After 20 years of ecommerce, change is the one certainty


Platforms such as Ebay, Amazon, and Etsy have steadily grew in popularity. This screenshot of Amazon's home page is from August 1999. The site sold mostly books then. Source: Wayback Machine.

Platforms resembling Ebay, Amazon, and Etsy have steadily grown in recognition. This screenshot of Amazon’s house web page is from August 1999. The positioning bought largely books then. Supply: Wayback Machine.

Designing, constructing, and launching a web site is just the start of an ecommerce enterprise. Attracting and changing guests is the subsequent, all-important step. An internet site alone doesn’t assure something.

That is the place advertising and marketing is available in. Shoppers want to search out your website and, as soon as there, have a purpose to purchase from you. Visitors from search engines like google and yahoo — by way of natural listings and advertisements — may also help with the previous. Different advertising and marketing instruments embrace electronic mail and advertisements on Fb, Instagram, YouTube, and plenty of different web sites.

However probably the most essential consider long-term success is the power to vary and adapt. Plan for change from the beginning. Don’t construct an ecommerce website that’s tough (costly) to change or redo. It limits your potential.

The Fundamentals

On the fundamental degree, a website wants recent content material — product descriptions, pictures, movies, costs — to assist guests make an preliminary buy determination and return for extra. For some markets, that is straightforward. Take shaving. Shoppers will all the time want razors. However even razors have improvements and new concepts, resembling three blades or 5 blades or auto-restocks by way of subscriptions.

Most merchandise have new or upgraded releases and various makes use of. In case your website is fast to obtain these updates, compose compelling descriptions of why they’re higher or completely different or thrilling. You will have then given consumers causes to maintain coming again. Some websites do that with weblog posts and information articles.

In my enterprise of promoting science fiction memorabilia, a person employees member knew all about new merchandise and will write intelligent and humorous descriptions about them. This made my website stand out and achieve extra clients. It helps in case your ecommerce website can combine with a publishing platform resembling WordPress. (Or maybe WordPress can be your ecommerce platform by way of a plugin, resembling WooCommerce.)


Over time the accepted feel and look of ecommerce websites evolve. What was as soon as a handsome website can grow to be dated and rancid. Guests have to really feel assured that you’re a dependable enterprise — their cash is secure, and you’ll ship what you say. New clients have a tendency to guage a website based mostly on its look. It’s tough, nevertheless, for an insider to take a look at a website with recent eyes, as new a customer would see it. But it surely’s important.

Maybe your website requires a brand new template. Possibly the menu construction or navigation wants a revamp. You could want to maneuver to a brand new platform to maintain the location trying fashionable. These modifications are comparatively easy if in case you have deliberate, ensured that the content material is moveable, and maintained management.

What was as soon as a very good trying website can grow to be dated and rancid.


After I launched in 2000, most on-line transactions have been completed from particular person web sites. All I needed to do was be sure that mine was higher than my rivals and appeared increased on the search outcomes. In time, nevertheless, third-party platforms resembling Ebay, Amazon, and Etsy started to dominate.

Thus the ultimate kind of change is strategic. Determine whether or not to listing your merchandise on these platforms. The choice will not be straightforward. Do you listing your whole merchandise on these channels or simply the bestsellers or clearance objects? Do you set the identical costs throughout channels or make the objects by yourself website cheaper? Are you able to differ costs on this method with out violating the third-party platform’s guidelines? Within the E.U., for instance, it’s unlawful for Amazon to forbid sellers from setting decrease costs elsewhere.

Additional, itemizing on third-party platforms creates competitors in your personal website. However are you able to afford to not use these platforms?

Take into account the dangers, too, resembling being on the whim of the platform. Initially, Amazon was a small proportion of my gross sales, however it grew to exceed 75 p.c. Staying on Amazon’s good facet turned very important — even to the purpose of placing Amazon’s consumers forward of these from my very own website.

Inevitable Change

The purpose is that change is inevitable. Any firm that doesn’t evolve will certainly die. Keep in mind that the aim of your corporation is to earn income. Your web site is a device to generate income. Change it or, certainly, transfer away from it as wanted.


Supply hyperlink