Inside the Failure and Birth of An ECommerce Web Site

Small Business Computing has a VERY good article on how Laurie Solet who owns a woman’s clothing store in Clayton, MO moved her business online. It wasn’t always easy and she wasted a lot of money ($20,000+) in the journey to building her online presence. Her mistake was not listening to the right people, but how would Laurie know. I’m sure, like many of you she spoke to “experts” who gave her wrong advice.
Many told her that she should first build a fancy “web site” they said, “Oh, you don’t want to do that, you need a whole other staff for that, it’s like opening a second store.” All the money was not really wasted I guess as she did end of with a good web site. But she could have saved time and money in having her web site AND ecommerce functionality done at one time.
Small Business Computing writes One insightful lesson Solet learned about selling over the Internet is that: “A lot of people like a deal online. There’s a lot of bargain shoppers online.” This is far truer for her Web shoppers than for her storefront shoppers, she says. “There’s a lot of comparison shopping online,” she notes. “When we have our sales, we sell tons of sales stuff online.”
She also finds that the Web is a great source of shopper feedback. “The women are really receptive to telling you what they like and what they don’t like ¬? because we’ll ask. We’re always trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.”
Looking ahead at possible improvements, she’d like to set up a toll-free number. “We need to make people feel comfortable that if they don’t want to order online they can call us, no worries.” She’d also like to experiment with paring down the file size of photos to make them load faster.