You've probably heard plenty of stories about selling online; the good, the bad, and the ugly… But you may be wondering how much of it is actually true.
1. Mistrust And Suspicion When Making A Purchase
This is by far the most common ugly truth. Thanks to the amount of scams and rip-offs that happen online, almost everyone is at least a little bit paranoid. Prospects and customers are more wary and reticent about providing their bank account information in order to make purchases online.
Not to worry, though. It’s not as bad as it sounds. You just need to be sure you take specific steps to improve your website so prospects and customers feel confident and safe. For example, display testimonials and quality seals during your payment process; offer security validations, PayPal, money-back guarantees. The list goes on.
2. Ready To Compete With The Giants?
Big companies know how to leverage their online stores like no one else. A brand’s prestige is of the utmost importance if you want to attract customers online.
People are most comfortable shopping on the websites of well-known brands, such as Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Apple.
Imagine you own an electronic devices store. Trying to compete with the large companies above would be overwhelming, wouldn’t it.
So how would you survive? Well, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors and offer incentives that they don’t offer. Simply put: you need to find a gap—a unique selling proposition that customers feel adds value and which distinguishes your brand from the rest. This is the only way you’ll win their custom and loyalty.
3. Be Ready To Invest In It
I don’t want to discourage you, but online sales don't just appear out of thin air. You need to make an effort in the long-term, as well as come up with a digital strategy that generates traffic and prospects. It doesn’t come easy.
Having a website that is 100% optimized toward generating sales is not that easy either.
Like anything else, you'll need to invest to create it. So start setting some of your income aside. Trust me, it’ll really help.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re making an investment and not just racking up expenses unnecessarily. Choose the right strategies for a safe return on investment.
4. Most Of Them Take Too Long
Imagine you’re going on vacation soon (just don’t get too excited). You want to stay at home and rest, catch up on those movies you’ve been wanting to see so badly. You're thinking about buying a Smart TV online, but as you're about to pay, you notice the product takes 2 weeks to arrive. No way! By then your vacations will be over.
It happened to me once. I wanted to give away a watch I found in Amazon as a birthday present, but the “fast shipping” option would take 5 days to arrive. It would never arrive on time, so I had to ditch the idea…
Immediacy is a decisive factor when it comes to shopping. That's why physical stores are still popular. Even Amazon recently started opening physical stores. Funny, right? Truth be told, nothing compares to the sensation of seeing, feeling and trying out the products for yourself.
However, there are some online stores that compensate, by offering exclusive incentives to customers that buy online. That's why these companies’ prices are so much more competitive.
Alternatives like Google Shopping Express are also appearing, which ship so quickly that users can order and receive what they buy on the very same day.
5. Bye-bye, Sales Reps!
Remember that sales rep that convinced you that the cell phone you’re using right now was just the thing you needed at the time? Or the lady from the fitting rooms that told you the outfit you were trying on looked so great on you? How about that salesperson that showed you the car you were interested in?
Well, the online world doesn't work like that at all. There aren't any salespeople, nor the support they usually provide when we want to buy something.
However, not all hope is lost, because you can add a live chat application to your website. They allow you to connect prospects and customers with sales people to answer their inquiries as soon as possible, like they would at any physical store.
What did you think about these harsh truths? They weren't that harsh, am I right? One way or another…they can be fixed.
Now, if you’d like to add to your knowledge on this topic, read this post, which explains the advantages of online advertising. Or, if you'd like to amuse yourself for a while, you can discover some fun facts about selling online, here.