What Does a Successful Online Retailer Look Like?

They say there is always a little truth in every stereotype and every rule has an exception. This is certainly true in ecommerce because I have yet to meet a stereotypical online retailer.

One of the great things about working in eCommerce is the wide range of people you meet.  As a still relatively new business, online retail attracts a wide range of people with a diverse range of skills and backgrounds. Many have great stories to tell and rarely fail to inspire but if you had to sum up the type of person (beyond dedicated, ambitious and hardworking) working in the online retail business it would be pretty hard to put your finger on any specific detail.

If you attend any online retail conferences or tradeshows you’ll know what I’m talking about. The room will be full of the most diverse individuals. You’ll see punk rock hairstyles standing next to business suits and everything in between.

You’ve got to look a little deeper if you want to see what all successful online retailers have in common. Even then you’ll not be able to see it. The thing that all successful retailers have in common is invisible. I’m talking about great software and according to Clarke’s Law (formulated by the writer Arthur C. Clarke), any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

The customers of highly successful online retailers don’t see the software that makes it easy for them to purchase products from you. They only see the products they want to buy, at the best possible price, displayed in their retail outlet of choice (wherever that might be). That sounds like magic to me.

If you want to sprinkle a little magic on your online business, take note from your most successful peers and invest in great software. Your customers won’t notice a thing, but your bottom line will.

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