Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
When we look at how products and services are being sold today, we can easily tell that eCommerce has transformed and reinvented the whole sales process. This has happened via fresh and powerful platforms which made it possible for businesses to sell what they’ve got 24/7, no matter where they are located. The last decade has particularly been marked by the rise of eCommerce businesses. As a result, various platforms were created, each to satisfy the needs of a particular company and a specific customer.
What is important to understand is that competition in eCommerce is also booming. This means that you simply cannot afford to make expensive mistakes, as they will surely make your business lag behind, and eventually fade into oblivion. There is a variety of mistakes that could throw your business into a downward spiral. Therefore, you must take care of all the apparent, as well as less obvious issues that are undermining the way your company works.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss 6 expensive eCommerce mistakes that you should do your best to avoid if you don’t want your business to crash into flames.
1. Choosing The Wrong platform
Choosing the platform can make or break your business, so choose wisely. There are a hundred eCommerce platforms available online with some differences in them. Therefore, consider everything those platforms offer and select one accordingly.
Some platforms have hidden costs, and some have only basic features resulting in you using third-party apps. Here are a few questions you should consider answering before making your decision firm about any eCommerce platform:
- What are your specific needs for the business?
- What is your budget for the eCommerce platform?
- Is the platform easy to use and navigate?
- What integrations and extensions are available?
- Does it support mobile commerce?
- What payment gateway platforms does it support?
- What security features are in place?
- How much ratings and positive feedback does that platform get?
Knowing answers to all those questions will help you know that eCommerce platform in a better way.
2. Ignoring The Need For A Business Plan
Starting any business without proper planning is like failing even before the beginning. A business plan outlines the goals of your business, who are your customers, how you will make money, what will be the break-even point, and more.
Plus, if you need funding or are looking for partners, then with the help of this business plan you can prove the viability of your idea. It can also act as a pitch for your business.
A business plan will also serve as a guide that will help you whenever you need to make huge decisions based on forecasts.
However, we understand, being an entrepreneur you don’t have much time to go through everything personally. Thus, you can use an easy-to-use business plan software to write your eCommerce business plan smoothly.
Additionally, you can even explore various business plan examples to get the inspiration you need in writing your eCommerce business plan.
3. Not Defining Your Target Audience
Now, you have a product, a solid business plan, and a suitable eCommerce platform, so you think you can start the business, right?
Well, one of the biggest steps before starting the eCommerce business is to define the target audience of your business.
You need to know:
- Who will use or need your product?
- From which location they are?
- What is their purchasing power?
- How often do they make a purchase?
- What is their age group and gender?
- On which social media platforms are they present?
By knowing all these basic things about your target audience, you can set your marketing strategies clear and engaging only for them. “Know your audience”.
4. To Not Have A Brand Identity
One of the big mistakes is to overlook the importance of brand while launching your eCommerce business.
It’s not just about having good stuff to sell; you need a unique identity that makes your business special. To make your online store successful, you’ve got to build a strong brand.
If you know who your target customers are and what they like, then you can use that information to create a brand that fits well with their demands.
Make sure your logo, the tone of your content, and even your email address all match up. Having a strong brand makes customers stick around and helps more people know about your business.
In the busy online world, having a brand that stands out from the competition is super important for doing well.
5. Not Using Social Proof
Social proof is like when people say, “Hey, this product is awesome!” It helps others decide if they should buy it. Imagine this: 76% of shoppers say they won’t buy from a store without reviews.
If there is a product that has 100+ reviews out of which 80 are positive, then you will also be tempted to buy one, right? The same works with other people’s psychology.
Therefore, create a buzz, and take reviews from customers even in the testing stage of your products. Be present on all social media profiles and make sure you are being active in engaging with your customers.
6. Undermining The Importance Of Security
Your website won’t attract any customers if it’s not super secure. Put a lot of effort and resources into getting top-notch security tools and protection against malware.
With eCommerce growing, there’s a rise in cyber attacks and tricky stuff like phishing. Even big brands face security challenges.
Here’s how to step up your website security game:
- Get a strong firewall.
- Encrypt everything with SSL certification.
- Choose a domain hosting that has HTTPS.
- Use plugins that are verified and trustworthy.
- Set up a solid backup system.
When it comes to security, it’s best to be extra cautious and cover all your bases.
7. Not Paying Attention To Customer Feedback
The feedback that you get from your customer base in the form of reviews, comments, and other ways of letting you know how they feel about your business is crucial. If you don’t pay attention to it, it can be devastating for your online store. There are two very important aspects when it comes to customer reviews.
First, they drive the attention and raise the expectations of prospective customers. Second, they enable you to find out what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong so that you can alter your business strategies and techniques to get the best possible results. Let’s say that most of your deliveries tend to arrive late. Your customers will certainly mind and point it out to you, so it’s high time that you get a better shipping provider.
8. Forgetting About Shipping Costs
Another thing that eCommerce stores tend to get wrong is to set prices for their products but don’t first determine the shipping costs. The fact is that shipping can be quite different according to the services that you are using, the location you are shipping to, the amount of money spent on packaging, shipment insurance, and so on.
So, if you ignore these costs, your profit margins may suffer. This is really never a good thing, especially for new stores. As a result, you might be forced to boost your prices pretty soon after you have opened your store, which will surely throw away your repeat customers, and generally make people not want to buy from you. One eCommerce store that does a great job with set shipping costs is Knife & Flag.
9. Not Using Your Own Product Descriptions
Yes, we know, writing content for each product page takes effort and implementation of certain practices. However, if you just copy/paste the product descriptions that come from the manufacturers, your search engine optimization will suffer greatly. It is a well-known fact that search engines look for and recognize original pieces of content, and give it a priority over those that have simply been replicated.
What this means is that your competition’s original descriptions will make their products appear before yours, and search engines will generally ignore your own product pages. Logically, this means you won’t sell nearly as much as you want.
10. Making The Checkout Process Overcomplicated
If you ask anyone who knows what’s important for eCommerce websites, for example, Omnyfy multi-vendor eCommerce experts, you will know how important it is to choose a platform that will enable you to have a simple checkout process. If it is way too complicated and gives your customers trouble to figure it out, they will get annoyed by it and leave, instead of purchasing what they had intended to.
After all, don’t forget that your competition is merely a click away. Customers will trust your business less if they deal with a complicated checkout form, and your conversion rate will drop significantly.
11. Not Validating Your Customer’s Address
It isn’t uncommon for the address that your customer registered to be wrong by mistake. That is why you must always make sure to validate it. If you don’t, you will send your product to the wrong place and have it returned to your warehouse. This will make the customer unsatisfied, and they will most probably ask for a refund or the product to be shipped to them again.
Not only will your brand image suffer, but you will also have to pay for reshipping on your own. This is why it is the best idea to use shipping software for address verification.
12. Not Using Top-Notch Product Images
You must never forget the fact that, because you are selling your products online, your customers are unable to take a product into their hands and examine it. That is why in eCommerce, top-notch product images are everything. If you use low-quality images or don’t upload enough of them, a customer will certainly have trouble deciding whether this is what they need, and will probably look elsewhere.
The trust factor is highly dependent on great product images. You want people to be able to take good luck at what you are selling from all sides, almost like they are checking it out in your brick-and-mortar store so that they can make a conscious decision about buying it. If your images are good, they will not only purchase from you but also see your business as trustworthy. If you’re running an online business that is heavily relying on visuals, make use of one of the photo editors available online.
In today’s world, eCommerce has become a very common way of purchasing items, since it is much easier than traveling to a brick-and-mortar store. However, if you don’t do your eCommerce right, you will ruin your opportunity to become a strong online business. Therefore, you must pay attention to these 6 expensive mistakes, and do your best to avoid them.
13. Not Enough Marketing
Don’t fall for the idea that a fantastic product sells itself—let’s bust that myth right away. In the vast world of eCommerce, with countless businesses and products, you will need marketing for it.
Yes, marketing can cost a good chunk of money each month, but the rewards in revenue and building your brand are worth it.
Now, here are some cool tricks for marketing your brand and product:
- Start with content marketing
- Use data for personalized ads and emails
- Get famous influencers in your field to help
- Collect video testimonials
- Offer special deals like free shipping or birthday discounts
Remember: Try different marketing moves, and keep an eye on what works best. Keep trying until you find the strategies that work for you.
Our Guest Blogger
Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.
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