There are four key steps along the journey to launching your online eCommerce store. These include 1) committing to eCommerce, 2) creating an implementation plan, 3) executing the plan, and 4) operating your online store.
Today, we are going to focus on that big first step, committing to eCommerce.
Making the commitment to integrate eCommerce into your business also includes four stages. These stages are:
- creating your vision for eCommerce,
- identifying resistance items,
- uncovering solutions, and
- deciding if making the commitment is right for you.
You can use our free Project Composer Tool™ to help keep yourself organized as you move through these steps.
The Four Stages of Committing to eCommerce
Before you can decide whether eCommerce is right for your business, you need to create a vision for what a successful eCommerce strategy might look like for you. Think about what it is you want to achieve by selling online and how this is going to help you engage your prospects and customers. Who are you selling to? How are you going to reach them? What’s going to make you stand out from your competitors?
Once you have painted a vision of what you’re aiming for, you will need to address any resistances you are feeling toward achieving this strategy. Take this time to flesh out what your resistance items are and write down the nagging doubts you have. It’s important to be honest here and to really put pen to paper while teasing out these uncertainties. This is the only way you can come up with solutions for eliminating them.
Next, you are going to develop strategies for managing those resistances. For each doubt you’ve listed, write down one or two actions you can take to overcome this feeling. If you run into something that you can’t overcome, then this should be a consideration as you move into your final decision.
Once you’ve produced your vision, identified your resistance items, and brainstormed some potential solutions, you’re now in a position to decide if committing to eCommerce is the right call for your company. At this point, you’ll carefully look over what you’ve written down and evaluate.
Using the Project Composer Tool
Committing to eCommerce is a big decision and approaching the four stages of making that decision can feel overwhelming with just a blank pen and paper. To make it easier for you, we developed the Project Composer Tool with this process in mind. It’s based on 30 years of use in entrepreneurial and business strategy, and it’s especially valuable now in 2020 when we’re in turbulent times.
This tool is handy because it guides you through each step and provides a timeline that will help you stay on track if and when you do make the decision to jump in. You can download your free copy of the Project Composer Tool here and follow along.
The first section of the Project Composer Tool outlines your eCommerce vision. Here you’ll input your goal and intended result along with today’s date and the target date for completion of this project. What’s the concept you have in mind for your eCommerce strategy? What are the goals— in detail—you’d like to achieve? What will success look like for you?
Once you’ve gone in depth with your vision, move on to part two. You can see this is where you have space to identify all of your resistance items. Don’t hold back. What are you afraid of when you imagine pursuing your vision? What challenges do you foresee? What are some of the obstacles you expect to encounter when you start making changes? Are there any risks? What are those nagging doubts at the back of your mind telling you? Drill into your unconscious and automatic thinking and try to actually understand your concerns.
All of your concerns are valid, and it’s important to have them out in the open so you can find ways to diminish and eliminate them. Think of each item on your list as a small mystery that you need to solve as you uncover whether a commitment to eCommerce will be beneficial for you.
In part three, you are going to come up with strategies to respond to and manage each of those resistance items. You’ll likely surprise yourself with how successful you are in coming up with strategies. Oftentimes the hardest part is calling out those nagging doubts, but once they are on paper, you have the power to overcome them.
As my longtime business coach Dan Sullivan says, “The things that seem to oppose our goals are actually the raw material to achieve them.” Let’s tap into that potential here as we brainstorm potential solutions.
If you’re worried about not generating traffic, you might take the opportunity to approach some digital marketing firms and find out what programs are available to boost visitorship. If you’re afraid of not providing your customers with the smoothest browsing and checkout process, you might ask your web developer about how you can prevent issues in the back end. Use feedback to assess whether or not each item of resistance is actually a problem.
When you’ve addressed each item on your list, you’re ready to move on to part four. Here, you’ll go back and look at what you’ve laid out for your vision as a general concept, goal, and result. Then, you’ll look over your resistance items and rethink the strategies you’ve come up with. Using this information, decide if these strategies, comprehensively, are good enough. Do you think you have the makings of a reasonable project here that could achieve your goal and desired end result? Is there enough here to merit doing a bit more work and creating a plan of action? Are you willing, ready, and able to proceed and to create that plan?
You might find that you just don’t have the resources required to do it right now. Maybe that nagging doubt in the back of your mind was absolutely right. If that’s the case, you’ve taken the time to map out your ideas in a structured way and you can move forward knowing eCommerce really isn’t for you, at least for the time being.
Many times, though, you’ll find that now that you’ve unpacked what’s in your mind, laid it out, and addressed it, the answer is yes, an eCommerce strategy is the way to go.
Sample Analysis: My Coffee Local
Let’s review a sample for My Coffee Local. My Coffee Local is a demo eCommerce store that we maintain at Second Spring Digital Inc. This is a fictitious rendering of their tool outlining a vision of scaling up from local pickup to shipping across North America.
You can see they have a long list of resistance items and that they’ve been able to develop a strategy for each. As a result, they decided they were comfortable taking the leap. They checked “yes” to commit and proceeded to compose a plan.
Download the eCommerce Rapid Results Checklist
Looking for more help on how to build and grow your online store? Download the eCommerce Rapid Results Checklist and discover the essential steps to attract, sell, deliver and satisfy your online customers.