In today’s market, the possibilities of opening up your own business is endless especially with numerous inexpensive, and customizable platforms to choose from. Ecommerce is a booming industry; in fact, global ecommerce sales are expected to become a $3 trillion industry by 2019 (Internet Retailer).
With statistics like that, we understand why more entrepreneurs are moving towards that direction, but don’t be fooled. Starting your own business is satisfying and rewarding, but it’s also full of challenges. It takes time, money, and energy to create a successful ecommerce site that customers love, and the growth of your business depends on the ability to increase sales and acquire new customers.
It’s hard, we get it, but thankfully to help you along your journey, we’ve created a list of seven mistakes to avoid when starting your online business.
1. Not Knowing Your Target Market Or Niche
When starting your online business, it’s all about differentiation and having a competitive advantage. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when starting out is having too many products, and too many targeted consumers to reach. The online marketplace is rough, and without a proper target market or niche, you will just become part of the noise and fall into oblivion- to put it nicely.
Narrow your products, and segment your audience. You need to have a reason why customers would come to you instead of your competitors, so get specific as possible.
2. Website: Too Much Style and Not Enough Substance
There are many affordable platforms to host your site with hundreds of layouts to fit every business need. When starting your business, do not spend hours finding the most stylish, and interactive website. Not only is it a waste of time, it’s also a waste of money. What you should be focusing on is having a simple, and responsive website that is easy to navigate, and able to grab someone’s attention.
3. Forgetting To Focus On Selling Your Product
Now that you have a target market and your website, it’s time to focus on selling your product. You need to have copy that sells. This includes:
-Having a compelling headline to arouse interest
-Describing the problem that your product sells
-Adding customer testimonials and reviews to add to your credibility
-Offering sales, and promotions
Throughout your copy, make sure you’re focusing on how the product is beneficial to the consumer, and how it can improve their lives.
4. Not Developing a Marketing Strategy
A well-rounded marketing strategy can consist of SEO, PPC, email and even social media. It’s important to take advantage of these tools because this is how your consumers are able to find you.
Pay-per-click advertising is one of the easiest ways to attract traffic to your site because it allows you to test different keywords, and it displays on search pages immediately. Through PPC, you gain immediate traffic and can discover your best keywords that you can use throughout your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) unlike PPC is free and is necessary as well because it leads to increased traffic and sales. The ultimate goal of SEO is to build a relevant keyword list that potential customers are using to find your product. Using these keywords throughout your site, and posts is important in making your site visible to consumers.
Email is an important tool as well because it’s cheaper than print, or TV and highly targeted. Email marketing allows you to follow up with leads and to share valuable, and informative content with your customers.
There are numerous marketing tools that can be used to drive traffic to your online store, and not all of them may work, but it’s important that you try, and prioritize one channel at a time. Developing a marketing strategy will allow you to discover what works best for your business, and how it can increase traffic to your website.
5. Disregarding Social Media
Social media is an important platform because this is where your potential customers share ideas, and opinions.
Depending on what you’re selling, popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can make your brand accessible and assist you in listening and learning what your customers want. Social media is free, and fun to use. Don’t pass up on the opportunity to engage with your customers.
6. Not Measuring Your Site
Throughout your ecommerce business, it’s important to measure your sales as well as with marketing campaigns. Ecommerce is extremely periodic; you’ll have highs and lows. A yearly report will give you a well-rounded idea of your growth, as well as statistics to spot trends and react to them. Google analytics is a great tool to keep track of your yearly activities.
7. Lack of Customer Service and Personalization
Even if your site is online, customer service is important and when issues arise, it’s essential that your customers can easily seek personalized help rather than generic responses. You also need to be prepared to take returns and process a variety of payments, including refunds if necessary.
Starting an ecommerce business is difficult, and takes up a lot of time, and there is no doubt that you will make mistakes along the way, but that’s part of the process. The best thing to do is be aware of the mistakes that you could be making, and prepare yourself.
Check out: 10 Great Tips To Manage Your Store