“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
~ Albert Einstein
Small businesses and e-commerce have not traditionally mixed well due to a number of pervasive factors which remain virtually unchanged, up to this day. Existing e-commerce and web “solutions” for small businesses repeat well-worn, yet ineffective models, even if they look superficially different than their spiritual predecessors.
What has become clear over the past several decades of online commerce is that simply possessing a website itself is not at all adequate for generating online commerce without an effective, mutually beneficial ecosystem of businesses, consumers and service providers where every stakeholder gains sustainable value. Most existing solutions fail this basic litmus test as they neglect the needs of one or more of these key links in the commerce chain, typically sacrificing one for another (e.g. sacrificing business value to provide benefit to the provider and consumers). These models are broken and will only become less and less effective over the long term as small businesses begin recognizing these exploitative models which pander to short-term corporate greed.
Small businesses who are serious about venturing into online commerce must shift from a reactionary, tactical view of the web to a strategic, long-term view of how to build sustainable value for their online businesses. There is some need to “let go of the ego,” especially in connection with the misguided desire to possess overly unique/distinctive sites which, as a result, tend to do everything else poorly (e.g. display and marketing of business products, e-commerce transactionality, etc.).
We believe the most effective solution to these problems is solved through virtual consolidation the fragmented small business market under a single umbrella, whereby each business can leverage the power of the whole, yet remain independent and unique.