Opening your own ecommerce store has never been easier with the emergence of numerous platforms such as Shopify offering ease of service. In fact, you can literally set up your own shop in under 15 minutes.
But getting in the game is just the tip of the iceberg.
What most people fail to realize is that ecommerce is not a game of who can set up shop. Rather, it is about who can stay in the game the longest. And in the ecommerce game, many have tried, and countless others have failed.
There are many hurdles that you need to clear and account for so you can stay in business. Here, we share to you nine crucial mistakes that are common among newbies in ecommerce and you can avoid them.
1. Not Having a Logo
Most businesses end up failing in ecommerce because they fail to understand their own identity. Hence, they end up having an identity crisis as they figure out what they want to be and do. A big part of that identity is your brand’s logo.
A logo is one of the first things your potential customers notice about you. As such, it becomes the source of their initial impression of your business. Having a good logo can influence how your potential customers perceive your business.
Choose a logo that is memorable. A memorable logo is unique. It communicates your brand’s philosophy as well as its personality and helps your brand stand out from the rest.
Use brandable colors. Different colors can have different meanings and will evoke different emotions from your audience. Choose colors that coincide with what you want to evoke from your audience.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a designer to have a good logo. There are designers online that can do it at lower prices. You can even go the DIY route and design it yourself.
2. Choosing the Wrong eCommerce Platform
One of the biggest mistakes committed by new ecommerce stores is selecting the wrong platform for them. While there are options out there that may have the best features or offer the best prices, not all of them are created equally – and not all of them were made for you.
Before you begin to set up your own store, make sure you understand your requirements in terms of features, prices, customizability, and even scalability. For instance, if you currently have limited stocks, then you might not want to have unlimited listings as a feature as it might end up costing you more than you can afford to pay.
There are a variety of factors that you should consider when choosing an ecommerce platform:
- What type of product are you planning to offer?
- How you plan to scale your business?
- How much control do you want to have?
- What features do you want to integrate into your business?
- How much are you willing to pay?
- What level of customization do you want in the design?
- What kind of experience are you willing to offer your customers?
3. Having No Marketing Strategy
More often than not, the excitement is just too much to bare that we end up diving in head first without actually measuring the water. Similarly, putting up an online business without a clear marketing strategy is ecommerce suicide. Unlike the old adage “build it and they will come”, in this case, they’re not coming.
Building an ecommerce business will take time and will require a clear marketing strategy to have the necessary traffic and customer base to sustain growth. Remember that there are over a billion sites already on the internet. Amidst all that, no matter how beautiful your site or products are, your customers will be unable to find you.
As part of your marketing strategy, you need to define two things: your market and your action plan.
Having products and a place where you can display them (your website) simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to ecommerce. You need to clearly define your target audience and take time to understand who they are and what makes them tick. To do this, you need to perform market research and make sure that:
- They really have a demand that you can meet.
- You understand how to reach out to them.
- You can develop a strategy that puts your target audience front and center.
Your Action Plan
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you are now in a better position to get your products in front of them. You can now create an action plan with which you can reach out to them. This entails selecting an appropriate marketing channel, choosing what content to produce, and standards with which to measure its effectiveness.
4. Underpricing Products
There are countless stories of ecommerce businesses that have failed by failing to account for various costs into their prices and ultimately ended up failing. That is why it is important to perform financial analysis before you set your prices so you won’t end up losing money.
During your financial analysis, you need to account for shipping costs, overhead, production, shipping, and taxes. Everything should be accounted for in your pricing scheme so you won’t end up charging $15 for a shirt that cost $25 to produce.
Additionally, the ecommerce industry constantly changes. You will need to update your prices every once in a while to keep them current.
5. Failing to Talk to Customers
The customers are the lifeblood of an ecommerce business. And your goal shouldn’t be to have your customers make a single purchase. Instead, you should aim to have recurring customers. Hence, you should always make an effort to take care of your customers. This means interacting with them, accepting valuable feedback after every purchase, and accounting for their feedback to improve your product.
Stay in touch with your customers. Send them updates through a weekly newsletter and send them offers for staying loyal to the business. Invest in opening newer channels that make it easier for them to keep in touch with you. Not only is it easier to keep existing officers, it’s also more profitable as they offer you more business when you offer them amazing customer service.
Spending Too Much Too Early
Most new businesses often succumb to outside pressure early on in an effort to achieve more growth and increase sales. As such, they fall victim to pitches made by marketing companies that promise high volumes of traffic through PPC and quick SEO results. While these are certainly helpful in the long run, when you’re still on a low budget, these will only drain your resources.
When your first start your business, think about growing your skills as you grow your business. This will make any growth you achieve more sustainable than trying to achieve too much too early into the process. Research and timing is everything. Otherwise, you might find yourself locked in a contract that might leave you struggling to achieve any form of growth in the first place.
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