DIY eCommerce – Not the best choice

In a landscape chock-full of YouTube tutorials, downloadable how-to-guides, and cousins offering unsolicited advice; has eCommerce become DIY?

Or more precisely, should you do eCommerce yourself?

My answer 100% of the time is “NO”.

And yes, that applies to your business, too.

Before your brain goes to a place of defensiveness or resistance; consider these questions;
• Would you rather spend your time working on your product, or eCommerce?
• Would you be more effective becoming an expert in your product, or eCommerce?

It’s really quite simple; time is finite. Spend it where you have the most bang for your buck.


This doesn’t just pertain to entrepreneurs launching new products, but is an efficiency optimization strategy that many top online businesses practice. They outsource part, or even all of their eCommerce business to experts even if they have ample budget and resources to complete. There are two main reasons:

First, They can’t get out of their own way. Usually this takes the form or an organization laden with red tape, and people who need to give their 2-cents, thereby, slowing down the process until it’s obsolete. This can take many different forms; from site design, to just getting a product live on the site. Slowness can slow e-sales to the point of being a business inhibitor

Second, Technology. The pace of new enhancements to eCommerce and Omnichannel delivery has accelerated and will continue to do so. If you want to be on top of this curve; this needs to be your full-time job, passion, and focus.

Still want to DIY?
The single biggest reason that business people site for wanting to do eCommerce themselves is cost.

With platforms like Shopify touting their low monthly fees, and the ability to get a site up and running in a number of hours; it makes sense that many people launching a new product will try this first. It looks so easy! Just the drag and drop of a button; and voila – your site is ready. Of course, there are other SaaS offerings at a higher scale that make it appear easy and painless; also for less than outsourcing.

After many months of focused work getting the site done, they are finally ready to launch. All is well, or so they think, until they turn on the traffic, and sales drip at a pace of roughly 1%. This after hours of set-up, opportunity costs, and late-night tutorials on how to make the purchase button a different color.

With a 1% conversion rate following months of work that could have been spent focused on something else; what is the upside? From the 100 people that were driven to the site for the product, and the 1 person that purchased; is it worth it?
What are you worth? CPA

There is a metric that I love establishing with the clients that I work with; from seasoned billion dollar businesses to start-ups with their hair ablaze. It’s CPA, or Cost per Acquisition.

Simply put: what did it cost to get that one customer? And no, I am not talking about just the ad spend. I’m talking about soft costs; like your time, the time lost spending it on other revenue-creating activities, and the cost to create the site, and the ad cost too. For the DIY’ers, it often will take hundreds, if not thousands of transactions to bring those costs into balance. This is a costly mistake that kills the profitability for months and years.

So put your tool belt down, and find that eCommerce outsource option that can make it happen for you while you do what you do best.