Interested in selling online? It is easier, quicker, and you can do it without a major inventory. In fact, you can do it from your bedroom or garage. But then, everyone wants a slice of this massive pie called electronic commerce.
Your store will definitely not be unique. There are other stores selling the exact same things – and some of them are established way before yours. Even if you invent something and try to sell it, other stores most likely sell similar things.
Most online businesses fail, rather than succeed. It is hard to compete against large websites that spread all over the world – large corporations with billions to spend. However, small local businesses can also thrive.
Sometimes, it is not about the competition, but about the common mistakes newbies eCommerce entrepreneurs make.
1. Not building a strong brand
Take a look at Nike. Just do it. The swoosh logo is simple to remember. The motto is just as good. Your products will not sell by themselves – you need to figure out a strong name and a crystal-clear message for your audience.
Marketing is probably the most significant aspect during the first few years of your business. Believe it or not, many ecommerce business loans for small businesses actually go in this direction. To get brand recognition, you need a proper brand first.
2. Not figuring out the target audience
Who is your ideal customer? Is it a housewife from a fancy county? Farmers? High school teenagers? Fancy suits from city centers?
When you decide to sell something, people from more categories could be considered ideal customers. People from all social statuses could be interested.
But one category, in particular, will make the difference – the ideal customer. Identify this person and focus on places with plenty of potential clients. It sounds simple, and it is – in fact, the simplicity of this idea is what causes this mistake.
You cannot advertise to everyone. You cannot have a pitch to convince everyone. Identify the perfect customer and adjust your strategy from there.
3. Not simplifying the website
People expect everything to be instant online. They want your website to load in a few seconds. They want to find what they need, add it to cart, pay in a minute or so and wait for the delivery – simple as that.
In an attempt to look more sophisticated, every new eCommerce entrepreneur tends to complicate their websites. The navigation is poor, while the overall functionality lacks efficiency. That’s a big mistake.
If something is too complex and people take ages to buy your stuff, chances are they will move elsewhere and never get back to you.
Make sure there is no complexity in your website. Navigation must be flawless. The user experience should leave no traces of confusion whatsoever.
Read also: 3 Key Elements Every Single Ecommerce Website Should Have
4. Not simplifying the checkout process
You have managed to draw some attention. You have managed to convince people to add your product to cart now. What else? The checkout process is a nightmare, causing people to abandon their carts.
There are more reasons wherefore this issue occurs – most commonly, the process is just too confusing for everyone. Frustration will inevitably kick in then.
The idea is to keep things simple. If you require people to sign up or create accounts during the checkout process, you will inevitably lose many of them. Grab the money first, then you can ask them to sign up or perhaps add them to your subscriber list.
The point is fairly simple to understand – clear out all the potential obstacles. Make sure pay and checkout buttons are large, colorful, and visible.
5. Not choosing the right platform
There are many platforms for eCommerce businesses out there, and each of them comes with pros and cons. The biggest mistake? Choosing a platform that does not allow scalability, so even if your business grows, you will be stuck.
When choosing a platform, think about future plans, control over your work, tools you may need, budget, custom or template designs, or the products you are about to sell.
Choosing the wrong platform will cost you more later on, as your business grows and you need to migrate your online store.
6. Not considering SEO
Organic traffic is more successful than recommendations and word of mouth in the long run. This is what you want to rely on. Your website must be designed with both search engines and customers in mind.
Each piece of content is an occasion to draw even more traffic to the website – as well as potential customers. Most new business owners tend to overlook this aspect.
Whether it comes to descriptions, guides or your blog, make sure you write in a natural manner, but implement the right keywords too to optimize the content for search engines.
Obviously, you can invest some of your money into a classic SEO agency and have someone else look after this process, but there are certain things you can also do yourself.
Bottom line, these are some of the most common mistakes of a new eCommerce entrepreneur. Throw in poor customer service too, and you have the perfect recipe to ensure your business goes down the drain before even taking off.
The online environment is extremely diversified, and anyone can start a business these days with little to no money. However, in a world where most online businesses tend to fail, knowing the most common mistakes will help you avoid them and ensure your company is on a floating line.