Every month, I come across a few dozen ecommerce businesses that are getting off the ground. The digital entrepreneurs setting up these businesses are supposed to be trendsetters who are altering the landscape of the retail industry. While I do see the occasional bright spark, most of them seem to be unimaginative, and wholly undifferentiated. This is a wishlist of what I would like to see in an ecommerce startup.
Marketing departments are flooded with cowboys who operate from the gut – well more like shoot from the hip actually. The best marketing managers have traditionally been those who just knew how to market; probably they were born marketers. The huge volume of data created by your online store does away with the need for these clairvoyant marketing folk. Today you can let evidence drive your marketing strategy.
This is one of those debates where all participants are of the opinion that their position is obviously right – a no-brainer. Also, everyone agrees that forced registrations are a leading cause of shopping cart abandonment. That should have caused ecommerce websites to abandon forced registrations, right? Wrong! Many ecommerce websites force registrations. And there are others who technically do not force registrations, but for all practical purposes they do.
As an angel investor, I am pitched a dozen or so ecommerce business plans each month. Several of these upcoming ecommerce entrepreneurs are products of startup incubators. As a result, they have developed a great degree of finesse in presenting business plans. Their excel spreadsheets have details that only a crystal ball gazer could provide. Yet, they often lack some basic information.