E-commerce Keeps Growing. But the Rules that Applied 5 Years Ago No Longer Work.
I’m Edgars Kebbe, founder of eComJungle, and I’ve been working in the information technology field for over 20 years, spending 8 of those years running an eCommerce consulting agency. My team and I built over 50 successful eCommerce projects for businesses across eastern and northern Europe.
I’ve watched a lot of trends come and go, and the days of building a simple site and then sitting back while traffic and orders roll in are behind us.
Despite today’s complexity, it’s still possible to create a booming eCommerce business, especially for those with the courage and inspiration to start (you!) or those wanting to take their business to the next level. Despite the complexity of running an eCommerce website nowadays, you can reach every one of your goals with guidance, persistence, and by using the insights I’ve gained from two decades of experience (start by signing up for our newsletter for weekly articles and tutorials).
E-commerce—From Simple Beginnings to a Living Ecosystem
Over the years, eCommerce has grown into a complex living organism, but its foundations are straight-forward…if you know what you’re doing. There are two key areas where many eager entrepreneurs and eCommerce professionals give up. We’ll call these “danger zones.”
The first danger zone is when an eCommerce website is first built. If the person starting the site hasn’t done enough research, they may have unrealistic expectations, either expecting customers to automatically flow into the website (and giving up when they don’t) or they want to rush into complexity too soon, wasting money on unproductive efforts.
The second danger zone is when a website is established and ready to scale. Though the founder has successfully developed it and gotten some revenue, they must understand what needs to be built next and how to implement the correct automations. If they rush ahead without the proper knowledge, it will result in poor builds that will slow grow and may require months of rebuilding.
To be successful, eCommerce can’t be a rushed endeavor. A minimal eCommerce setup can evolve into a network of interconnecting pieces which require regular maintenance and robust knowledge.
Here’s a snapshot of what the most complex eCommerce sites require:
- Online store
- Payment gateways
- Shipping services
- Inventory management system
- WHM system
- PIM system
- CRM systems
- Channel management system
- Online marketing tools
- Email marketing platform
- …and more
Thoughts of setting all of this up and juggling each one might make your head spin. That’s why I’m here to walk you through the process step-by-step, whether you’re just beginning or you’re looking to scale.
I live by this philosophy: “It’s better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in war.”
If a gardener (someone not skilled with battle) runs off to war, it means that person is hot-headed and not thinking things through. Yet, a warrior in a garden is someone calm and collected. They have taken the time to hone their skills and remain in a peaceful state while preparing for battle.
I can show you the possibilities of where you can go—from simple to complex—and then you can decide what eCommerce set up works best for you.
While managing my consulting agency and working with entrepreneurs trying to achieve their dreams, I realized that many of the online resources available don’t provide the full picture—information about how to start an online business and create an eCommerce store from concept to launch (and beyond). I began hosting free weekly Facebook live workshops, creating YouTube tutorials, and adding blogs to my agency website to help. I also developed an online course: How to make eCommerce Websites Step-by-Step.
More and more small business owners and entrepreneurs began reaching out to thank me and to ask for advice about how to solve the problems there were running into. Through my resources, they were grasping new concepts, gaining a deeper understanding of the eCommerce ecosystem, and getting closer to the success they had always dreamed of.
I’ll admit it—helping others felt great! That’s when I realized I had a passion for teaching. I love learning, refining my understanding of concepts, experimenting, and then sharing my experience and knowledge with others. For me, there’s no greater joy than helping others succeed.
My approach to everything (not just websites) is to always focus on solutions. Problems are inevitable, but the successful entrepreneur doesn’t get consumed by worry. Instead, focus on what you currently know and what steps you can take (even if it’s only one or two) to get closer to your goals. Make a list of what you need to learn and the solutions that will get you to the finish line.
Throughout the years, I compiled everything I had learned and eventually came up with my own workflow. I created a practical framework for developing an eCommerce store, one that has helped others move from the very beginnings of eCommerce website creation (even if they know nothing about website building) to successfully managing every connected element of a cloud-based online store.
The phases of my system include:
- Going Live
I packed this website with resources (blog articles, guides and to guide you through each part of the journey. Here are some of our most popular articles:
[insert list of links]
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I fell in love with information technologies at a young age. In my teens, I worked a summer job at a tech company where I first began developing my computer and website development skills. Like many my age, I thought studying at a university was the next step. However, I soon discovered that success in life isn’t always a straight path.
I didn’t fit in with the university culture and ended up dropping out. I’ve learned and grown a lot since then, but at the time, I felt I could gain so much more experience (and learn quicker) by immersing myself in real-world jobs. Though I value education and learning, at the time I was eager to apply my skills (which inevitably led to mistakes, but that’s why I’m here to help you avoid those!).
Fast forward to 2008. Like many people, the economic crisis hit me hard. It happened right when my first child was born.
I found myself without work and needing money fast to care for my 2-month-old. I made a life change and moved to Norway, sadly separating from my family temporarily to support them financially.
It was a tough time in my life. I didn’t have a permanent residence and ended up sleeping in a friend’s kitchen while I worked a steady job at a factory to pay the bills. As a way to cope, I poured myself into learning about project management, information architecture, user experience, digital marketing, and everything else I could. My passion for computers was reawakened.
I devoted every waking hour of my free time—whether early in the morning before work or late at night—to reading and researching websites and eCommerce.
I was relentless in my pursuit of knowledge, and I eventually began taking freelance projects for nonprofits and a few other companies to expand my experience. Slowly, I advanced myself, taking on roles with increasing responsibilities until I was managing large-scale eCommerce projects for big businesses. Once I felt ready, I started my eCommerce consulting agency and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, I am working on eComJungle to make it a top resource for eCommerce professionals. And I continue to practice what I teach. I still do Discovery projects to help companies understand what they need to make their eCommerce stores a success. I also work with my team on SEO projects because I’m committed to continually using what I’ve learned to strengthen old skills and discover new ones.
This site is a community for new entrepreneurs and eCommerce professionals to learn and practice, step-by-step, how to take their eCommerce business ideas from concept to actualization.
I know you’re eager and excited to get your product and services out there. Where most people fail is trying to rush the process without gaining the right knowledge that leads to success. They attempt to bite off more than they can chew, bursting with ideas they haven’t tested and trying to add too many features too fast.
Success requires proper planning. You need to understand how to manage each project to stay within your budget and how to develop your website efficiently and with intention so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Trying to rush is exactly how to get yourself stuck. I’ve seen many start-ups launch a website, expect customers to miraculously appear, and then face disappointment, eventually giving up.
eComJungle.net is dedicated to helping you navigate the ecosystem of eCommerce according to the MVP principle:
- Launch the product or services
- Put any invested money to work as soon as possible
- Learn from the obtained results
- Carry out development in the process (understanding what works, what does not work, what is needed, and what is not needed)
You’ll also hone your understanding of my phases of website creation: Discovery, Design, Content, Development, Going Live, Growth.
Our goal is to help new entrepreneurs learn how to build and grow an eCommerce Website Step-by step.
So, what are you waiting for? Start browsing our blog and sign up for our newsletter today so you can move closer to achieving your dreams.