Understanding The E-Commerce Industry
Ecommerce industry is on a boom and for the same reasons, more and more individuals are planning to set up their eCommerce business. While there is no doubt that you can make millions from eCommerce, it’s not as easy as it sounds. As a matter of fact, most small businesses can stand past 5 years of their establishment. Reason? They don’t pay attention to a lot of aspects of online marketing. If you don’t want to become one of them, then learn from their mistakes and prevent them.
In this article, we are sharing 16 costly mistakes to avoid when setting up an eCommerce business. So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!
Table of Content
- Choosing The Wrong Ecommerce Platform
- Hiring The Wrong ECommerce Agency
- Ignoring Expert Consultation
- Failure To Identify The Right Audience
- Ignoring Analytics
- Selecting The Wrong Web Host
- Not Paying Enough Attention To Customer Service
- Not Analysing The Competitors
- Not Following The Trends
- Starting A Business You Have No Interest In
- Expecting Huge Profits In Less Time
- Focusing on A Wide Range of Products
- Rushing To Expand Your Business
- Not Having Enough Payment and Delivery Options
- Selecting A Niche That Is Too Narrow
- Not Valuing The Power Of Email Marketing
1. Choosing The Wrong Ecommerce Platform
First and perhaps the biggest mistakes business owners make is choosing the wrong eCommerce platform. While it's true that there are hundreds of platforms out there, not each of them is suitable for your business. Always remember, your platform selection can make or break your eCommerce business. Hence, don't opt for a platform just because it worked for your friend or colleague or because it's offering cheap rates. These factors don't translate to your growth and success. The best way to select the right platform is to understand your requirements with respect to the offerings of a platform. Your eCommerce platform selection should be highly based on the requirements of your target audience and the size of your business.
When thinking about ecommerce platforms, Magneto, Shopify, Woocommerce, BigCommerce, etc. are the big names that come to our minds. Isn't it? So, which platform to choose, you might be wondering!
You've to understand that each platform comes with its own pros & cons and features. There is no one size fits all. But if you ask us, Magento is a winner because it is suitable for all sorts of small, medium and large businesses. What makes it stand out is its advanced features and capabilities that can ensure higher conversions. While it may look a bit expensive at first, you get what you pay for.
Apart from Magento, Shopify is also a great option if you're planning to take your small eCommerce store online.
2. Hiring The Wrong ECommerce Agency
iring the wrong eCommerce developers can waste your time, efforts and not to mention a HUGE chunk of your hard-earned money. As soon as you begin your search for the best ecommerce agencies, you're presented with a list of hundreds of so-called "Top-rated" developers. And most of you randomly pick out the company that ranks at the top. Isn't it? Choosing an eCommerce agency without analysing it thoroughly is nothing but a huge mistake.
Know that not every service offers what it claims. So, the "top eCommerce developer" you have selected might offer you a poorly constructed platform using some outdated technologies. And when this happens, you end up investing your money on a service that is the biggest reason behind the downfall of your eCommerce business.
Hence, select your eCommerce development company very carefully. Make sure the company you've selected offers the following :
- Strategic development for your eCommerce business
- High-quality web and IT solutions
- Stylish yet optimised services using the latest technologies
- Competitive edge
- Reliable customer support
In case you don't already know, RVS media fulfils this criteria making itself one of the most trusted eCommerce agencies in the UK. So, if you're here, you know where to go!
3. Ignoring Expert Consultation
Do you know everything about the eCommerce space? If you're a beginner and still say yes, then that's your misunderstanding. The ECommerce industry is vast, it is much more than the eCommerce platforms and the success stories you're familiar with.
Ever heard about successful players studying their ground before playing a match on it? You may ask why? They do so because it helps them to play according to the conditions of the ground and the environment. Results? Increased performance!
Ecommerce industry is your ground and if you want to ensure your victory, then study your pitch. And for that purpose, consult a trusted eCommerce specialist who will help you learn about the ins and outs of the industry, the changing market scenarios, the latest trends, technology and many more useful insights.
4. Failure To Identify The Right Audience
No matter how stylish your store looks, how amazing your products are, all of it will make no sense if there are no visitors. To whom will you sell your products if you have no idea what your target audience looks like?
If you want your business to become a hit, then print one statement in your mind - "customer is always right". Everything you do, whether it is planning or execution, should be done according to the requirements of your customers.
Not everyone on the internet is your customer, so don't even think about starting an online store with an aim to satisfy every individual. Hence, focus on identifying your target audience, the customers who are actually interested in your products or services. This will not only save your time and money while trying to impress everyone but also ensures your speedy growth.
Identifying the right audience makes it much easier to market your products and exploit the gaps left behind industry bigwigs.
5. Ignoring Analytics
We are living in a digital era that is driven by a powerful force - Data!
You've to understand that the most effective decisions are made on the basis of empirical statistics and numbers. There are tons of analytics tools in the market. Still, many people are failing to leverage their capabilities - which is sad!
Ignoring analytics can become a costly mistake before you even realise it. When you don't pay attention to your business analytics, you make wrong and ineffective decisions. So, avoid making this mistake and use the powers of analytics tools and make profitable decisions for your business.
These tools provide you with detailed insight into your marketing operations, customer base, their behaviour, online activity and so on. Using these tools, you can monitor the performance of your business and plan fruitful strategies accordingly.
6. Selecting The Wrong Web Host
Suppose you're a customer and then answer this question — Would you like to visit an eCommerce store that takes ages to load? Obviously No, you'd prefer exploring and shopping on a site that loads in milliseconds!
An e-commerce store is no different from other websites on the internet. Poor loading time, too much buffering, frequent breaks can decrease your performance regardless of your marketing efforts, your product range and your customer support. If your eCommerce business solely depends on your website, then it is very important to eliminate speed and other technical problems that may turn your profitable customers away.
The best way to ensure this is by choosing the right hosting provider. Your web host is responsible for the speed and performance of your site, so select them mindfully.
The biggest mistake people commit while selecting a hosting service is getting lured by the cheap rates of the providers. Remember, you get what you pay for. This means the cheap services are more likely to offer low-quality service mainly in the form of poor loading time.
So, don't filter the hosting companies based on their price, keep your budget flexible and choose the one that helps you in increasing the performance of your digital store.
7. Not Paying Enough Attention To Customer Service
Even if your business is purely online and you don't get any chance to know and meet your customers, the way you treat them still makes a huge difference.
Do you respond to your customer's queries? Do you assist them whenever they need your help? Do you take the responsibility of solving their problems?
If your answer is yes, then you're good. But if your answer is no, or if you haven't even thought about your customer service, you're going to get in huge trouble - sooner or later!
As a matter of fact, customer support is more important to an online business than it is for brick and mortar shops. A large part of customers still fear getting into online shopping scams.
So, it's your responsibility to ensure your prospects that they're dealing with the right business. One way to achieve this is by providing excellent customer service. For this, select your support staff mindfully and make sure each staff member is qualified, friendly and capable of handling the concerns of your customers.
8. Not Analysing The Competitors
It doesn't matter how excellent you're, if your competitors are doing better than you, it means they have a great skill you can learn and use.
The best way to defeat the rivals is by knowing them along with their business tactics. And don't worry, there is nothing illegal in knowing your rival's secrets to success!
It may sound a little bit unethical, but your business strategies, your products, and the pricing should be decided on the basis of your competitor's actions.
The good news is, there are many tools and platforms in the market that gives you a quick sneak peek into your competitor's sites. Using such tools, you can learn about the keywords and type of audience your rival is targeting, their source of traffic, their most rated products and so on.
One small piece of advice here, have a look at the established rivals, top eCommerce companies but pay special attention to the new stores that are growing at a rapid rate. After Identifying their lucrative business strategies, modify and deploy them to your business.
9. Not Following The Trends
Now, don't expect people to buy landlines in this modern era of smartphones. Yes, no one is going to purchase your wide-leg denims when they go out of trend! Don't worry, these are just examples, but enough to make you understand the importance of following the latest trends.
So, folks! Make one thing crystal clear in your mind, if you want to stay ahead in the competition, then keep up with the latest trends.
The good thing is, there is plenty of information and resources on the internet that helps you to stay updated about the current market trends.
10. Starting A Business You Have No Interest In
Sometimes people start their online business with an aim to make money quickly. They just randomly pick any niche they have no idea about and start operating. Results? Such aimless companies or say, online stores don't make it past a couple of years!
Not just online business, but starting any business requires your passion, dedication and of course commitment. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then you should know how to deal with profits as well as losses.
If you start a business in which you've no interest, you'll never be able to stay invested in it. The first hit and you'll give up. You'll never be able to connect with your audience and this will reflect in the performance of your business.
On the other hand, if you start a business you're really passionate about, nothing can stop you from reaching the top. For example: if you're a fashion junky and you start selling fashionable clothes online, you'll be able to communicate and connect with your audience in a better way. The reason is, you know what are current trends, what your audience is looking for and so on.
11. Expecting Huge Profits In Less Time
One day you search on Google "best ways to make money online". "start an eCommerce business" Google suggests, and bam. Without any research and planning, you set up your online store with an aim of making millions in the very first year. Again results? Negative profits, You hit the rock bottom!
Folks, this isn't how businesses work. Statistically speaking, the majority of businesses don't make a profit in the first year. Even the leading giants like Amazon and KFC have started from the bottom, they have their fair share of losses and defeats in the first few years. But constant efforts, strategic planning, effective marketing made them what they are today.
There are eCommerce guide, ebooks, so-called "eCommerce courses" and trainings that claims to make you rich from eCommerce business in 4 or 5 weeks, are nothing but SCAMS!
So, stop falling prey to such marketing tactics and think practically. Be patient and keep working hard without expecting unrealistic profits. Think this way, the first year of your business is your investment. Deal with the losses, learn from your mistakes, improvise, improve and nurture your business. When you go this way, nothing can stop you from becoming the next Amazon or Asos.
12. Focusing on A Wide Range of Products
"Jack of all trades and master of none" — This is not going to work in the world of eCommerce. You have to ace any one profitable product or category. Most struggling entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing on a wide range of products with an aim to impress all the customers, which is not practically possible. This type of approach imposes many challenges such as wastage of resources, confusions and conflicts and inefficiency.
Avoid commuting this mistake and focus on any profitable category that you know most about. Niche marketing is the term you should explore now!
13. Rushing To Expand Your Business
According to the ecommerce specialists, most beginners plan to expand their business as soon as they get their first bite of success. They start purchasing in huge stocks, expensive tools, software, etc. Many times, this results in huge losses.
So, avoid making any plan to scale up your business until your business becomes stable and you acquire a good customer base. Go slowly and grow gradually!
14. Not Having Enough Payment and Delivery Options
Imagine, you've successfully started an online business, customers seem to like your products and they even purchased some. But as soon as they move to the checkout page, they don't find the desired payment or delivery option. Results? Shopping cart abandonment! No purchase, No profits!
Lack of payment and delivery options can be the biggest obstacles in your path to success. So, include multiple payments options according to the preferences of your target audience. In the same way, include multiple delivery options as well.
15. Selecting A Niche That Is Too Narrow
Yes, we have earlier advised you to start niche marketing. But don't get us wrong, this doesn't mean you should opt for a niche that is extremely narrow. No doubt such a niche will have negligible competition, but what's the point of having an online business that doesn't drive enough traffic. Many eCommerce businesses fail shortly after selecting a confined niche.
Avoid making this mistake by performing a fine-tuned niche research. Thankfully, there are many tools that help you select a profitable niche that is large enough to sustain a business. Google Keyword Tool is great for starters.
16. Not Valuing The Power Of Email Marketing
Ask any established marketer for a tip to achieve success and they will suggest you start email marketing. Many newbies ignore this valuable advice and hence, lose their golden opportunity to connect with their real prospects.
Email marketing is the most powerful form of digital marketing. It allows you to target the right prospects in the most efficient manner. Using an actionable email list, you can establish stronger relationships with your targets, which will have a great impact on your Return of Investment (ROI).
According to stats, email marketing ROI can reach a whopping 4400%, which means you'll earn $44 for every $1 of investment — crazy, right!!
Every business person has something they wish they knew at the time they started. You don't have to become one of them by committing the above-mentioned mistakes and regretting it a few years later. Take notes of these 16 mistakes and prevent your business from sinking. As the leading eCommerce agency in the UK, it's our responsibility to show you the right path that takes you to new heights in the eCommerce world.
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