Change your course online by just a few degrees
Thinking the worst when we find a glitch
I ride my bike everywhere, yet I know next to nothing about fixing it when something goes wrong or anything but the most basic maintenance. Unable to pinpoint the issue, I can think the worst or indeed ignore a problem and hope it will go away of its own accord. Not a tendency I am proud to share, but then I see how many of us do this when it comes to grey areas in our businesses.
An e-commerce story
Take Mike, a well-established offline retailer who has been striving to create a successful online branch of his business. The orders were coming in, but not nearly fast enough to make his e-commerce efforts profitable. When I first spoke to Mike about his e-commerce site, he had talked himself into the idea that he was going to have to find the cash to invest in a whole new website, or completely drop the online side of the business.
Don’t throw your money away
In the same way that I jumped to a conclusion with my bike, Mike made assumptions about e-commerce without having first asked someone who knew more about it than him. Indeed, he nearly made decisions that would have lost him significant amounts of time and money. All he needed in fact was some good advice from someone who was savvy enough about online shops to put forward a more rational diagnosis.
Bring on the sales
By making small yet significant incremental changes on his site, it became increasingly profitable without him having to make another big investment. There was one stage in his checkout process that was confusing customers and leading them to abandon their cart. His contact form was unreliable. His product category system was too busy.
Helping each other out
It is easy to keep assumptions in the back of our minds, making mountains out of molehills. I am always happy to be a part of making a molehill from what someone feared could be a mountain. By adjusting your direction by just a couple of degrees you can significantly change your course.
Are there areas of your business or personal life that worry you or that you put off because you fear the worst? Who might be able to give you some good advice from an outside perspective? Please leave a comment if you’d like to share, or feel free to ask any questions or read more about our e-commerce work.
Thanks for the picture http://www.flickr.com/people/radlmax/