For more than 10 years I see different projects to be mounted on the net, of all styles and sizes. First shopping mall for Christmas with Amazon and IBM (in 99?), Pro portals and search engine (Caloga, we were 1st licensed Google in 2000 in Europe, nobody knew), site of the software publisher EBP, editor of Oxatis e-commerce online software …
I have often compared the situation to that of the great or small explorers. Place yourself in the 15th century and rethink your history lessons. The first parties had the support of the crown and its treasure, found roads, and were often loaded with treasures, with great difficulty very often. But they were distinguished from the waves following more numerous but less well endowed … the convicts, the involuntary émigrés, the obligés.
The internet is not the gold rush, it must be repeated. Without demonizing or angelicizing, put the question in its realistic context. In spite of enlightened discourse, by discussing with project promoters, I often desire (I hold back by politeness or lack of time) to say to them: Do not go into e-commerce, out of pity!
Here are some (good I hope) REASONS NOT TO START.
1 / Launching and placing an online shop in orbit is expensive.
Let’s be concrete, impossible to have your site created less than 2000 € for the 1st year. And the amount may be much higher obviously:
An online solution like Oxatis, WiziShop or PowerBoutique will cost you between 600 € and 1500 € the 1st year to which one must add at least 500 € for a basic graphic design. Think also of a computer, a management software. Take a look at whether the status of self-contractor is right for you (80 000 € of CA max for a trading activity, without recovering the VAT), consider otherwise to create a limited liability company … Nothing free or which allows to launch «to see “.
Add a budget of keywords, some stock, hardware …
You will object that launching on eBay is possible. Yes, we can and sometimes it is the only solution .. Do the markets too to avoid creating a real shop for example, which is not exactly the purpose today. With less capital, conducting an activity in parallel is possible and perfect in some cases or in addition, which will require more difficulties, time.
* Being e-commerce requires working a lot
What a miracle of technology … The Internet (with a capital, as with God), the virtual, the dematerialized. And why not telepathy while we are there? Working in his sofa, from time to time, but of course! #ironie
I meet project promoters who do not even know the time needed to perform these daily basic actions of the web merchant, for example:
– Create a product sheet (photo, write the txt, put online, please to Google)
– Preparing an order (ordering, storing, packaging, labeling, postage, postage, etc.)
– Set up a campaign of keywords
These project promoters, sometimes executives, ignore the incessant level of activity of beginners or more advanced online traders. They do not know the place (physics!) That their activity can take.
Obviously, there is a great pleasure to exercise this profession and the possibility of choosing his place of life as the modularity offered hours are always very practical. But finally, let’s go beyond the image of Epinal of the perfect Mompreneur mom trader to success or the young trader dilettante of 25 years. The mother of the web often works much more than one lambda employee for a lower income, as for the holiday merchant … send it to me for interview?
* It is not necessary to have an idea
In the top of illusions, having the brilliant idea is in the firmament of dangerous mirages.
Frankly, this must worry you and your entourage must alert you if you feel like you have found the incredible thing that nobody had the idea before. Always think:
– What if an idea is achievable, it is first by you if you have considered all aspects
– If you keep your idea secret you will not benefit from the constructive criticisms of your entourage
– That surely someone has had the same but will not do it for a thousand reasons
– That if someone has the same and starts, there is a chance on a billion that the result is the same
– That the majority of successful businesses are not based on a great idea
– What to start first in a market is often to clear up for the benefit of a second or a challenger who learns from your mistakes
So we relax, we do not count on a brilliant idea to get started: I can quote dozens of examples of entrepreneurs who have just done the same, but better …
* The quality of the realization matters more than anything
Indeed, more than the idea is how to execute your plan that will make the difference. Sometimes the rigor in realization (car hire UCAR), sometimes the approach of customers (Michel and Augustin), the break in the product offer (Starbucks), etc.
It is not only a question of having an idea but also of professional talent, not necessarily in terms of online commerce, but to possess a trade. It may be to make beautiful products, to speak to a specific clientele, to master the tricks of the trade of a profession (expertise, trading), etc. You will always be able to complete according to your lack but it is necessary to rely on a strong business knowledge and a serious realization around.
* You need to know very well your products or your customers or even better, the 2
“I’m going to build a shop online, what’s working right now? To this question, I answer with a smile, trying to detect on what skill a project is possible. “What products do you know? “Uh …” I dig: “To whom would you address yourself? “Bah, I will see …” The elements of disaster are gathered and HAPPY that this type of future ex-trader generally does not have an investment budget ….
E-commerce is an intermediary between an offering (the products or services with their characteristics, prices, availability, etc.) in relation to a market (if one considers the competitors) to its customers (their expectations and means). So you need to master (or learn to master) all or most of these variables to become a value player.
* Competition is strong
It is this information that usually masks the brilliant idea that makes Santa believe e-commerce. Competition is there, it is everywhere, it is often invisible.
Direct competition is difficult to assess in terms of importance but it does not matter, it reflects the existence of your market and its existence is often or good news. Taking a challenger position is sometimes more playable and profitable than creating or educating a market
But indirect competition is often underestimated. I give you some examples:
– Indirect competition linked to the distribution channel. Will your customer want to buy on the net? (without trying the product for example)
– Indirect competition related to the existence of substitute products. What strength will you have to be visible and evolve the uses?
Internet commerce nevertheless allows to stand out and play on the ” Long Tail “. Take this into account to make it an asset: the distribution of rare, customized, niche products is possible and profitable if managed with finesse and economy. The Internet makes it possible to know precisely the needs of the customers and to satisfy them.
* You will be alone
Like any entrepreneur, you’re going to have to rely on yourself. However, the conditions for exercising online commerce are more “isolating” than in many activities: home office, remote exchanges, staggered hours, etc.
Noted ? So think about using social networks, your blog, your relationships, to settle you near a supplier to keep a dense and bearable relationship fabric.
* We will have to be very agile
Agility is the combination of flexibility and speed. Why be agile?
To adapt to the changing tastes of your customers and make them opportunities. By adapting your product ranges by extension or reduction …
To take advantage of the innovations of the market players. Delegated stock at Amazon, distribution on marketplaces, logistics with SoColissimo, new wave payments, mobility …
You may have to change your mindset if you start by changing your profession. It is a source of serious stress to constantly miss benchmarks. You have to be young #oupas, adaptable and it is not given to everybody.
Training, information, watching, exchanging with pros is a key to success. As much to detect opportunities as to stay the course with lateral currents.
Perhaps I did not succeed in disgusting you with embarking on the adventure. I tried to warn you, if you leave the mainland for this odyssey it will knowingly. Everything is not as black and everyone can make disadvantages of opportunities, play trump cards, show talent.
In this case, good wind. But if you are not unconscious enough or if what I have mentioned above worries you, then …