An important question for business owners who plan to start an e-commerce

With the acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is really positioning to become the biggest retailer company in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if it beats Wallmart soon.  E-commerce is such a big thing that it will probably happen. In fact, Warren Buffett showed the world that he believes that Wallmart is not the future of the retail industry anymore.

With many retailers that are failing to start e-commerce or to have a successful venture with it, a big part of it is because they aren’t surrounded by the right experts. Direct marketing experts and Digital Marketing experts are 2 different kinds of experts.

I was recently talking to a business owner who told me that he was instructed by a marketing firm that he needed to change his business image and his website so that his e-commerce will be more successful… While this will help his branding and maybe its website conversion, will it really help? After checking at his traffic stats which were low, I knew that he had taken a bad decision.

I have an important question to ask. Obviously, the answer is both but if you had to prioritize one over the other, what would be your priority? 1)Have a nice looking website, 2) Attract a lot of traffic to your operational website.  While this question might give emotional answers, let’s ask the question with a mathematical approach. Would you prefer to have 100 % of 5 $ or 1 % of 1000 $? Obviously, you would prefer the second option because it brings 50% more income!

So, my answer is to attract a lot of traffic to your functional website that offers your great products and or services with an ok presentation. Then,  when you make enough money out of your website, you invest in its look and design so that the conversion rate might increase higher than it is.

How do you increase traffic to your website? Here are a few options.

Why do I ask this crazy question? Because right now, the problem with a lot of small business owners is that they want to compete with giants and”old school” businesses like Sears and many others on the web.

These situations are totally different. With big old school companies, they already have good visibility because their website has a lot of trust and credibility in the eyes of Google. These sites need to be super well designed to match the expectations and they need to put the emphasis on the relationship with the client.

With small businesses, if the marketing job is well done, the connection should be strong with your clients because they will probably know you personally. If not, you need to create trust with the clients. You will do so by presenting you as an entrepreneur and by being shown in search engine results. If the product or service that you offer is great and you seem to be a great guy, people will buy from you.

Then, you might re-invest in your website so that the design and look will be even better. Obviously, if you can do both at the same time, it’s the best option but oftentimes, business owners operate with smaller budgets than companies like Sears or many other big companies that are struggling right now due to a lack of success in their e-commerce venture.



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