Going Green Directory

Plastic Packaging Corp.
Plastic Packaging Corp.

Pitfalls of Ecommerce

Did we mention experience? If you don't mind we would like to share a few real life ecommerce stories with you. The stories are true but we used artistic license for the company names.

The Story of No Sales Ever

This story is one which is very common for companies trying to sell products on the web. The owner of "No Sales Ever" was not familiar with computers or the internet. He was however, smart enough to buy several .com names for his company. He also hired a web designer to build some pages to represent his company. Eight years went buy and No Sales Ever had never made a sale from the web. The company carried some 15,000 products in their warehouse and the process of setting up an ecommerce store seemed overwhelming and cost prohibitive. Not knowing who to trust or what steps to take in order to get their product on the web, the company decided to just keep their basic introduction pages on the web.

 The Story of Frustrated Inc.

A company we will call "Frustrated Inc." decides to make a presence on the web. Trusting their current software provider, "Always Dealt With Them", they use one of Always Dealt With Them's web site creation programs to develop Frustrated Inc.'s web site. The owner puts hundreds of hours into the web site inputing products, finding appropriate images and creating or copying descriptions. A professional designer is hired to portray Frustrated Inc.'s web site in a way that is both professional and appropriate. Thousands of dollars are spent over a period of years. The web site design is awesome, the products are easy to purchase and the prices are very reasonable. Months go by and there are no orders. Years go by and there are no orders.

Remember the movie, Field of Dreams which is famous for the phrase "build it and they will come"? That works great in the movies but is an absolute disaster in ecommerce. You can have the best looking store in your industry, sell products for half the price of your competitors and still not make a sale.

Most people find web sites by either typing in the URL directly, using a shopping service such as Yahoo shopping or by doing a search using one of the many search engines. If your potential customers don't know your website's name you are dependent on shopping services, search engines or other advertising. With millions of competitors you don't stand a chance unless you learn about search engine optimization.

The owner of Frustrated Inc. became very frustrated because new consultants came in to evaluate their company web site and received some bad news. Their companies web site was missing meta tags and was using dynamic pages which are not search engine friendly. So far, the solution has been to start over and do it right this time. That's an expensive lesson.