Being one of the top digital agencies in the UK, the team here at Actuate speak to lots of people during a typical year, and when it comes to myths and false beliefs about e-commerce, we’ve heard them all.
We’ve decided to break down the top myths and facts about e-commerce that we’ve come across in our time as leading e-commerce developers. Let’s jump right in!
Myth: All e-commerce platforms are built the same and will work for your online shop. It’s how you develop them that makes the actual difference, so you can easily cut costs by working with cheaper platforms.
Fact: The adage “you get what you pay for” comes to mind; whilst there are many e-commerce platforms that can perform well for your business, it’s essential to choose the right platform for your needs. DIY platforms such as WIX, Shopify and BigCommerce can have you up and running in a matter of weeks. Still, the trade-off with SEO, user experience and conversion rate optimisation can be counterproductive. Self-hosted platforms such as Magento, Aero Commerce, and WooCommerce have different core functionality sets, so what may be bundled freely with one could come at a premium with another.
Myth: If you set your prices lower than the competition, you’re sure to succeed in e-commerce.
Fact: Basing your business model on low prices may sound like the way to corner the market and disrupt the status quo; the reality, however, is a little different. The first thing you must realise is that your supplier will typically be an unfaithful partner, so someone will always popup willing to beat your prices. Secondly, the cheaper your pricing, the lower your profits; this means you must sell more units to make the same amount of money as a competitor charging more for their stock. Set out actual UPS’s for your business and products and sell at fair prices; the return will be far more favourable.
Myth: A user doesn’t wish to be distracted by a lot of text or other content when looking to purchase a product from your website. An e-commerce site should be clean, to the point and offer little distraction.
Fact: By minimising content, you could deter consumers from purchasing from your website. As with any website, content should be tailored to your audience and, in e-commerce sites, for the product itself. If you’re selling toiler paper, chances are you don’t need to explain how it works, but if you’re selling a digital music player, then things may be different.
Myth: When writing your website’s content, you should include lots of text to rank highly on search engines and get your site seen by consumers.
Fact: If you’re writing the text of your website for search engines, you’re probably already ignoring the needs of your users. When it comes to your website, it should be written for your users. Even if lack of content did result in fewer visitors to your site, the increased conversion rate of a page written to address your target audience’s needs should outweigh the marginal drop in traffic.
Myth: A great looking website will outperform your competitors and make your e-commerce business an overnight success story.
Fact: Having an appealing website is only part of a larger picture and often the downfall of many new e-commerce websites. It’s also essential to consider the user experience, technical aspects such as loading speed and search engine optimisation, and psychological factors such as colour and content.
Do you have any e-commerce myths you’d like us to expose? Let us know by leaving us a comment below…
3 Min Read
Published: 5 May 2021
Mat is the founder here at Actuate. His role focuses on strategy, culture, looking after our clients and every now and then getting stuck in with coding.