Businesses are fooling themselves about how easy it is to shift to an online store, according to a new report.
The findings, by e-commerce company Digital River, uncover a number of myths surrounding the venture into e-commerce.
These include the belief that a company is 'global' once it starts accepting credit cards and PayPal, and that e-commerce is 'something the IT department will handle'.
"Building an e-commerce site is not as simple as A-B-C," said Digital River. "By addressing these myths, companies will hopefully avoid landing themselves in hot water or losing unnecessary revenue."
The top 10 myths:
1. Building an e-commerce site enables businesses to trade with no complications
2. The moment a businesses can accept credit cards and PayPal, it becomes global
3. E-commerce will boost the finances of any business
4. Customers will stumble on a company's site easily; there is no need to do additional marketing or merchandising
5. Businesses cannot market products aggressively online if they sell their products through a reseller
6. E-commerce is a project for the IT department and requires little outside input
7. Aggressive marketing will create bad will with customers
8. Ease of site navigation is not a major factor
9. Potential customers will assume that a company's site is legitimate
10. Companies cannot sell directly to the SMB market via websites
The report also warned that, with an estimated £8.2bn spent online by UK shoppers in 2005, businesses had to be able to compete.
"Businesses with something to sell cannot afford to dismiss the potential boost to revenues offered by the internet," said Digital River.