A quick search online for “how to start an ecommerce business” and you’re going to get retargeted with videos and ads about making six figures selling on Amazon. It seems selling online is easy and mints millionaires all the time. It makes you feel like you’re missing out, right?
Recently, there’s a new keyword for the latest gimmick: connective ecommerce. Connective ecommerce is the buzzword for a “we do everything for you, you do nothing” get-rich-quick scheme that works like many other e-commerce scams in the past. Like all plans that sound too good to be true, this one is as well.
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What is connective ecommerce
Connective ecommerce is a method that promises to remove three areas of “risk” in selling online: Hiring a developer to build your online store or website, doing inventory and fulfillments yourself, and paying for advertisements or PPC immediately.
Connective ecommerce believes that you can fully rely on templated websites to create a highly converting online store — without any technical experience.
Meanwhile, instead of DIY-ing inventory and fulfillment yourself, connective ecommerce encourages you to source quality suppliers for inventory, fulfillment, and shipping (this one kinda makes sense, but we have better, more cost-effective recommendations below).
Finally, it also suggests that instead of paying for ads and “hoping that sales would come in,” you should fully rely on free methods to drive traffic to your store.
The overall premise of connective ecommerce is that you can “quickly and effectively” start and grow your online business without having to pay.
In reality, it feeds off people who want to get into ecommerce but are not willing to put in the time and effort it takes to win the right way. Although we would love to believe that selling online can be de-risked and made super-easy, the truth is, like any business, it takes a lot of work and is hard.
Spending money for developers can give your website all the functionality, protection, and maintenance that you won’t really have a lot of time for when you’re running a business. On the other hand, paid advertising is only expensive if you’re not doing it right. PPC involves a lot of skill, data analysis, and strategy to pull off.
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GETTING RICH IN E-COMMERCE IS NOT EASY
It appears that the latest snake oil of the 21st century is this connective ecommerce platform. While it sounds great to hand over inventory management, website development, and even advertising to a third-party, while you rake in “the riches” 🦍🤝💪📈 💎🙌 the reality is that people who use this service are just sinking money into something that you have a little to no control over. Besides, if you’re not doing any of the work then are you really in the ecommerce business in the first place?
Let’s break down each of the 3 elements Connective Ecommerce suggests they handle for you. We’ll give you some ideas on how YOU can do these things yourself with little risk, too.
Inventory is tough if you own it. The secret to inventory is in your ability to purchase it at the correct price. If you’re new then you have little leverage. It’s also a large capital outlay. If you can’t or don’t want the inventory risk, then look at drop-shipping or affiliate marketing instead. Both are low risk and will give you first hand training on the other aspects of managing an ecommerce store.
If you’re not familiar with website design setting up an ecommerce storefront is scary. To get started it’s not necessary to make an Amazon style marketplace. In fact the goal should be to start small and learn along the way.
We suggest you start with Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce. There are pros and cons to each (here’s a quickie – Shopify is super easy but will cost you in fees; BigCommerce is cheaper, still pretty easy, but the themes stink; WooCommerce is super cheap but is a bit more complex). Depending on which way you go finding a gig on Fiverr to help you inexpensively design it is easy. You can be going for around $100 or less and not be dependent on anyone else (like the Connective Ecommerce folks).
If there’s any part of the process of setting up an ecommerce store and running it that we would send to someone else, it’s advertising. It’s time consuming and if you have no experience with it, the results for the cost may not be worth it. If you’re new with a tight budget making a misstep here could sink your new business. In fact, we at Win at Ecommerce outsource our PPC and suggest trusted partners to manage it for our clients.
However, if you do want to learn PPC it’s really easy to begin. Google and Facebook rely very heavily on Artificial Intelligence (AI) now with “Smart Campaigns” automatic audience selection. Your email CRM, like Mailchimp or Klaviyo (coming soon), can also help you manage your PPC. It’s important to properly set things up with conversions and tracing pixels. Again, you can find a gig at Fiverr to help you install some of the tricky elements if necessary.
Running a Business is Both Fun and Challenging and You Should Go For It
As a legit ecommerce agency, our team at Win have managed dozens of ecommerce websites and started a handful of them. Even with our knowledge, not all of our websites have been successful (RIP www.rotorly.com). There are millions of ecommerce stores today hoping to make it big. What is it going to take for you to stand out?
Everybody at Win at Ecommerce makes their living helping people just like you make successful ecommerce stores. If there weren’t success stories, we wouldn’t be in business! But not one of these engagements I call “easy”. When I look at offers like “connective ecommerce” and “Ecom babes” it scares me as I know it will give this industry a worse name. Before you go down that path, invest the time, effort, and energy it takes to learn what ecommerce is all about. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
what do you think? Let us know.
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