So, you decided to create your own online store – that’s a bold decision! Surely, perspectives are optimistic, but you have to mind some obstacles and problems along the way. Today, only a well-designed and equally well-thought-out online store has a chance to succeed. That’s why we’ve made a list of five mistakes that you have to avoid at all costs when building a new e-commerce business.
If we had to coin one simple recipe for success in the e-commerce business, we’d say you need to have a clear sales and marketing strategy and fulfill customers’ needs. Easier said than done, naturally. So, let’s be more specific and see what these two foundations of a successful online company entail.
Your store from the technical perspective
On the “production level”, an online store is nothing else than a website. And as such, it needs to work correctly, be intuitive to use, have a fully-fledged mobile version, and meet Google requirements. The first mistake you can make is to choose a poor template for your store. If you need help with that, consult some UX specialist – it’s a good investment. The template is the first thing your customers see. It can encourage them to explore your site further or make them quit it immediately. Look for a template that’s intuitive to use, has a clear menu and a list of product categories, and offers everything you need to showcase your products efficiently.
The second mistake revolves around the e-commerce platform. It’s a ready-made solution that allows you to start almost immediately and just configure everything the way you want. Fresh e-commerce entrepreneurs frequently pick e-commerce platforms because they are relatively cheap and easy to use, even if you’re not tech-savvy. But be careful, and select the platform that’s quick, reliable, and allows you to scale your business. Magento is always a good choice. Other options worth considering comprise Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce (if you have a WordPress developer on your team).
The third thing you need to remember in Google requirements. Many online business owners neglect that part, and that’s a huge mistake. Your store ought to be SEO-friendly, which means that:
- Its code is optimized towards Google requirements
- It allows you to implement diverse SEO techniques (e.g., link building, adding keywords and key phrases, metadata, optimizing images, content marketing, etc.)
- It has a short loading time (ideally, below 2 seconds)
- It has a clear structure (especially concerning the category tree).
That’s one side of this subject. The next step is to tailor your business towards your customers’ needs.
A user-friendly online store
The first mistake you can make here is to neglect research and competition analysis. You have to know whether the products you intend to sell are profitable and desired by the market. An offer that doesn’t comprise products and brands that are necessary for a specific niche won’t get you far. Conduct in-depth analysis and make sure your idea is really good. The second element to think about is pricing. You need a solid pricing strategy that will enable you to outrun competitors. Bear in mind that today, traditional pricing strategies (such as, e.g., cost-plus) are usually ineffective.
The fifth mistake, and quite a big one for that matter, is the lack of marketing and sales strategy. Let’s talk a bit more about that.
THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF ALL – LACK OF STRATEGY
E-commerce is a difficult and highly competitive sector. You can’t just decide that you want to make money this way and start your new business. You need a thorough strategy that will answer some of the essential questions:
- What products do you want to sell and why?
- Where will you get them? Can you diversify your supply sources and distribution channels?
- What will you do to attract new customers that have never heard of your brand?
- What will you do to retain users for longer and turn them into regular customers?
- How will you scale and expand your business?
All these questions are immensely important. Don’t even start without getting satisfactory answers to them! A store that has no idea how to grow and attract customers (especially in the beginning when no one knows you) will die shortly. That’s because of the fierce competition and customer habits. Usually, people don’t want to change anything. If they are about to test something new (your store), they have to have a good reason for that. And, above else, they have to hear about you somehow.
At first, you should opt for marketing techniques that can produce quick and measurable results. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are your best bets. But even with the best marketing campaign, you won’t go far if your store has an unattractive offer, is difficult to use (or has other technical problems), and doesn’t offer all the popular payment and shipping options.
In e-commerce, it’s all interconnected, and every element affects others. That’s why you should start by observing competition and the market. Find out what products people look for and what solutions are necessary (e.g., quick online money transfers). That’s your starting point. With that, you can proceed to designing the best store you can think of. When all the puzzles are in place, you can start implementing your vision.
And when you do – we’re here to help! Drop us a line, and let’s build your new e-commerce business together!