Online shopping is a modern-day staple. When at the mall, many people will check online prices to comparison shop and ensure they are getting the best deal. Even more, people expect top service when they buy. For example, the new Amazon Prime Now program can promise delivery in 1-2 HOURS!
If you think your small business is ready to jump on the eCommerce bandwagon, read on. We will go over some reasons why you may not want to make the transition to an online store, or at least some ideas to consider if you do.
1. The cost of running an online store.
Although there are several websites (such as Squarespace), that make running your online store more affordable, it’s pretty much impossible to run one without either paying a service or buying an SSL certificate. If you choose to get your own SSL certificate, getting that set up will cost money as well, and will need to be renewed annually. Also, keep in mind that the more custom and elaborate you want your store to be, the higher the setup and maintenance costs will be.
Are you ready to ditch the traditional methods of selling for one of these digital carts?
2. Time commitment.
Think you can easily run your brick and mortar business while simultaneously featuring and managing products online? Think again. Time is a huge factor. In other words, it takes time to manage inventory, enter new, quality images of your products, and keep your website up to date. The more items you have, the more complicated everything is. It also takes time to build up your online footprint through SEO. Without committing time to drawing people to your small business eCommerce site, no one will visit, and without visitors, you’ll have no sales.
With eCommerce, you are opening up a whole new can of worms. How are you going to ship your goods? Who is going to ensure that items go out in a reasonable amount of time? Are you going to insure and track your items? Where are you going to get your packing materials? These are not impossible obstacles, but again, they are things to think about.
4. Fraud and identity theft.
Any time transactions are run online without a card physically present, the chance that the transaction is fraudulent is increased. Card Not Present transactions present a unique set of challenges, and you have to be prepared in order to avoid chargebacks in the case of identity theft as well as other reasons which become riskier when business is conducted online and the goods are shipped.
Because of the risk involved in #4, you can expect your credit card processing fees to go up. Whether you have an online gateway or use a service like PayPal, keep in mind that additional chunk of change that will be taken every time someone orders online.
Well, there you have it. If you’re still gung-ho about starting an online version of your business, keep those items in mind in order to avoid costly mistakes, chargebacks, and other problems you may encounter. eCommerce isn’t for everyone, but some people flourish online. Which are you?