One of the smartest moves you can make as a new ecommerce entrepreneur is to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before you. Most fledgling online business owners tend to make the same mistakes, so to save you from experiencing their pain all over again, here are six common ecommerce miscues and how to avoid them.
1) Overcomplicating the site
Simple is always better. Make your home page as lean as possible, while ensuring it is capable of accomplishing what you need it to do. Group services under specific headings so they can be accessed by dropdown menus, rather than consuming space on the homepage. Pare special offers down so they seem more valuable and stand out. Group your products by category to make it easier for your customers to quickly locate what they’re trying to buy from you.
2) Underpromoting the business
The only marketplace more crowded than the World Wide Web, is…well actually no marketplace is more crowded than the web. If you think you can sit back and wait for your market to find you, you’re sorely mistaken. You are going to have to take specific action to drive traffic to your online store. You’ll need to cultivate influencers as well as embrace bloggers and journalists. You’ll need to post to sites like Pinterest and Reddit, get people who care about the industry you’re in to talk you up among their circles of influence, as well as engage audiences on Facebook and Twitter—just to get started.
3) Neglecting the power of social edification
Word of mouth is the single best form of advertising. Cultivating an enthusiastic group of evangelists is a must. Positive reviews go a long way toward establishing your business as trustworthy, but you have to make sure those reviews are trustworthy as well. If you’re posting a review by someone, always make sure they have a sizable number of followers. People judge you by the quality and caliber of the people who trust the people who say you’re worth their time and money.
4) Ignoring mobile design
If you ignore everything else on this list, make every effort to ensure your site is mobile friendly. Doing so costs next to nothing as even free ecommerce website platforms have provisions for mobile computing. Your design absolutely must be capable of playing well on small screens to effectively convey the needed information, as well as provide an easy-to-accomplish shopping experience.
5) Trying to be all things to all people
Casting a wide net in the hopes of harvesting a bigger catch is a typical rookie mistake. It is far better to be known for something specific than to try to compete with the likes of Amazon. This strategy makes promotions easier to accomplish and it makes your site easier to shop, which ultimately makes your customers buy more because they don’t have to work hard to find what they need, make their purchases and go on with their days.
6) Failing the credibility test
When potential customers visit your site for the first time, they’re a bit skeptical because they’ve never done business with you. The more things you do to convince them you’re a solid player who will stand behind your product, be there when they come back if they have a problem, and above all, actually fulfill their order — the better your chances of converting them from browsers to buyers. To do this, provide physical location details, include an “About Us” page to tell your story and use a site-specific email address rather than a generic one. All of these things say you’re serious about your business and can likely be trusted to follow through after they’ve given you their hard-earned cash.