Monthly Archives: December 2013

Online Retailers – Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

Online retailers that make promises that they can’t deliver are in danger to sacrifice the trust that their customers have in their brands…

The peril of online retail competition

Although the online retail industry is still young, retailers are already fiercely competing with each other to get the attention of online customers. Online retailers strive therefore to achieve a competitive advantage in their market by being more visible, accessible, faster, friendlier, and by offering the lowest prices.

Many online retailers, however, will find that to be better than their competitors come at a price.

Retailers that make promises they cant deliver may erode trust in their brands

A  report in the Wall Street Journal showed online shoppers were disappointed this holiday season by  retailers breaking promises to deliver packages by Christmas. A lot of disappointing customers – how will they react?

Online customers are changing – according to Chaffey and Smith they are quick to let retailers know if brands can’t their promises. Online retailers should take care to deliver the benefits they’d promised.

Retailers that do not deliver their promised benefits,may damage their brand’s reputations through negative word of mouth. The result may be a decreases in sales.

How should online retailers keep their promises?

Online retailers should know who their online customers are. Also what they want to buy, how much they are going to buy and when they want to buy.

Instead of promising next day delivery, rather add a couple of days for unforeseen happenings. Also, online retailers should communicate any problems regarding their customer’s orders and inquiries ahead of time. Doing this will help to reinforce your brand.

image: pixabay.com

How Not To Start Your Online Retail Business…

It seems so easy to start your online retail business. There are however a number of pitfalls as I have discovered recently venturing the unknown.

This is how my disastrous journey to start an online retail business started:

Carefree

I have money than are not working for me…

Having some money laying for months in my “personal” business bank account, I’ve decided it is time to use it to start my online shop. Reading everyday about the success stories of eCommerce entrepreneurs and the usual “rag to riches” case studies, and with money in the pocket, I needed little convincing to jump at this opportunity.

Eagerness

Taking the leap into virtual richness…

Rationale – if you want to start an online shop, you should look online to start your shop. That is just what I’ve done. It was however disconcerting when surfing the web “Starting your online store” resulted in 1.3 billion hits on Google’s result page. Well, if “starting your online shop” generated so many hits on Google’s search result pages, then surely there must be some success stories on the web about people that started their online shop in a similar way that I’d dreamt of…

Justification

The process of opening my first online shop was a lonely one…

When you are on your own, there is no strategic brainstorming sessions or a meaningful debate that usually takes place when an organisation starts a new venture. The internet served therefore as justification for my decisions in the processes of opening my online shop.

Eventually I found out that the internet is not the best source for justifying opening your new online business…

Confirmation

After giving myself the go-ahead to open my online shop, I’ve started with the process…

Which was rather simple – on Google’s the first result page I‘d clicked on an ad: “Osell Makes Your Online Business Dreams Come True! Largest Wholesale Catalog in the World” (sic). After viewing their catalogs and variety of products, and support – I’d never thought it would be so easy getting a drop ship supplier of my online shop.

Eagerly I‘d registered as an “Osell user”…

Communicating with Tracy

Once I’ve registered with Osell, a personal consultant was appointed to me…

Tracy and I had email conversations about what products I want to sell, what type website I needed and that I needed to pay $600 to integrate OSell’s catalog to my website. Tracy inquired every day about the process, urging me to get my website, saying that every day counts and I am losing money the longer I wait…

Then it started to cost me money…

Starting my online retail business

If you want to start a business, there is start-up costs involved, even if you start online retail business…

To do business with OSell my immediate start-up cost was as follows:

• E- commerce website – $1000;

• Skype – $100.

With everything in place, I’d contacted Tracy to unlock my first online shop…

Moving the goalposts

Tracy confirmed that integrating OSell’s catalog into my website will be done without any problems. However, when I’d asked her for OSell’s banking details to pay my $600 for integrating their catalog, she told me that I have to do it on my own or hire local IT professionals to do it for me.

Tracy nonchalantly mentioned that the $600 is actually a subscription fee. I’ve decided to pull the plug right then – because if OSell is starting to move the goalposts it may be the order of the day.

OSell made me feel like a fool…

Website for sale

The juncture with OSell has put my online shop prematurely in the market – any buyer out there? Sorry, no catalogs though…

Image: flickr.com