Starting a retail business on your own is not an easy thing, but trying your hands at e-commerce can seem even scarier than most other ventures. You not only need to have a deep knowledge of the market you are trying to conquer, but you must also become an accomplished webmaster and internet marketer. Before you have second thoughts and change your mind about it, look around: there are so many online shops out there, and they are doing just fine! You can do it too, don’t worry! Learn from other people’s experience, avoid making the same e-commerce mistakes they made, and start building your online store right now!
Not finding your niche
Online shopping is increasingly popular, but the big brand names like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart get stronger and more aggressive by the day, not to mention that they offer just about everything. Trying to compete with them would be a total waste of time. Instead, you need to find a gap in the market, a narrow niche you are (or can become) knowledgeable in. This would make your life easier as far as aspects like inventory management and e-commerce website maintenance are concerned, but it will also help you with your branding and search engine optimization efforts.
Not knowing your target customer
Establishing who your target customer is represents one of the very first steps you need to make before you even build an online store. The population segment you address impacts a series of choices like: the color theme you use on your website, the way you formulate your promotional messages, the kind of promotions you run, the type of content you write, and the list can go on.
Failing to utilize the power of visuals
Many e-commerce website thrive on the power of product pictures. After all, the image and the product description are the only ways you can inform your potential customers. In the absence of touch and smell, visuals and text become the only marketing tools you have. This is why using big high quality pictures becomes of utmost importance. Paying for the services of a professional product photographer who would also process the pictures and make them website ready is not a bad idea.
Whether it was via search, referrals or online ads, a potential customer has landed on a product page. That’s great, but now what? Even if he instantly decides to make a purchase, wouldn’t it be better for you if he had the opportunity to add other products in his shopping cart before he checks out? What if he’s looking for something slightly different, and you have it? Make sure he can navigate through your website easily! How to do that? An internal search option would be great. Most eCommerce website builders also have a “Related Products” option displaying at the bottom of your page thumbnails of entries within the same category.
Seemingly untrustworthy site
Although the field of e-commerce has witnessed huge development during recent years, there are still people out there who are afraid to enter their credit card details on a site that does not seem trustworthy. And, they are right! There are many e-commerce scams and traps. Of course, your site is not one of them, but how would your prospects know? You have to tell them!
When you incorporate secure payment technology, tell your customer about it by displaying the respective logo in a corner. Also, testimonials are a very efficient marketing tool. Ask your most satisfied customers if you can use their name on the site, and work together on crafting a convincing message. Has your brand been featured on a trustworthy portal? Brag about it!
While building an eCommerce website might seem daunting at first, it is a challenge worth taking, and an educational experience. Learning from other people’s experience is a surefire way to avoid costly e-Commerce mistakes.