When you start your ecommerce business, there’s no guarantee you’ll do everything right on your first try.
Starting an ecommerce business, after all, requires that you run multiple trial-and-error tests to determine which among the things you’re doing are proven to bring great results. Along the way, you learn lessons both by the things you did right and wrong.
However, not all lessons have to be learned by making mistakes yourself.
You can learn from other entrepreneurs’ pitfalls and do your best to steer clear of them in your ecommerce start-up.
In this guide, I’ve put together five pitfalls you hands down need to avoid when starting your ecommerce business.
1. Overlooking business development
Even when you’re still starting your business, you should never overlook business development.
Doing so allows you to map out your game plan to grow your business. I helps you track your performance, project your income and expenses, plan how to appropriate your resources effectively, etc.
It also helps you foresee possible obstacles and build a game plan to tackle them — even before they happen to you.
If you overlook your business development, you may miss as well the sales and promotional opportunities you could have grabbed had you planned in the first place.
Yes, creating and designing your products is crucial. But so is business development. Both demand your focus, so you must learn to balance your attention to these things.
Doing that gives your ecommerce start-up more chances to succeed in the long run.
2. Using an ecommerce platform that lacks crucial features.
The ecommerce platform you choose has a major impact on your business. It can either propel your online business to succeed or it can lead your business straight to the gutters.
For instance, the platform you’re using might lack supporting plugins and features that are essential to your business. And because of the features that your platform lacks, you’ll find yourself spending more to integrate third-party plugins into your platform.
The cost of subscribing to several plugins in itself can be quite expensive, when you factor in the amount you’ll spend for integration, you’ll realize that you ended up spending quite a lot for the new plugin and its integration because your ecommerce platform lacks features.
Now, compare that to how things would be if your ecommerce platform had the functionality and features that you need built into it.
You won’t have to spend extra for the third-party subscription. You won’t have to spend for the integration process. Etc.
To make the long story short, with a robust ecommerce platform, you win big time.
When selecting your ecommerce platform, you may want to consider factors like:
- Where most of your target shoppers go to;
- Items you plan to showcase and sell;
- Amount of control you wish to exercise on your website;
- Kind of plug-ins you need to install and integrate;
- How you prepare to scale your business;
- Budget and affordability;
- Technical support;
- Payment processing integration and features;
- Choosing between templated or customized website design;
- Hosting services and loading speed;
- Overall shopping experience offered.
3. Neglecting market research and buyer persona.
Market research and forming your buyer personas is vital when you’re launching your ecommerce business.
If you don’t thoroughly understand who your customers are, you’ll have a difficult time communicating and convincing them to patronize your products.
That’s why you need to grasp what captures your shoppers’ commitment, their likes and dislikes, and more.
You can uncover all that when you do your market research and form your buyer persona.
When forming your buyer persona, ask yourself, Who is my ideal or target buyer? What characteristics does he have? What are their pain points? Etc.
Together with your market research, you can map out your ideal customer’s demographic profile, what appeals to them, why they might need your product, and more.
A stable market research and buyer persona help you strategize buyer-centered marketing campaigns and build a resonant experience, so they can go all-in when responding to your offers.
4. Disregarding cybersecurity and site maintenance
Did you know that 54 percent of small businesses think they’re too small to be targeted by cybercriminals?
As a result, they disregard cybersecurity and then regret it when they get hacked.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Hackers love to target start-ups and small ecommerce enterprises because they often don’t have the right cyber defenses.
These make it painless for hackers to penetrate your network and steal your customer data.
When your data gets stolen, you can lose wads of money, a reputable name, and your customers’ trust. You can even close your business within six months.
Customers now value ecommerce cybersecurity. They’re on the lookout if your site is encrypted and guaranteed safe for processing payments.
Hence, at the onset, you must apply the best cybersecurity measures and display any certifications to assure your customers that your site is safe.
You must also remember to maintain your site regularly to ensure its continued smooth performance.
5. Having a poor website UX/UI
If you stumbled upon this site, would you still decide to continue purchasing their items?
You answered with a big fat “NO,” didn’t you?
The text and links overlap so that you couldn’t read and click them properly. The right buttons for buying are hard to find. Its horrible layout even makes you doubt if this site is legit.
A general sign of a poor website user experience is when your customers have difficulty finding what they’re looking for and your website elements aren’t working.
If your products are not in relevant categories, your product pages contain the wrong information, or links don’t lead to the right pages, and more, you can irk your customers and repel them.
In contrast, excellent web design and UX/UI looks like this:
Products are in the right menus so that you can find them quickly. The site is clean, and you know where to go if you want to sign in, search for items, contact the seller, and more.
Functionality, seamless navigation, logical links and pages, and aesthetics are some of the marks of a top-selling ecommerce website.
If your site doesn’t have those traits, your customers can leave without purchasing anything. They can even discourage their friends and followers from patronizing your brand.
What do you think are some of the worst ecommerce mistakes that entrepreneurs can make when starting a business?
If there are ideas, horror stories, or ecommerce tips that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section below. Cheers!