For Success in Ecommerce, Answer ‘Why?’

Because you’re reading this on Practical Ecommerce, you run an ecommerce company or are considering it. The purpose of this guide is to ask you”Why?” In other words, why invest time and energy to market your services and products online?

When folks ask us about our jobs, we often answer with what we do. An ecommerce merchant would normally reply with something like”my company sells specialty men’s clothing online.”

But step back and ask why you run an ecommerce company. There are lots of answers, I guess.

  • “This is how I make my living.”
  • “I’m passionate about ecommerce and think it has a wonderful future.”
  • “My brick-and-mortar shop is suffering from falling revenue. Ecommerce is a means to reach new clients.”
  • “I’m investing in ecommerce since I can grow the company and sell it when I am ready to retire.”
  • “I have unique products. Ecommerce is the perfect way to achieve my target audience and make a reasonable profit.”
  • “It is something I can do from my home and doesn’t need my full attention.”
  • “Ecommerce generates more efficiency in my sales team.”
  • “I hate going to physical stores and I love shopping online. Many people feel this way. It is the future of purchasing.”

To put it differently, understanding why you operate in ecommerce is vital. It will let you plan for the what, where, and how.

Start with ‘Why?’

Simon Sinek is a writer, speaker, and business consultant. His seminal TED Chat in 2009,”Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” has been seen over 20 million times.

I watched that video several years back. It sticks with me now. Many leaders and owners often just examine the what and how of their enterprise.

I am a former ecommerce proprietor. My wife and I purchased a tiny online bead shop in 2002 so that she’d have a part-time gig she could do from the home. I later quit my full time job to join her. We thought we could build a good lifestyle business from it.

We were successful at accomplishing that objective. We paid our expenses, raised three children, saved for college, purchased a commercial building to conduct the company in, and afterwards sold the company to another entrepreneur.

I now work daily with personnel from big corporations which are investing millions of dollars into ecommerce. Their why is to boost revenue, promote channel change, lower operational costs, reach new markets, better support their clients, etc.

Butreally, they fight with the”why?” — other than that is what their board or executive leadership group chose. It is difficult, but for my business to design a world class solution for a large company unless we could uncover why it’s investing in the first location. All of the whys are inclined to be earnings and profit focused, to provide an adequate return to investors.

It is hard… to design a world class solution for a large business unless we could find why…

Aligning the Company to the’Why?’

When I look back on our bead business, we were successful because we aligned the business dimensions to our why, that was to create a good business which didn’t grow too quickly, did not require us to involve additional investors, and did not require dozens of workers, human resources, reams of policies and processes, etc. It enabled us to live a comfortable lifestyle with an chance to recapture some of the first capital we spent if we were to market the company, which we did.

At the end of the year, we were prepared for a change. We’re tired of the requirement for continuous availability and focus, the daily grind of getting and shipping products, handling our small group of workers, and optimizing pay-per-click advertisements and organic search positions.

To grow the company, we had to spend more, hire professional managers, and tackle a number of different things which didn’t align with our lifestyle. That led us to market the business and search for the next issue to be passionate about.

In my experience, managers, entrepreneurs, and corporations make better decisions about the best way best to invest in and grow their own companies if they know why they do it.

By way of instance, if your why is to be C.E.O. of a company with 200 employees and $100 million in earnings, your what, in which , and the way will be much different than my travel. You will probably have to raise money — particularly if you’re starting from scratch. You will probably have to recruit top digital talent to compete with Amazon, Walmart, and the rest of the big and well-heeled retailers.

If you wish to manufacture high-quality, world-renowned goods and control your brand and revenue channels, that is a why, also. To do so, you know to construct a high-level client expertise and invest in producing and promoting your brand. You may sell on large, online marketplaces if you choose.

In summary, selling services and products on the internet doesn’t, alone, sustain a company. Knowing why you market these products and services is paramount. Over the forthcoming months, I will explore strategies and tactics that will assist you attain the why of your enterprise. Stay tuned.