What Some Online Store Startups Focus On and Why It’s a Mistake

There are a lot of things that can go on in your head when you are starting up your online store. And just as many mistakes can happen.

In a podcast I did, as I was chatting with Scott Buscemi about the essentials you need to focus on, I also asked him about those shiny objects that distract us and cause of to lose focus on what’s important.

What do startups tend to focus on and why is that a mistake?

A lot of contact form submissions that I get on my website are 5,000 characters, 10,000 characters. Pages and pages and pages of features they want to see on their websites. So it’ll be unique subscription systems, or unique fulfillment systems, or unique ways of displaying the content on their site, or something that takes a lot of time to develop out. For companies that have done the research and know why they’re making those decisions, that maybe they have current data— customers have told them that they want that specific feature and in particular paying customers that say they want that specific feature.

For those people, that totally makes sense. They are creating a spec. They’re creating a feature set and they’re saying, “This is what we’re looking to build on our site, and here’s where we’re going from here.”

But for a lot of those submissions that I get, it’s companies that are just starting out and are taking a mishmash of a lot of other features that they’ve seen before, or even just taking a stab at it in terms of what they see could work the best. A lot of the time that’s not what the main focus of an e-Commerce business should be.

So a lot of e-commerce business owners want to focus more on how their site is gonna operate, how fulfillment is gonna work, how each person is gonna flow from one page to another, but in reality you’re hiring a web consultant, right? I mean you can hire a web developer who really is just your hands and you tell them what to do and then they’re gonna build it out and write the code for you, but the better choice would be to hire a web consultant who’s seen it all, has opinions, has advice and can really say, “Hey, instead of building up this feature, why don’t we just do a prototype of it, see if people use that, see if they care about it, test it and then start fandangling a greater and bigger version of it, rather than just building this great big version from version one.”