6 Hard Truths of ecommerce

It’s time to face the music.

Multipart ecommerce strategy series

By Matt Sayer

It’s time to face the music. And the money. Too many ecommerce brands have their heads in the cloud; they’re too hyper-focused on shiny new technology and are letting the basics slide. Budget. People. Security. Experiences.

The Sudo Roux team is getting argumentative in our old age. We’re prepared to have the tough conversations about eCommerce, refusing to let clients start the process without their eyes being open to what’s ahead.

So what’s got our heels firmly buried in the ground?

  1. In this hybridised world of bricks-and-mortar migrating to online, your eCommerce shop front needs to take priority. We still see people spending unbelievable amounts of money on shop fit-outs while griping about paying for an anti-forgery token or secured payment gateway that’s not off-the-shelf. Your online store more than pays for itself in automation, scalability and low operational and set-up costs.
  1. eCommerce is a team game, not a solo operation. Most teams are small. Even more reason to invest in your people. Build a team, train them, bring them on the journey, let them learn through failures. A spoon-fed team won’t have what it takes to show up when you really need them. Build your people into the process.
  1. The journey takes time, money, resilience. It’s probably going to be harder than you anticipate. Your eCommerce marketing strategy is an ongoing operation rather than a project — it never switches off, so you’ll need to get used to new processes. If you’re working with a tighter budget, start small and iterate. Establish what works before throwing more money at it.
  1. Your existing tech landscape probably falls short. Most of the time, the existing tech landscape isn’t fit to support the needs of modern eCommerce. No matter how much time and energy you’ve already put into it. Today we expect the flexibility and agility of headless commerce. We should be able to update the back end without impacting the front-end experience, and vice-versa. Those tier 1 legacy systems you’ve grown fond of need to be wrapped in cotton wool and put out to pasture. If you want to achieve your initial objectives, you’ll have to introduce new ways to innovate.
  1. Brands are built through the buying experience. Building customer experiences around products isn’t the same thing as building brands around commerce experiences. Trust is king and everything goes back to customer service.
  1. Know your numbers. Know your customer. You need to create a framework to measure success. Kidding yourself that everything is running smoothly isn’t a strategy. Customer acquisition is an investment, but every customer is unique and expects some level of personalisation. Know what they need and understand that you only get one chance to deliver it. You’ll be able to allocate budget much more confidently that way.

Money talks.

As in, let’s talk about money. Whether fixed or variable, businesses need to understand the costs of ecommerce marketing.

Your costs fall into 4 main areas:

  • Technology: The eCommerce platform, website, stock control, warehouse systems, POS.
  • Products: Buying or manufacturing products, shipping, packaging.
  • Marketing: Online advertising, offline advertising, agency fees.
  • Business: Employees, office/warehouse rental, operating costs, payment processing.

Everything slides back to an intimate understanding of your budget, and to knowing what you can sell your product for. You wouldn’t spend a million bucks to tweak something that will generate a low return, would you? Because some people would. We’ve seen it happen.

Combining tech with knowledge to transform businesses.

If you’re going to introduce new technology and new platforms into a client’s business, they need to understand why. We take time to educate clients about any choices we make, so they can become a transformational operation. They’re part of the journey as we introduce commerce into the business — this isn’t a one-off job that ends with a tick in a box.

This approach helps clients to absorb the best ways to use various technologies. It means they can integrate their underlying data to create or improve their internal commerce processes.

We’re adamant that all stakeholders must be in the know as we work to bridge the gap between physical and digital.

Your ecommerce survival guide.

Technology matters, but it shouldn’t be the starting point of your ecommerce strategy. An understanding of costs and the customer come first, along with a willingness to integrate tech in a transformational way. Play the long game; don’t look for quick fixes or trends.

Our 6 hard truths of ecommerce have been chosen because they actually move the needle. The most successful ecommerce brands we know understand them and follow them in everything they do, every day.

Let’s Talk.

Untangle your organisation’s challenge. Re-imagine your ecommerce strategy today.

It starts with a call to Sudo Roux: 1300 753 499