Starting an eCommerce business isn’t anywhere as stressful and costly as setting up a brick-and-mortar store. However, online business is still a new concept, and eCommerce start-ups fail because many owners don’t understand what it takes to get started. This article discusses some of the most common mistakes to avoid when launching yourself into the eCommerce space.
Choosing the wrong name
It’s easy to clash with the law if a competitor reports you for stealing their name. You will potentially face penalties and have to change your name, which can be incredibly damaging for an online business.
You can avoid this by choosing a name that is not closely similar to that of another business in your niche. An online business name generator will provide you with a list of names to try if you are struggling to find one.
Not knowing your industry
Starting a business not knowing what product or service you will be offering is a recipe for failure. A plan is necessary, and one thing you can’t overlook is the kind of product you will be offering and the people you will be targeting. Start by deciding on a product and defining your target audience. Complement that with in-depth research on rival products and brands alongside their strengths, weaknesses, marketing strategies, target audience, and general performance. Armed with this information, you will create a more informed marketing plan and launch yourself into the game with realistic explanations.
Not researching eCommerce platforms
The number of selling platforms keeps increasing by the day, and businesses now have a decent range of options at their disposal. Depending on what you are selling and how you are selling it, some platforms will prove friendlier than others. Some will offer more features, while some will come as more reliable albeit less feature-packed. You want to ensure the platform you choose offers a decent combination of reliability, affordability, and functionality.
If you are generally clueless on eCommerce platforms and what to expect from one, popular options such as Shopify offer an excellent place to start. These ones are novice-friendly and offer a myriad of useful features. Additionally, many people know how to manoeuvre them, and getting assistance in the event of a breakdown is as easy as logging onto an online forum.
Not being mobile-friendly
The bulk of the internet user-base browses using smartphones. If your store can’t be navigated with a mobile phone, you risk losing customers who hardly use other devices.
Ensure your web designer has the skill and experience to optimize your site for both PC and mobile visitors. Thankfully, most themes on Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Weebly, and other major eCommerce platforms are built with smaller screens in mind.
Intricate designs, crammed pages, too many visual elements, and a lack of organization can all prove detrimental to your online business. The user only wants to find the sales page and purchase the product without clicking in and out of a series of pages and blog posts. If it takes them longer than they are willing to wait to find the purchase and checkout features, there’s a good chance they will leave and not look back. Worse yet, a web page with too many elements will take forever to load, and this will not only drive users away but also affect your SEO ranking.
Going in without a marketing strategy
When you run a business that deals with a specific product, you might struggle with content marketing. Marketing increases your business’s reach and pulls you closer to established businesses. Search engines will also be able to locate your business and will rank you accordingly.
A good marketing strategy should be based on the target audience’s needs and behaviours, the market dynamics, and competitors’ strategies.
Not guaranteeing information security
When you have to ask for people’s personal information, including physical addresses and credit card numbers, you ought to assure them that this data will not be shared with or stolen by anyone. Customers can only buy from you if security is guaranteed. If a prospective customer browses your website and a message pops up from the bottom of their screen warning them that your site might be insecure, they will log off there and then. You can avoid this by renewing your SSL certificate and paying attention to potential threats.
Ignoring customer service
Not being able to meet your customers in person means you have more questions and inquiries to address than someone who has a physical store, where customers can walk in and view the product themselves. Most people are aware of the risk of being scammed, and will ask you questions through every transaction stage. Failing to respond to their concerns will only increase their doubts, potentially prompting them to leave your site or cancel orders.
Choosing an unreliable web host
Ecommerce stores are essentially websites like any other. Frequent breaks and low page load speeds will take a toll on transaction fluidity and lead to customer frustration. No matter your product’s quality and marketing strategy, technical issues will almost certainly turn customers away. Consider investing in reliable hosting services, as this is what will determine your page load speeds. Hosting companies are also charged with resolving technical issues, so your choice will determine how fast your site gets back up following a crash.
Visuals largely influence online shopping decisions. Customers and prospects want high-quality images and videos of the product they are buying before parting with their money. This is particularly true if they are purchasing the product for the first time or haven’t been on your site before. Visuals that are either too small or overly pixelated will potentially drive customers away even if you are selling a legitimate product.
All those established eCommerce business owners you admire have things they wish they knew before getting started. You don’t necessarily have to learn through your experience too. By avoiding the above mistakes, you can speed up your way to the top and start making profits quickly.