New store owners have a lot on their plate when it comes to running their online stores. Design and Development of the store, inventory management, customer satisfaction, payments, and shipping are only a few tasks that take up valuable time when starting out. Only between 5 and 10% of online stores succeed long term, and it can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
Merchants need to do extensive research before starting and be keenly aware of all the potential pitfalls and roadblocks that lie in wait on the road to e-commerce success.
So what potential mistakes can be avoided when starting your first online business:
Not Understanding Your Product or Audience
If you don’t understand your product or audience, you’re guessing that they want your product. If they don’t, they won’t buy it. And if they won’t buy it, you’ve lost time and money by creating an online store.
What you need to do is identify the need in the market. By learning what your audience wants and the frustrations they have with the existing options, you can offer things they truly want. Then, you’ll have lots of potential customers rushing to your shopping cart.
Overlooking your core competency
Start with getting your top-selling 10 or 20 items online and invest in professional photos and strong product descriptions. Don’t underestimate the power of focus. It will win you more recognition, and push you to go deeper and develop a name for yourself. Once you have that platform, you can land and expand.
Not having a marketing plan ready
Often people fall head over heels in love with their new business idea that they get blinded by it. They believe everyone will feel the same way they do about their products and will flock to the new site to buy. One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen is that this blind faith makes them oblivious to the fact that they will still need to market their product.
Building your site on the wrong platform Today, prospective online merchants have multiple choices on what platform to build their site and sell their products. It is not a one-size-fits-all, and it is essential to do your research on the pros and cons of each platform. They all offer different features and price points, and you will benefit from carefully deciding which one would suit your specific product. A furniture company might be put off from the per-transaction cost of Shopify and decide on Woocommerce. Or you might decide that building on Woocommerce means you would need a developer on call, and it would be best to stick with Shopify, where security and updates are taken care of.
Failing to Provide a Great User Experience
User experience is everything. Your website design impacts conversion rates as well as your search engine ranking, so it’s important that you get it right. Here, we’ll explore some of the most common mistakes online stores make, and how to make sure you avoid them.
– There are no categories: Your potential customers need to be able to find the products they want.
– Providing little service info or business contact information
– No guest checkout: The average cart abandonment rate (based on 44 reported statistics) is almost 70%. This should be a priority, You need to make the checkout process simple and smooth so that you keep your cart abandonment as low as possible.
Wrapping up: e-Commerce is an exciting yet daunting venture for many first-time merchants, and proper research and planning will go far in helping store owners to succeed long term.