It sounds improbable to many people, but some businesses still don’t – or have only recently begun to – sell online. One business owner explains her late entrance to the world of e-commerce and what she has learnt from the process.
Far from being illiterate on matters of tech, Adina Jacobs, co-founder of personal technology accessories maker STM Goods, is front and centre in the world of mobile devices. Yet as she explains to My Business, there is a valid reason to why the company has chosen not to have an online sales presence until 2016.
“We started the business [in 1998] at the very beginning stages of the commercial internet – so at the time there was no selling online, there was no Facebook, there was no social media or anything like that, and our path to market was really just through the resellers that we developed relationships with,” explains Adina.
“Then as selling online became something that was more popular and common and accessible, we made a conscious decision not to do that because we really wanted to support our resellers who were selling online, and we didn't want to go in there as the brand expert and then undercut them.”
It was a strategy that worked well for STM Goods for many years; however, Adina says that in the modern world of business, that is no longer a viable option – despite even the best of intentions.
“It just got to the point where there was no point in not having our own online store anymore, and nobody saw it as competition, everybody just saw it as you just had to do it. It was something that you had to be involved in.”
The major challenge in becoming a late-stage entrant into e-commerce, says Adina, is that you can’t grow and evolve your website as the business grows. It needs to reflect the maturity of the business from the outset.
“By the time we got to the point of doing it, we were too big to just throw together a simple little website, so we had to spend a lot of time and energy getting it right,” she says.
“We launched in January of 2016 – it's been going pretty well.”