Here's the last myth of our Supply Lines article: Don’t Be Fooled: Three E-Commerce Myths that Can Lead You Astray.

 

MYTH #3: “My e-commerce process is complete when I can deliver information and take orders online.”

Belief in this myth causes many sellers to miss out on the full range of benefits true e-commerce provides. Though the dizzying array of solutions and technologies flooding the market may seem overwhelming, treating e-commerce tactically (automating just portions of the order-to-cash  Cycle), reactively (adding only capabilities customers demand), or operationally (relegating it to your IT department) can seriously backfire.

 

For example, your first awareness that a customer wants comprehensive e-commerce capabilities may come when they tell you they’ve found another vendor who already provides them. In today’s market, your e-commerce approach forms a central part of your brand image, significantly impacting your customer-facing market representation. It should be considered an integral channel with the same status as your direct sales or distribution channels —so devoting significant resources to it makes sound business sense.

 

David Lloyd George put it best: “You can’t cross a chasm in two short jumps.” The real e-commerce winners are those who treat it strategically, developing and delivering a comprehensive solution that transforms the way they do business. On the other hand, you don’t want to go off half-cocked. Before taking action, talk to your customers to gain a solid understanding of their e-commerce plans and requirements, and make sure that your e-commerce strategy also aligns with your own business values and goals.

 

So rather than viewing the launch of your storefront website or online ordering tool as the end of your e-commerce journey, consider them as first steps. You can take heart by knowing that the more you invest in building a mature e-commerce solution, the greater ROI you’ll realize.

 

Visit Supply Lines group at http://exchange.ariba.com/groups/supplylines for more e-commerce articles.