How to be an unsuccessful eCommerce business

Mark Canes

I spend much time each week chatting with companies who are looking at replacing or updating their ERP, inventory and accounting software. Naturally enough, these days more and more of the conversation revolves around eCommerce, whether its business-to-business or business-to-consumer. It's quite striking how some companies seem to be very successful selling online, while others in the exact same industry do not. Taking a lesson from the second group, here's how to be unsuccessful in the eCommerce sphere:

  1. Look at eCommerce in isolation, and ignore the impact on the rest of your business.
  2. Choose the cheapest eCommerce platform and vendor that you can find.
  3. Don't even think about search engine optimization.
  4. Don't link your eCommerce site to your back-end inventory system, thus ensuring that the one or two people who accidentally stumble upon your site will order product that you don't actually have in stock.
  5. (This step encompasses the above ones): avoid having a coherent and well-funded strategy to succeed online.

Of course we could expand each of these steps in multiple facets and examine them further - but that would only matter if we wanted to find ways to avoid being unsuccessful. If we did, we'd instead research areas like eCommerce and ERP Integration.

  • Sadly, it appears that many entrepreneurial businesses have been following the above advice. Please don't make the same mistake.