Most Common Mistakes When Starting an E-commerce Business
After Bill Gates said the legendary phrase: “If you’re not online, you’re not in business,” the network was filled with eCommerce of different directions and sizes. Their attractiveness lies in the ease of launch and wide reach of the target audience. INTEC data say that 60-90% of eCommerce stores are closed in the first year of operation. This figure can be much lower if business owners will not make mistakes when opening a business. It is about them that we will talk about in the article.
Error 1: Marketing, positioning and business planning
The root of the problems of the majority of Internet entrepreneurs is the lack of analysis of the target audience (TA) and competitors. They do not understand for whom a product or service is intended, do not know the needs of TA and do not know how to sell effectively in the niche. Always ask yourself: “How will my online store catch the customer? If your store is the same as the others, do not count on the interest of the TA. Why should people choose you?
Before starting the project, you need to develop a unique selling proposition. This is what sets you apart from others. Also, carefully analyze the competitors’ propositions. Clearly articulate the principle of your project in one sentence. Use the template: <Project Name> is the <business or product category> for <TA>, which is <useful for TA> with <advantage>.
It is also worth mentioning about the business plan. Analytics. No. ANALYTICS. This is all we have. When preparing a business plan, the efficiency of investments in an online store is assessed by the indicators of marketing analysis. This also determines the profitability of the niche, the product group for sale through the network, sales channels, options for payment and delivery of goods.
Error 2. eCommerce store does not differ from an offline store
Consider your online store as a completely new type of business, not an extension of the offline store. Only in this way will you make it successful and increase sales. Here you need new sales scripts and new ways to attract customers.
The only thing that should be left – the design of the offline shop. The brand is remembered by the client with its corporate identity, logo or design of the showcase. If you care about customer loyalty and want your brand to be recognized, then, of course, it is worth to maintain a unified style of design
It’s important not to overdo it. If the design is overloaded or too minimalistic, it will cause a negative attitude among the visitor. And with such emotions, he is unlikely to buy something.
Error 3. Technical errors when opening an online store
There are plenty of online stores online with crowded “showcases”. Because of the abundance of graphic information and/or advertising banners, the focus on the main thing is confused. The attention of visitors is dissipated and the potential buyer goes to the competitors.
The same applies to the structure of the site, usability, but everything in order. If one or two methods (phone and/or email) are provided for communication with the administration and managers, it is unlikely that such a resource will receive a high response and loyalty of customers.
Now let’s focus on usability. Usability is the convenience of using the site. If a visitor does not understand how to choose a product, how to buy it and make delivery, he will not understand these puzzles, and just go to the competitor’s shop. Check your site with a few golden rules:
● The rule of three clicks. The user must go from the home page to the information he needs, making a maximum of three clicks. An endless series of internal pages will repel anyone.
● Rule seven. The user can comfortably perceive 5-7 objects. Therefore, do not place on the navigation panel on the site for more than seven points.
● The rule of two seconds. The longer the customer waits for a response from the site, the more chances he will close the page. The optimal waiting period is 2-3 seconds.
Error 4. Promotion and advertising of online store
There are a lot of stable traffic sources on the Internet. This is contextual advertising in Google, SEO-promotion in search engine output, attracting visitors from social networks, etc. But even this abundance of opportunities does not provide receiving orders.
The main reasons for the failures:
● You have chosen the wrong promotion channel. Without presenting the image of a potential client, without understanding his needs and selection criteria, it is very difficult to find an effective advertising channel. Imagine that the online store insistently offers youth glasses with neon frames for men and women 35-45 years old. Of course, the response will be minimal.
● You do not analyze the key indicators of online sales. The main advantage of online business is that you can accurately determine the number of visits to the store and individual pages, the percentage of conversion of visitors to customers, return on investment, the effectiveness of ads and other metrics. Reports allow us to analyze the sales funnel, to adjust the unique proposal and sales model to the market position. It is important not only to set up and run advertising but also to analyze its results.
● Lack of SEO-optimization. In order for the resource to find potential customers, it must have content optimized for search engines. Built-in SEO-module and Mageworx extensions will help you in optimization. Product descriptions, reviews, articles should contain “keywords” corresponding to the subject of the product or service.
● It is better to order articles and product descriptions from professionals, who will correctly enter the keys into the text. Constantly test new channels for product advertising, always analyze key sales figures, calculate income and expenses.
Error 5. Lack of a mobile version of the site
Users are increasingly shopping via mobile devices. This is about 40% of visitors to the resource. Do not neglect and do not save on the development of the mobile version. Otherwise, you will miss your customers. Using the full version of the online store is very uncomfortable, as all the content and functionality of the website are not adapted for viewing on a smartphone or tablet. Today, the creation of a mobile or adaptive site is an opportunity to remain competitive, increase the visibility of the online store in search engines, increase customer loyalty, conversion, and not only.
If you think carefully where these errors arise in the development of online stores, it becomes clear: they all come down to 2 reasons. This ignorance of what and how to do and laziness in all this to understand. The second reason is a logical question: and then why do you need an online store? He can not cope on his own, without you.
This is a great job that requires time, effort and resources. You will succeed if you are ready to learn for yourself and teach your team. If you are ready to invest in development. This is the law of any business. And for people who want to eradicate the first reason, we write such articles. We hope that these tips will help to cope with the problems in creating an online store. We wish you luck!