In 2015 alone, worldwide online sales totaled almost $1.6 trillion USD and there are over 12 million businesses selling online in the world*. Statistics like these show that businesses everywhere are making a clear move from bricks-and-mortar to digital, and online retail is on the rise at a growth rate of 21% per year*.
However, despite what figures show, many small brands are still hesitant to put their business through a little digital transformation. These are some of the most common myths about eCommerce, and the truths that set the record straight about what it’s really like to sell online:
Myth: “My products don’t sell online.”
Truth: Unless you’re planning on selling alcohol, drugs or illegal items; you can pretty much sell anything you want online – from jewellery and shoes to umbrellas and vegetables! Customers spend hours researching products. They want all the information they can get before making a purchase and now resort to the internet to find it. If your company and product information isn’t available online, customers may go elsewhere and you might miss out on important sales opportunities.
Myth: “You can only sell online if you have a website.”
Truth: Many designers and entrepreneurs are going digital and making their living off selling products online, without a website! By using digital communication tools such as email and social networks, small brands are finding a cost-effective way to expose their product online to hundreds and thousands of potential customers. By using additional platforms or free apps like Bloombees they are able to sell on social media, directly to their fans and followers, without having to develop a complex eCommerce.
Myth: “Selling online is very costly.”
Truth: Unless you’re planning on building a full-fledged website with complex features and expensive product lookbooks, selling online doesn’t have to be expensive. There are apps out there that are 100% free! There is no coding, set-up or extra cost required to start selling online.
4. Myth: “Selling online is only for big companies.”
Truth: Small brands, designers, workshops, artists and entrepreneurs are facing intense competition from big businesses and having to go digital in order to survive. Thanks to the increasing number and variety of tools (many of them free) available today, businesses big and small can start selling their products on the internet.
5. Myth: “When I sell online, I don’t need to talk to or have direct contact with my customers.”
Truth: If you’re already selling online and have fallen in the trap of this myth, be careful. When a customer can’t see or touch a product in person they often seek more assistance than in a physical store. It’s important to have your contact information visible on your social networks or website, showing customers that you are available to help them with their online orders.