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Is a Bad eCommerce Site Sinking your Sales? Here's How to Escape the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

Past investments may lead to a sunk cost fallacy for your B2B eCommerce site. Here are 7 reasons to rethink your site and drive online sales.

When you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging. Sound rational? But that’s not what usually happens when companies find themselves in bad situations. Maybe it’s a product that wasn’t ready for launch, but so much time and effort was put into it that it’s announced anyway. Maybe it’s an eCommerce site that’s a patchwork of outdated decisions and “good enough” software, but the money dumped into it stops anyone from suggesting it should be scrapped and rebooted.

Identifying the Sunk Cost Fallacy in your Business

If your company is continuing business-as-usual in a way that you know isn’t helpful, that’s called “The Sunk Cost Fallacy.” The Oxford Dictionary defines it as a situation in which a person (or company) is reluctant to abandon a strategy or course of action because they’ve already invested heavily in it. This could be an investment of time, money, and/or resources. Even when abandonment would be more beneficial in the long run, short-sighted companies find it easier to stay the course and work with what they have.

Change your Thinking: Escape the Sunk Cost Fallacy!

In our line of business, we see the sunk cost fallacy pop up with B2B eCommerce websites: If your site looks like it’s from 2010, or it’s clunky to use, or complicated for customers to make a purchase, or it’s described as “good enough” – you’re probably operating in the sunk cost fallacy.

It’s time to acknowledge that your eCommerce site isn’t helping the business and it’s probably, in fact, actively hurting it. That’s okay! Acknowledge that and move on. The business world is fluid and change is constant. You know more now than you did when the site was first launched or planned. It makes good business sense to adjust accordingly.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy in business can be tricky to address and egos may be bruised. Keep in mind that a subpar site isn’t a failure of you, company leadership, or the project team. Times have changed: B2B eCommerce is expected to double by 2027 compared to 2021 (according to Statista) and the analyst firm Gartner found that 83% of B2B buyers prefer making a purchase or paying for goods online.

The bottom line: it makes financial sense and business sense to pivot now to a more modern, robust B2B eCommerce platform.

7 Reasons to Reboot, Re-energize and Relaunch your B2B eCommerce Website

Without a modern and intuitive B2B eCommerce site, you’re probably leaving money on the table: That means less profit, fewer resources, and fewer ways to reinvest in your people and the business.

Here are 7 reasons to escape the Sunk Cost Fallacy and leverage a flexible eCommerce platform built for B2B realities and capture this fast-growing sales channel:

1. Your buyers expect a great online user experience: Give it to them!

Outdated software leads to a suboptimal user experience, which hurts sales and your reputation as a modern, forward-thinking business. Transitioning to a contemporary platform enhances usability, streamlines workflows, and elevates the overall experience for both your team and clients.

2. Expand your sales team – without adding headcount

A great B2B eCommerce website drives sales 24/7. It showcases your products, upsells customers, and is always there to help them find the right item at the right time. As an example, read why Action Supply Products calls its website the “shining star” of the sales team!

3. Unleash creativity and agility

Partnering with a B2B-specific eCommerce vendor introduces you to state-of-the-art technologies and innovative features that your customers are expecting, but that your current site might lack. Your software partner will ensure you’re meeting industry best practices, as well as give you a site that is flexible to your specific needs and way of doing business. This injection of innovation can revolutionize your B2B eCommerce experience and unlock new avenues for expansion.

4. Enhanced flexibility and adaptability

The dynamic business landscape demands flexibility. A flexible eCommerce platform and expert vendor partner will have solutions that don’t lock you into one way of doing things. Business and eCommerce move too fast for that; look for a partner that helps you adapt to market shifts and customer preferences swiftly while providing agility for a competitive edge.

5. Your expertise is your business, not online commerce

Focus on selling your products, not building a website. A great software partner will give you a unique viewpoint and an unvarnished assessment of your current site. This external vantage point will unveil inefficiencies and identify improvement opportunities that might have been overshadowed by the sunk cost fallacy.

6. A new eCommerce site can quickly pay for itself

Every dollar invested in a poor website is a dollar not invested in a site that drives more sales. By acknowledging the opportunity costs, you can objectively assess whether continuing down the current path is worthwhile. But be cautious of “free” solutions that only get you part of the way to a profitable website (for more information, read “Open-source Software vs Proprietary Software.”)

7. Set your business up for long term success

A forward-thinking software partner should prioritize scalability and growth. After all, a B2B eCommerce website should grow with your business, not keep you stuck in the past. This means handling an increase in visitor volume, the ability to easily add new product lines, and adjust pricing or shipping configurations accordingly – all without the need for major reinvestments or months of custom work.

It’s Never too Late: Pivot to an eCommerce Platform that Drives your Business Forward

Liberate your thinking and your eCommerce business from the sunk cost fallacy. With new knowledge of customer expectations, leading eCommerce best practices, and flexibility, a relaunched B2B eCommerce site will drive sales for your business and make purchasing easier and faster for your customers. B2B eCommerce is growing, and the right technology platform is the foundation for succeeding in this dynamic and evolving market.

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