filled with reasons and guides to success. Misguided perception is definitely not among the tools established businesses rely on.
Last September, it was announced that Paypal would become an independent company.
Not long after that announcement, a study was conducted that showed a strong movement of women entrepreneurs creating new e-commerce businesses. Paypal was among the top reasons.
A survey was taken with new entrepreneurs asking what brands were key in their start-up aspirations that would lead to success. These new entrepreneurs were giving their opinion on what brands they thought would be the most helpful.
Everyone has an opinion. When it comes to the opinions of successful and established business leaders, opinions hold a lot of water because they are founded on experience and substance. However, while it is interesting to discover which way the wind blows with those just entering business, the inexperienced opinions are merely based on speculation.
It is proven that aggressive marketing works. Brands that can be seen everywhere create a sense of trust with the public. Substance is another matter.
Aggressive marketing and perceived popularity can only be the most likely explanation why these new entrepreneurs believe as they do.
Paypal was the second most named brand to these new entrepreneurs to be the key to their success. That opinion is a reality. In our experience at tse.net, we discontinued traditional merchant accounts and shifted to Paypal exclusively for our e-commerce websites for payment processing. Our sales showed a marked increase while our transaction costs decreased. Today, we are big believers in Paypal.
In the survey, branded search engines followed in the list after Paypal. Great SEO (search engine optimization) is very necessary in e-commerce. This conception is a no-brainer.
However, the number one brand to help become successful in the opinions of new entrepreneurs in the survey was Facebook. This does not surprise us, because of the appearance that Facebook is so very popular and has such a huge user base.
In reality, Facebook only results in 1/4 of 1% of actual sales in e-commerce sites. This hard data is according to an exhaustive study by the United States Department Of Commerce.
While Paypal would be a huge factor in your e-commerce success, comparing Paypal with Facebook is like comparing apples with oranges.
There is a huge mistake many have about what the Internet can do for business. Using “free” website creation or creating a Facebook business site is just as good as a real e-commerce store.
The reality is that a business must have their own “turf” in order to conduct a successful business. This is a web store complete with a unique domain name (www.StoreName.com), an appealing shopping catalog, a good shopping experience and a proper check out system with a trusted payment processor.
The bottom line is found in the wise, old adage of “location, location, location”. While Facebook is a wonderful place to find lost school friends and finding new friends with similar interests, it is not proven to work well for real business.
New entrepreneurs need to seek out real, solid data. Learn the ropes from observing successful e-commerce businesses.
Read books and trade periodicals on what works in business as well as seeking out mentors with a track record.
How successful would a luxury car business be if they set up a booth at a weekend flea market? Lots of people visit flea markets. Getting your business seen by lots of people means lots of sales – right?
Luxury car sales at a flea market is an extreme example, but it fits as an illustration of what is real and what is just a misguided opinion. You may as well try selling sand on a beach.
Explore your opinions. Seek out the substance behind popularity. When seeking the Wizard Of Oz and you are in the Emerald City, pay attention to that man behind the curtain!