If you are in the online retail space, you’ve probably heard many things about what it takes to succeed. How do you separate myths from reality, especially when everyone with a blog claims to be an expert? Below, we list the myths and realities so you can re-strategize and make your online store a success.

Myth #1: If you build a great online retail business, customers will come

This myth rests on the back on the often misconstrued saying that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. People believe that if you build a great online store, it will somehow magically become popular and attract a throng of ready buyers to your website.

The Reality: Online retail business is a business and needs to be run as a business to succeed

A great online retail store alone won’t cut it. To succeed online, you need to run your online retail presence as a business. You need to plan, strategize, market creatively, follow up, recruit workers, train your workforce, provide leadership, keep a proper account, attend to customers, experiment, track, improve continuously, among other important things.

In short, you need to run your online retail business as you would a brick and mortar business. There is no shortcut or silver bullet that magically make success happen.

Myth #2: Setting up an online retail business is easy and costs next to nothing

Many entrepreneurs believe that with the advent of eCommerce CMSs such as Woocommerce, Magento and hosted platforms such as Shopify, setting up an online retail business is easy and inexpensive.

The Reality: There is a difference between setting up an online retail store & online retail business

First up, an eCommerce WEBSITE is not the same thing as an eCommerce BUSINESS. They are two different things.

Secondly, unless you have the technical expertise or want to set up a me-too online commerce site, then you can say it’s easy. ECommerce Content Management Systems may make it simple, but there’s nothing easy about it.

You need to plan the website architecture, sitemap, pages, do search engine optimisation, integrate payment gateways, write a lot of content, edit graphics, conduct in-depth research.

That’s not all; you need business insurance, you need to integrate necessary third-party tools, work on taxation and GDPR, and handle shipment, returns, bad reviews, and so much more. Where is the ease in there?

Myth #3: If you offer low prices, your online retail low store will be a roaring success

Many online retailers erroneously believe that offering lower prices is a competitive advantage. They believe that if they offer lower prices, online shoppers will flock to their store and put their customers out of business.

The Reality: You can’t sustain your online retail business on lower price

Lower price is not equal to sales or profitability. The economic graveyard is filled with retailers who priced themselves out of business. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that lower prices are a competitive advantage in online retail business unless you’re Walmart with the sheer financial and manufacturing power that can undercut everyone and price and still make a profit.


The internet is filled with so much advice about what it takes to succeed in the online retail business. You don’t need to accept every advice hook, line, and sinker. Instead, test every tip and trick and see which one works for you. That’s the ultimate success formula that works everywhere. That’s how startups retail businesses online become big empires.