How to build a successful e-commerce business

girl-1333600_1920Is there a short cut to success? I’d love to give you a new and unique answer which would magically make all your problems disappear. But, unfortunately, there is none. So, I’m just going to go with the old fashioned epithets of ‘hard work ‘, perseverance, talent and a little bit of luck (although the law of attraction states luck itself is directly proportional to how hard you work!).

A lot of budding entrepreneurs think that they can get a website, open a shop and customers will beat a path to their store. The reality is far different. With a billion websites out there, getting discovered, building the trust that gets a sale take a lot of time. Most new e-commerce sites don’t net a single sale for the first 3 months.

You could do a simple google search to find hundreds of articles about hard work. I simply wish to give a more realistic perspective on the subject.

Case study 1:

In 1993, K. Anders Ericsson and colleagues asked musicians to estimate the amount of deliberate practice– full engagement in structured training activities designed to improve a particular aspect of performance– every week for each year of their careers. They found that on average, the most accomplished musicians estimated much higher amounts of deliberate practice than the less accomplished musicians. At age 20, the average estimated hours for the most accomplished violinists was more than 10,000 hours, whereas the average estimated hours for the least accomplished violinists was about 4,600 hours.

Case study 2:

Winston Churchill, one of the 20th century’s greatest orators, practiced his speeches compulsively. Vladimir Horowitz supposedly said, “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, my wife knows it. If I don’t practice for three days, the world knows it.”

 

The field of fashion is no different. Sure, talent is important, but consistency, hard work and dedication to the art are even more important. Opening an online store is easy, anyone can do it. But making it successful requires hardwork, perseverance and motivation. Maintaining its standards consistently with new, catchy designs, customer service, keeping up with trends, research etc are the tough parts. It’s even tougher doing all these knowing that you statistically won’t be getting even a single order for at least 3 months from starting your store. These are the parts which will determine if you will be a success story or a cautionary tale for others.

If you say, “I’ve tried all this, still no success”, here are few more case studies for you, Colonel Sander’s chicken recipe was rejected 1099 times before going mainstream, Henry ford failed in five businesses before starting ford motors, Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper early in his career because “he lacked imagination and creative ideas”.

So what is the secret sauce to building a new digital business?

  1. Have something truly unique
  2. Share your website with friends and family and ask them to share it with their friends
  3. Provide excellent customer support. Give your customers a reason to buy from you
  4. Be active on social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and share your work.

In the end it takes talent, nurturing, motivation, persistence and hardwork to build a success story. There are no shortcuts here!

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