E-commerce is booming. According to a report from Forbes, worldwide e-commerce sales will reach a whopping $4.2 trillion this 2021, with consumers in the United States accounting for close to a quarter of that spending.
Given the encouraging figure, you might think of launching an online e-commerce store. After all, this is a lucrative business opportunity considering that the ongoing pandemic has boosted the affinity of consumers toward online shopping.
Although the e-commerce sector provides low barriers to entry, this also makes the landscape a lot more competitive. Given that the new online stores cropping up now and then, scaling your business and standing out from the crowd can be a challenge.
If you're planning on launching an e-commerce store, you'll need to avoid critical mistakes that can doom your online business.
Let's take a look at the boo-boos you should avoid:
- Not Determining Your End Goals
Unfortunately, a lot of novice entrepreneurs believe that e-commerce is a get-rich-quick scheme. What they don't understand is that building a scalable e-commerce business necessitates meticulous planning. Making some quick money, therefore, should not be your sole reason behind starting an e-commerce shop.
Before you design your online store, perform website optimization and start sourcing products, you should determine your long-term business goals. Ask yourself these guide questions:
- Are you looking at an e-commerce store as a source of passive income?
- Do you have plans of selling your business a few years down the line when it becomes a booming success?
- Do you want to ditch your full-time job and do e-commerce full-time?
Your responses will influence the aspects of your business, including the type of marketing campaigns you implement and the e-commerce platform you choose. It will also determine whether you should follow the Amazon FBA or dropshipping business model.
- Taking Content Marketing for Granted
Placing enough effort into content marketing will make sure that your e-commerce website gets the online traffic it needs.
Why is this kind of traffic important? Organic traffic means that customers have reached your e-commerce store via a search engine page instead of paid advertising. The fact that your site ranks high on search engines tells people that your e-commerce site is trustworthy and genuine.
If you don't have a solid content marketing strategy, start developing one now. Get the help of a digital marketing agency if necessary.
- Subpar Customer Service
Customer service is vital to the success of your e-commerce business. It involves how you:
- Respond to comments and questions on social media
- Interact with a customer that requires your support and attention
- Reply to messages through your website
- Address complaints via e-mail or over the phone
Poor customer support is a surefire way to lose loyal customers and discourage prospective customers from shopping in your e-commerce store. So make sure you that you go the extra mile when serving your shoppers.
- No Compelling Brand Identity or Message
The shoe brand "Nike" is famous for its footwear simply because they put in the work to create a strong brand message, logo and identity. People recognize the company's "swoosh" across the globe, and their tagline "Just Do It" is motivating, iconic and simple.
Refrain from making the mistake of assuming that your products are awesome enough to sell on their own. If creating a thriving business is your goal, you'll need to cultivate a brand identity or message that will contribute to viral brand awareness and be relatable to your audience.
- Disregarding the Importance of User Experience and Web Navigation
Designing an engaging e-commerce website won't be of much use it's prone to frequent crashes or takes forever to load completely. What's worse, prospective and even loyal customers may find navigating your website difficult and leave your site without buying anything. Likewise, a complicated checkout process could force a user to abandon their cart and shop somewhere else.
You can avoid these unpleasant scenarios by simplifying site architecture to make your e-commerce shop easily navigable. Your goal is to make sure that users won't have to jump to several product categories or click too many links just to get to their desired product.
If you're not well-versed in web design, don't fret. Just hire an experienced web developer who will help improve user experience. You'll want your e-commerce store to be accessible to users, including those who have disabilities.
You should avoid these common mistakes when you're in the process of creating and launching an e-commerce store. Avoiding them will boost your chances of having a prosperous online business. You'll also prevent setting your business up for failure after launching it.