We have come up with a list of the most common mistakes that e-commerce entrepreneurs make, that keep them from reaching the summit. We will also talk about the steps that you can take to steer clear or rectify these mistakes.
1) Choosing the Wrong Platform:
Whether you have been an online seller for some time, or are just starting off on your e-commerce journey, the e-commerce platform that you choose can certainly go on to define your business success.
Alongside determining how you sell and showcase your products, your e-commerce platform will also determine your marketing approach and the tactics that you employ in order to attract buyers.
There are a number of factors that you should consider when choosing an e-commerce platform, with some of the most important ones being:
- The product(s) that you will be offering
- Your scalability plans
- The degree of control that you want over your business website
- The tools that you will integrate the platform with
- Your budget or range
- Custom v/s template design
- The type of experience that you want to offer your customers
It is crucial that your e-commerce platform complements your growth and scalability plans, is compatible with your current systems, and offers the level of customization and control that you are looking for.
Going with the wrong platform can cause a host of issues, such as:
- Loss of revenue
- Traffic reductions
- Lower conversions
- Poor design
- Security issues
Ultimately, you will be forced to either update your current e-commerce platform or switch to a new one, leading to further losses of time, energy, and money.
2) Ignoring Market Research:
Did you know that 56% customers believe that businesses do not have a deep understanding of their customers’ needs?
Ramit Sethi, a popular marketing teacher and personal-finance author, entrepreneurs are like fishermen.
Good fishermen do not get down to business on the first water pool that they find, praying that the fish will find the net. Instead, they research the areas with the most fish, and then offer something that the fish will find impossible to refuse.
So, it is important that you research the fishing holes, using tools like Google searches, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, forums, and competitor reviews. These platforms can provide you with a wealth of information, ranging from customer expectations to product information. This means that you can also use these platforms (or fishing holes) to test the waters with regards to your e-commerce business. For
Make sure that you research these platforms on a regular basis, and use your findings to effectively target customers.
It is important that you create a ‘customer persona’, which is a profile of your ideal customer. In order to prepare a realistic customer profile, you will need to research the following information:
- Your target market’s demographics (such as gender, age, income, and marital status)
- Your target market’s pain points
- The solutions that your customers have already tried
- The reasons that those solutions did not help
- Your customers’ values
- Your customers’ preferred online platforms
- The type of language that resonates with your customers
- The problems that your product will be able to solve
Armed with the above information, you will be able to market your products to the people who are the likeliest to buy them, in a way that tempts them to try your products out.
3) Poor Website UX and Complex Navigation:
When creating an e-commerce website, you must find the perfect balance between design and functionality. It is important that your website looks good, but it is also equally (if not more) important that your website converts visitors into customers.
This means that the website should use simple terms, make the content easy to find, and should have no dysfunctional features.
In order to achieve this, it is best to hire a website UX expert who can optimize the site for seamless navigation and an ideal user experience. Such a website will allow users to find their desired information in a quicker and easier manner, which will increase the likelihood of conversions and sales.
4) Ignoring the Importance of High-Quality Images:
Using pictures provides you with a golden opportunity to make your product seem attractive – and even irresistible – to your target market. You could offer the most premium line of products, but poor-quality photographs can make those items seem subpar or worse. At the same time, professionally-clicked pictures can go a long way in making your products stand out for the better.
In addition, using high-quality pictures increases your websites’ authenticity and integrity in the eyes of customers, while no or inadequate images serve the opposite purpose.
5) Not SEO-Optimizing Your Website Content:
If you rely on attracting customers through organic traffic, then you must make sure that your content is optimal for your visitors as well as for the search engines that the users utilize.
Unfortunately, content is an afterthought for a lot of e-commerce businesses, especially newer ones. Instead, you should view every content piece as a new opportunity to boost website traffic and increase conversion rates.
Right from the landing page to the product descriptions, every piece of content written on your website must be relevant to your customer’s persona, optimized for search engines, and encourage visitors to hit the ‘Buy’ button.
Whether you are going DIY or using the services of an SEO agency, it is crucial that your web content is SEO-friendly. This means preparing copies that are primed to convert and sell, and including keywords that your target market is expected to use in its search queries.
6) Having a Complex Checkout Process:
You do not want to put in the hard yards in making your products desirable to customers, only to find them abandoning their carts at the final junction.
There can be many causes behind customers abandoning the purchase process, but one of the main reasons is an overly-complex checkout process.
If you leave your buyers to just navigate their way through a non-intuitive checkout process, do not be surprised to see conversion rates that are abnormally low.
In order to avoid such a situation, make sure to keep the checkout process easy and straightforward. One of the key ways that you can do this is by providing a ‘guest checkout option’ – this will allow customers to complete the purchase without having to spend time and effort in creating a new account.
Clearly list down all the steps in the purchase process, and make sure that the ‘action’ buttons are eye-catching and prominent.
Also, make sure that you are not blindsiding the buyers with any additional fees or other terms – define and clarify everything right from the get-go. Your customers will not buy from you if they cannot trust you – and such sneaky or conniving tactics tend to get in the way of trust.
7) Not Offering Adequate Customer Service:
‘Customer service’ is a broad term, and involves:
- Responding to messages on the website.
- Responding to comments and questions on social media platforms.
- Addressing customer complaints made through email or phone.
Basically, your customer service can be determined by how you handle any customer interaction that requires your support and attention.
Lack of customer support (such as no, unhelpful, or delayed responses; displaying impatience; and resisting refunds) is a surefire way to drive away your current customers and make it extremely difficult to attract any new ones.
Whether they want to acquire information or to follow up on a purchase, your customers and users should be able to access you at every point throughout the buying process. By making yourself accessible, you can minimize your customers’ problems and, should they run into any issues, you are in a position to address them in a timely and effective manner.
Remember that, without customers, you have no business – not to mention that it is far easier to retain a current customer. Having said that, providing quality customer support services will encourage your existing buyers to send their family, friends, and acquaintances your way, thereby helping you boost your business further.
In order to reach the zenith of your industry, you must make sure that you learn from your rivals’ mistakes, while minimizing your own. We hope that this blog helped you identify the most common pitfalls in the world of e-commerce, and how you can avoid these in order to increase traffic, improve conversions, and boost revenue.