Ecommerce Perfectionism: The Devils in the finer details

The Devils in the details: An expression of the concept that many things seem straightforward on the surface, but difficulties, problems, and obstacles are later discovered while trying to implement or execute a task or plan. Also stated (somewhat paradoxically) as “God is in the details…”


Paying attention to finer details – you know what an important role it will play in deciding the fate of your business. It may well be the difference between a success and failure. That’s why you go crazy about details in all the areas of your business:

  • Spacings and alignments of your websites
  • Perfect material for packaging
  • The perfect fonts for banners
  • The perfect colors for all the elements
  • The perfect wordings
  • Perfect editing of the product pictures, etc.

It has to look perfect, right? But paying attention to finer details comes with its own baggage. With attention to details, you’ll also find bottlenecks, disagreements, endless unproductive discussions, delays and lot of frustration. You and your team will work hard the whole day to make it look perfect but at the end of the day you know you didn’t make any real progress. You were running in circles the entire day. This pursuit of ‘imaginary’ perfection can damage your moral as well as of you team.

Always remember that you will go much further if you stay focused on the bigger picture early on. Pay attention to the bigger items that matter most to your business, for example:

  • Is product search working?
  • Is the checkout process user friendly?
  • Is the website opening well enough on most popular mobile phones?
  • Are the product pictures high quality?
  • Are the product descriptions enticing?
  • Is the product packaging presentable enough? etc.

Don’t worry about the font size of your product name early on? You don’t have to nail perfect material for your product packaging before you launch. It can be done later. Let everything evolve. This iterative approach will allow you to make informed decisions as you go along. Just make sure everything works. Make sure everything looks pretty enough. You will have a lot of time later to make it look perfect later.

Remember, nothing will be perfect when you say it’s perfect. It’s perfect when your customers say so. Finer details will reveal themselves as your customers experience your creations, be it your website, your brand, your packaging, etc. You’ll automatically know what really needs more attention. You’ll see the missing pieces. What’s the point of making perfection a bottleneck?  It’s not worth it.

Your progress bar doesn’t have to look: 0.00, 0.01, 0.02. 0.03, 0.04, 0.05……. A progress bar of 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5 is just fine. Build it and get it out there. Build momentum and then use that momentum to make things perfect.

Don’t get me wrong. There is no problem in being a perfectionist. Eventually, you have to make things perfect. But not now. Do it later. Don’t focus on finest details too early in your business. Your chances of success are much higher this way.

Here is one of my favorite quote quote about perfection from one of my favorite books:

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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