Starting an eCommerce business is not always a walk in the path. For example, you need to decide which platform to host your store, the kind of products to meet your clients’ needs, and competitive pricing models. If done without due diligence, you might end up making costly mistakes. Research shows that 60% of eCommerce businesses fail in their early stages due to entrepreneurial mistakes. Here are some common mistakes eCommerce website owners make and how to avoid them.
9 Common Mistakes eCommerce Businesses Make:
#1. Poor Product Descriptions
Your product descriptions matter to your business. The copy you write about the products listed on your site helps the customer make informed decisions on what to purchase. However, many eCommerce business owners simply replicate the information from the manufacturer or inadequate description. Don’t make the same mistake and try the immortal romance slot.
Ensure you describe the product well and use non-technical language that any potential customers can easily understand. Product descriptions make up the essential content on a page and should never be neglected. As such, you should write a copy that is likely to overcome the buyer’s objections.
Successful eCommerce websites have a few things in common. Those things being, a feature to export orders, advanced shipping rules, and direct checkout. If your site is lacking any of these, it is high time to change that.
#2. Hosting Your Business on The Wrong Platform
You have the right products. You have researched your target audience, and you have competitive prices for your goods. The next huge decision is on which platform to set up your store. The truth is, the platform for your eCommerce business can make or break your business. The platform you choose dictates how your prospective customers interact with your products. It also determines how you attract customers to your business and how you scale it up over time. If you get it wrong on the platform, you will likely not realize the full potential of your business. You can avoid choosing the wrong platform by considering the following tips:
- Easy to shop: Ensure that the platform is easy to set up and design
- Secure platform: You should ensure that the eCommerce platform you are eyeing offers top-notch security. Modern customers care that their credit card details are safe. No one wants to be charged for paying for items they have no idea about when their money is stolen. That is why you need to consider a platform that uses an SSL certificate to encrypt your data and the data your customers share with your business. For ecommerce businesses investing in a wildcard SSL certificate is highly recommended. With this single certificate installed on your web server, you can encrypt the communication that transpires between the web browser and the client-server on the chosen primary domain and multiple first-level subdomains.
- Consider integration: An ideal platform will allow you to integrate other pages such as social media or payment methods.
- Mobile-friendly: Most clients will be using their phones to browse your eCommerce website. Make sure the platform is mobile-friendly to increase reach.
Once you consider the above factors, you can avoid costly mistakes that could threaten the success of your business.
#3. Failing To Understand Your Prospective Customers
It is common knowledge that you are not starting the business for yourself. In any case, your goal is to meet a market need. This means that after designing your product, your website, and preparing your business plan, you need to get one more thing right: the target audience. For example, if your business deals with kids’ wear, you need to target new mothers and mothers of toddlers. Hence, you cannot go advertising the clothes to teenagers or men.
You can avoid the mistake by:
- Building buyer persona
- Understanding the kind of language that would resonate with your target audience
- Social media platforms that your targeted audience are.
- Understanding how your product meets the customer’s needs.
#4. Failure To Consider Scalability
Look at your business plan. Where do you want your business to be in five years from today? Every eCommerce business owner’s dream is to become successful in their niche and expand the operations to a greater level. This is only possible if the platform you choose from the outset allows you to scale your business. It should also have the ability to handle large amounts of traffic.
#5. Having A Complicated Checkout Process
Research shows that one out of every five shoppers abandons a cart due to a too long, complicated checkout process. However, you can avoid the mistake by:
- Using graphics to show customers what they expect during checkout clearly
- Show customers their progress as they shop and the steps they need to complete to checkout
- Keep the back button fully functional to undo any undesired actions
Once the above tips are implemented, you will see that your conversion numbers will go up.
#6. Complex Navigation and Poor Use Experience
Study shows that great user experience increases traffic to eCommerce, and is likely to increase conversion. It will be a gross mistake to have an eCommerce site that gives your customers a nightmare to manoeuvre. Also, an unresponsive eCommerce site will send the customers away and significantly lower your sales.
Always ensure that your eCommerce website is clickable. Users should be able to filter searches and browse through different categories easily, even on the phone.
#7. Poor Customer Service
Now, beyond having the right products and a well-designed platform, you should create a channel through which you engage with clients. The absence of customer care service means that you are not ready to serve your customers in real-time. Instead, you can integrate bots within the website to answer the most frequently asked questions. Also, include active contacts and email addresses to reach you if they need assistance or inquiries.
#8. Not Securing Your Site
Online businesses have increased in number over the years, and so has online cybersecurity fraud. As a result, customers are worried about the security of their data now than ever before. Why? Most sites will require customers to register before proceeding to shop. Hence, they leave a long trail of personal information, including email, passwords, and credit card information. Therefore, they will not shop with you if you have not secured your site.
Securing your eCommerce site to ensure end-to-end encryption is crucial. You can acquire a cheap Wildcard SSL from reliable SSL providers for your site to protect it from access by third parties, including hackers. Besides, visitors will be more confident doing business with you whenever they know their data is safe.
#9. Not Driving Traffic using SEO
It would be best if you always remembered that you are in business. What this suggests is that the competition is stiff. Hence, you need to stay ahead of the curve by finding ways to beat the competition. Unfortunately, one mistake that many make is to stay comfortable and not utilize SEO techniques.
You can increase traffic to your site by using SEO techniques. For example, research the types of keywords that customers are searching for related to your business. This will increase traffic to your site and chances of conversion.
Online business has many great returns if you get it right. You need to have the products your customers need, know your target audience, use the proper marketing channels, secure your website and more. You will stand a cut above the rest!