When you own a storefront you pay attention to displays and how your product is presented. You will also pay attention to sales flyers and product descriptions. Sales associates will be well versed in what products are new and what products are well suited to accent anyway any purchase. In a clothing shop this means knowledge of what clothing choices work well together and what accessories will work well with a given ensemble. In a cosmetic shop is may be helping a customer find just the right shade of lipstick or a scent that matches personality and taste.
It's interesting that for many ecommerce businesses less attention is paid to this dynamic. Certainly you do not have a personal online sales force, but you can have an impact on secondary purchases. You can provide a grouping of popular items that have worked well for other customers. You can pay attention to product descriptions and you can re-dress your online presence to allow your customers to experience the feeling that things are always new with your ecommerce business.
Far too many ecommerce startups look at the whole concept of ecommerce as a 'get rich quick' mechanism that is essentially hands-free. You simply set up shop and go do something else while you wait for the checks to roll in.
If only it was that easy.
In fact, we should all be glad it is not that easy because in the end it separates those who failed to plan and develop their website with those who have succeeded in developing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, a comprehensive design and the ability to grow a successful online company.
It is true that ecommerce can assist you in making time available in ways traditional business seems less capable of. However, an ecommerce business is far from hands-free.
Many sites update knowledge-based articles quarterly, monthly, weekly and sometimes daily depending on the design of the website, traffic counts and other variables.
It is a fallacy to think that an online business requires little effort and big returns. Many startups do not take into account the difficulties associated with learning (and continuing to learn) SEO strategies, site design, web branding and other skills unique to ecommerce.
Ecommerce does have several advantages over a traditional brick and mortar storefront. However if you are still thinking it's a get-rich-quick environment you should stay with snake oil, micro machines and mood rings. However, if you have a drive to learn the skills and develop a solid web presence you may be in line for a future success story in ecommerce.