Learning from others is a wise move. Here are 25 great quotes to help strengthen your understanding of, and appreciation for, ecommerce. It’s a diverse industry that is hard to pin down and too easy to take for granted. Learn from the mistakes of others and up your ecommerce game.
“Communication is at the heart of ecommerce and community”
Meg Whitman Hewlett-Packard CEO
If you want to make the best of the traffic social media can draw to your site, you should make an effort to become part of the community through relationship-building and great content.
This means having someone there to answer any questions and respond to feedback — you need to invest in community management in order to see your social investment bear fruit.
“Ecommerce isn’t the cherry on the cake, it’s the new cake”
Jean Paul Ago CEO L’Oreal
Ecommerce has seen a boom in the last few years as the uptake of SaaS hosts has made it easier than ever to open an online store. If you are currently operating a separate brand, opening an ecommerce site as a side project can help you generate extra income. Plus, you don’t have to fork out for initial inventory costs if you use dropshipping.
For more established brands, the ecommerce model is increasingly becoming a primary profit-generating source. In these cases, investing in things like automated Facebook Messenger bots can prove to be a worthwhile investment in order to drive up revenue figures.
“Remember, every ‘mistake’ your customer makes, it’s not because they’re stupid. It’s because your website sucks”
(This one should be tattooed on your forehead…)
Peep Laja, Founder of ConversionXL
If you are not deeply considering the UX and UI of your site, you are missing out on traffic and conversions. Not only does a well-functioning site bring in more ecommerce customers, but it also improves your SEO ranking. Sites have to be easy to use and appropriate to your audience’s abilities and needs.
Every landing page should be clear and concise, as well as look great and load in a snappy fashion. If you have to go back to the drawing board and structure your site from the ground up, make sure you are optimizing for user-experience and conversions.
“Your most unhappy customers are your most important source of learning”
Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder
Reviews can teach you a lot about how you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to hear things ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’.
If you are doing all you can to get reviews, you will be registered on all of the relevant industry reviews sites and be actively seeking feedback from previous customers. You should also try to generate more reviews via social media and invest in automated email reminders.
However, it is vital that you not only collect reviews, but that you respond in a positive and timely manner. You can find automated tools that track your reviews and mentions across the web, giving you support when it comes to managing your brand’s social proof.
“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die”
Jack Ma, EC Alibaba Group
Competitor analysis tools and research can bring in a lot of great ideas for your own brand. However, you must ensure that you do not copy, and instead find a new way to bring in the same results. And remember — you can take inspiration from any business, even if they are not related to your industry.
You should also do your best to check out any social media influencers in your niche and see how they are supporting other brands. Is there an influencer you might have overlooked?
“Optimizing the mobile cart and checkout experience is more important than tweaking your desktop design”
Mobile-first is an ecommerce given nowadays. Many of us check out a product on our smartphones before making the purchase later. And if it’s something we need urgently, apps and mobile sites help us buy in just a few clicks.
To enhance your mobile site, consider its UI design. Remember that your mobile site is not a ‘direct translation’ of your desktop site. Customers may, for instance, benefit from seeing a smaller selection of menus or category pages. They may need larger call to action buttons and opt-in information emails rather than pages of text. Think of how you can condense your site architecture to suit the mobile shopper.
“Data Data Data! I can’t make bricks without clay”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Physician and Writer
Although not strictly grounded in the realms of ecommerce, this quote tells you all you need to know about collecting customer information. The more you can glean from your Google Analytics and other sources, the more you can test and adapt to your customers’ needs.
To keep afloat in the sea of big data, look for tools that allow you to overlay all of your data into one central dashboard. You need to ensure that each and every channel is ready to be tested and improved, and data will help you do just this.
“By 2020, brick and mortar retail spaces will be little more than showrooms”
Eddie Machaalani & Mitchell Harper, Co-CEOs of Bigcommerce
Robotics and automation within ecommerce have made online shopping highly competitive. For conventional retailers, the costs of running bricks and mortar locations can seem astronomical in comparison. This is why retailers have to look for new ways to create immersive shopping destinations.
They need to work on creating an environment that gets people through the door. The product ‘showroom’ model can work well for brands looking to dominate on the high street and online. If you can offer a knowledgeable staff, personalized recommendations, and stellar customer service, you can hope to keep your customers in the years to come. You can also utilize things like beacon technology to get your store interacting with customers’ smartphones.
“When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof”
Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder / Strategic Director Orbit Media Studios
The true test of a brand message is its ability to be remembered and shared with a friend.
Luckily, it is no longer necessary to have expensive video campaigns in the hope that they ‘go viral’ — just get your customers to share and tell their own story instead.
Examine the best user-generated campaigns on social media and look to offer something unique for your brand.
“Innovation will come from an explosion of machine-learning startups. For top-tier industry leaders, data is often in good shape, but it’s not all held in the same place”
A.I, chatbots, and machine learning can help you gather customer data in real time and push your customers towards conversions at all times of the day.
If you are looking to stay ahead, make sure you are following developments on platforms such as Facebook Messenger.
“Move towards the data instead of other way around, senders will need more data-points to personalize communication that will drive user engagement”
Willem Stam E-mail Systems
Personalizing your email and social media responses to your customers is really the next stage of customer service automation. To offer concierge levels of service, even as a small dropship ecommerce business, you need to ensure that you are equipped to capture data and utilize it to the best of your ability.
For instance, set up automated tools from your online storefront that allow you to send product recommendation options based on past browsing behavior.
“You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and bring them back to your store”
Paul Graham, Y COMBINATOR
Customer research is essential. You need to make sure you are finding out all you can from internet trends to help you identify their likes and dislikes, and where audiences spend their time online.
Blogging as a marketing strategy should never be overlooked. Do all you can to seek out your customer’s ‘pain points’ and regularly offer up-to-date content that helps them with their issues.
“Every second you spend thinking about what somebody else has is taking away from time that you could create something for yourself”
Great ecommerce branding is all about creation, ideas, and relationships. Focus on bringing a positive energy into the world and make your brand one that people remember for the right reasons. Be authentic.
“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company”
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
When you’re running any kind of business, customer service needs to be at the forefront of everything you do. Instead of shoving customer service into a corner, it really needs to be ingrained in the whole culture of your company.
Having great customer service at the centre of your brand will increase your longevity; advertising can only get you so far. Your customers need to believe in your company and your product, and great customer service is the way to do this.
“For you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs”
Bryan Eisenberg, Marketing Expert, Author and Speaker
In order to achieve your goal (i.e. selling your product), you first need to understand what visitors are looking for. You also need to help them towards this goal — think about the customer journey and customer satisfaction.
Each landing page on your site needs to load quickly, and be clear and use-friendly. Helping your visitors towards achieving their goal by being effective in this way will result in a higher conversion rate on your site.
“The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”
Seth Godin, Entrepreneur, Author and Blogger
Price is not normally the sole factor in a customer’s decision to buy. This is usually made up of a number of other things too, including authority, social proof (credible customer testimonials), consistency, convenience, scarcity (if the product is perceived as rare).
If you focus purely on the price factor, you’re not telling the customer why they should be buying this product from you and why you’re the one that can solve their problem. So the customer comes away with only a concept of your product’s price, rather than suitability and desirability.
Basing a selling strategy on this alone is dangerous — you can quickly be toppled as the cheapest provider, and your customers will have no incentive to stay with you as you haven’t given them one.
“I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.”
Elon Musk, CEO & CTO of SpaceX, Investor in PayPal
You shouldn’t really be creating your own company purely for the sake of having your own company. Is there a problem that needs to be solved? Do you have a way of solving it? You need to be filling a gap in the market that needs to be filled.
“Amazing things will happen when you listen to the consumer”
Jonathan Midenhall, CMO for Airbnb
Engage with your consumers and base your development on their feedback.
At the end of the day, you are providing them with a product. If they help to shape the future of that product, you are evolving your company to become more tailored to your consumer’s needs. Which will only result in happy customers, word of mouth spread, and more customers being recruited…
“You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn’t going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You’re going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people. They’re not going to buy it unless they know about it.”
Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines
Keep working hard to make your dream — or good idea — a reality. This won’t happen instantly, and you won’t automatically become a millionaire because you’ve thought of something good.
You need to see it through to fruition, and that means hard work, patience and persistence. This means coming up with a business strategy, and a marketing strategy — so that people will find out about your good idea and want to buy into it.
“Overall the web is pretty sloppy, but an online store can’t afford to be”
Paul Graham, Co-Founder of Y Combinator
As you’re probably aware by now, there’s some absolutely awful content out there. There are some messy, messy parts of the internet, and some lazy writers and designers.
You, however, cannot afford to be one of them. Your online store is trying to convince potential customers to buy, and they won’t do it if you’ve created an amateurish website, because they won’t trust you. You need to have strong graphics (even if they’re simple) and well-written content. This will make you seem far more professional and trustworthy as a business. And as a result, the visitor will be far more likely to believe in you, and buy your product.
“Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.”
Lisa Stone, Co-Founder and CEO, BlogHer
Keep up to date with what your core demographic wants with regular research. Start surveying your customers once you’re established, and you can learn a lot.
Don’t make assumptions and start informing the customer what they want. This is how you end up out of touch with your consumers.
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter
Worth noting: most of the entrepreneurial successes that you admire so much have taken a long time and a lot of hard work to get there. Don’t assume that someone had an easier route than you, and has become an ‘overnight success’ without putting the effort in. Chances are they’ve been working at this for a long time, and they’ve finally got their big break.
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group
Aside from his well-known mantra, “Screw it, let’s do it” (after which he named his best-selling book), Richard Branson does have some other wise words.
If you’re starting out as a new ecommerce business, chances are you’re going to have some issues and setbacks. Even large multinationals face daily challenges and problems.
it’s important to remember that this is totally natural. As long as you learn from each mistake, and this influences how you improve things moving forward, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Your mistakes will turn into useful lessons, which will help you become better.
“If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
A reminder that you’ll never be totally original and pioneering if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder at everything your competitors are doing. Yes, this can work as a business model — and it’s healthy to do competitor analysis — but it means that your growth and creativity will always be stunted. You’re essentially just copying someone else and then tweaking the product or concept a bit.
If you’re customer-focused, you’re using the customer experience to constantly improve your business, thus making the customer happier and more satisfied, and keeping your company at the top of the game.
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
Stay true to your ecommerce vision, rather than getting sidetracked with making lots of money. Inevitably this won’t work, and you’ll no longer be an authentic business — you’ll be a sellout instead.
Keep your vision in mind in everything that you do: branding, marketing, lead generation, customer interaction and service. If this is woven into the cultural fabric of your company, your vision will stand out.
What do you think of our 25 great ecommerce quotes? Hopefully they’ve inspired you and you’ve learnt something! These are our favourites, but if you think we’ve missed any out then just let us know in the comments below.