Roman’s Rants: E-Commerce is Easy (my arse!)
14th June 4 Comments
It should all be so simple: there is loads of software to build a webshop with. There’s expertise, there is experience, there is people. You would think that selling stuff online would be a no-brainer, thirteen years after the mother-of-all-shops, osCommerce, went live. But hell no, bringing a commerce business online that has a sprinkle of individualisation and a little bit of scale still is a fucking pain in the arse.
Thirteen years, measured according to Internet standards, is a hell of a lot of time. But guess what? Nothing seems to have changed! Coders are still writing importers, struggling with stylesheets and deal with lack of documentation – like in the bloody days of yore! As mentioned before, if you’re using standards – and frigging stick to them! – you’ll probably be fine. If you’re thinking out of the box or – lo and behold: innovate! – it’s a drag.
But it’s not technology alone: In all those years, a common language that both coders and business-people understand, hasn’t been found. There are misunderstandings that you wouldn’t imagine happening to educated commerce people in the 21st century.
This goes to show that what Johannes Altmann alluded to on stage at this year’s OXID Commons is oh so true: Consultants, agencies, commerce pundits everywhere are talking about the next big thing. Come up with ever-new social-mobile-responsive-big-data-in-the-cloud loads of shit. But the reality is: Most merchants are dealing with the most basic things. Getting their payment processes to run properly. Getting their product data in order. Setting up a website with a checkout process for crying out loud.
I’m in commerce, I’m trying to help merchants get their stores online. In comparison, if I was in catering, I’d still be dealing with spears and flintstones.
(Image by mueritz)