10 Barriers to Ecommerce and Their Solutions

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All text is copyright 2008 Voloper Creations Inc. You may quote this document in whole or in part, online or in printed format, as long as proper attribution is given. Proper attribution should, at a minimum, include the following: Copyright 2008 Voloper Creations Inc. http://www.voloper.com

Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................... 4 Barrier #1: Security Concerns............................................................................ 4 Barrier #2: Confusing Checkout Process .............................................................. 5 Barrier #3: Customers Cannot Find the Store ....................................................... 7 Barrier #4: Customers Can't Find Products .......................................................... 8 Barrier #5: Achieving Good Design ..................................................................... 8 Barrier #6: Unable to Sell Products Under the "Long Tail" ...................................... 9 Barrier #7: Customers Can't Touch and Feel a Product ........................................ 10 Barrier #8: No Sales Staff Means No Chance of Up-Selling ................................... 11 Barrier #9: Language Barrier ........................................................................... 11 Barrier #10: Geographical Barrier..................................................................... 12 eCommerce Check List .................................................................................... 14

Copyright 2008 Voloper Creations Inc.

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Introduction
It has been often said the Internet has leveled the playing field, notably so in the world of eCommerce. Without the need for a traditional store front (employees, insurance, or all the other sundry demands of maintaining a physical presence), a merchant can very quickly begin selling compelling products. The Internet has also leveled other barriers to entry. A merchant no longer has to spend time and money researching an optimal location or, worse, accept a suboptimal location because bigger interests have frozen a merchant out of prime retail sites. Costly advertising in Yellow Pages, newspapers, or magazines has given way to cost free search engines, email campaigns, low cost banner ads, or other online promotional schemes like Google AdWords. Although the playing fields relating to physical costs and traditional advertising costs have been leveled, a merchant seeking to do business on the Internet encounters new playing fields with new barriers. Where as barriers in the brick-and-mortar world are defined by limits (limited land, limited advertising space, a limited customer base), barriers in eCommerce are defined by the unlimited nature of the Internet. Seemingly unlimited customers are being chased by seemingly unlimited competition. Solutions presented to merchants by Web developers, consultants, and hosting services are likewise as numerous and, at times, contradictory. Finally, all merchants, online or offline, face the barriers presented by consumer psychology. This White Paper seeks to enumerate ten major barriers facing eCommerce and proposes generalized solutions in terms of both a software solution (what an eCommerce platform should handle) and technique (practices to overcome consumer psychological barriers).

Barrier #1: Security Concerns
The Internet still reflects its origins as an open venue for scientific and engineering research. Security was not a major issue in the early days of the Internet as it was assumed researchers using the system would not jeopardize their jobs. And of course, the intent of the Internet was open, not to move private data around the planet. Security has come a long way, with strong "military grade" encryption becoming the norm. However, highly publicized security concerns of the early days of the commercial Internet still resonate with online consumers and these concerns...
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