So, you’ve decided to start your own business. You’re not wearing the entrepreneur hat just yet but you have some great ideas and you’re ready to get started. You just know that your ideas and products are going to take the market by storm and you will have money rolling in by the caseloads… well, that can definitely happen but not just starting out. In order to run a successful e-commerce business, it takes a lot of time, planning, and strategizing.
As with any business, whether physical or online, you’re going to hit some bumps in the road… Now, some of those bumps in the road are a little different for a physical store than an online store but whichever storefront you use, online or physical, there are still things that threaten your business.
It’s because of those potential threats that make you want to really take your time to create a lucrative e-commerce business. To achieve the goal, you will more than likely have moments of trial and error but wouldn’t it be more productive to make those errors in the first place? Take a look at some of these e-commerce blunders to avoid.
Not Establishing a Target Audience
For the products you’ll be selling, do you know exactly the type of customer you want to sell to? You can’t say everyone because not everyone will want to buy what you’re selling. If you’re selling customized wine glasses, there are going to be people who won’t buy your wine glasses because they don’t drink, or because they don’t like the way they look… who knows, but it’s not realistic to think that everyone will buy from you.
Instead of trying to make your product meet the needs of everyone, put more focus on who your products will entice and be appealing to. Once you figure that out, then you can strategize on how to meet their needs. If you can find a way to target a specific audience or niche market, your e-commerce business will soar.
Not Researching Your Competitors
How will your e-commerce business ever flourish if you don’t know who you’re competition is? This factor is relevant in many aspects of your business too. Pricing, advertising, and quality are all examples of factors that you need to consider with your competitors.
You can actually set yourself up for failure by pricing your products higher than your competitors when they’re selling products similar to yours but at a lower price. It’s scenarios like that, that makes it important to do your research on your competitors.
Lack of Attention to Customer Service
With e-commerce businesses, you’re of course not having face-to-face interactions with customers but just because you’re not seeing customers in-person, that doesn’t mean you can get away with slacking off on customer service… The fact that you won’t be seeing your customers in-person, that should make you want to turn your customer service efforts up a couple of notches!
If you have an e-commerce business, you want to make extra efforts to keep your customers happy and satisfied because your success is centered around how much the customer trusts you and your products and services and your business reputation.
These days, people rely heavily on reviews. It tells them about a particular company and essentially helps them determine whether or not if they want to shop there. But in the same token, reviews also help businesses improve. It tells them what areas they’re doing well in and it also tells them what areas they need to improve. Reviews are really the best thing that could ever happen to small businesses, according to Forbes.com.
So, to keep your business reputation on the positive side, keep your lines of communication open and available to customers and do everything in your power to keep them happy… communication is key here.
To Have Good Customer Service…
Your e-commerce business should have its contact information prominently displayed. Your customers should be able to contact you if they have any questions or issues. Hiding this information, having it in too small of a size, or not having it on your site at all will actually deter potential customers from buying from your site.
Failure to Optimize Your Website
They say first impressions are everything, right? Yes, and in the world of e-commerce, bad first impressions can cost you money. When it comes to shopping online, customers want what they want, when they want it… What that means is, when a customer goes to your site to shop, if it takes your website too long to load, they’re going to leave your site and go to another site.
A Kissmetrics report states that customers expect a website to load in two seconds or less. Is it wrong for customers to expect that? Not really… especially when there are websites that load that fast. This also reverts back to researching your competitors. If your competitors’ websites are loading in two seconds or less then that means you need to get your website optimized to stay in competition with them… you can best believe your competition will be checking you out too!
Making Your Brand Work Against You and Not for You
A lot of first-time entrepreneurs make their biggest business blunder right at the beginning… before they can even get started. They’ll pick a domain name and not even think about the relevance between the domain name and the product they’re actually selling… that’s making your brand work against you.
With an e-commerce business, you have to think, it’s not just going to be people in your specific area potentially buying your products; it could be people all over the world wanting to buy your products but if they see your website doesn’t seem relevant to what they’re looking to buy, they won’t even check out your site.
A Branding Word of Advice…
When strategizing on your e-commerce business name, make sure that your company’s name is a reflection of what you’re currently selling as well of what you may possibly sell in the future. Everyone in the world has the potential to be your loyal customer so make sure that your company name doesn’t hold you back from all the success you have the potential to gain.