Starting an eCommerce – Mistakes to Avoid

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Avoid starting an eCommerce store on the wrong foot. Choose the right platform
Starting an eCommerce store has never been easier with the emergence of numerous platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, etc., offering ease of service. In fact, you can literally design and set up your own store in under 15 minutes.

But getting in the game is just the tip of the iceberg.

Most people fail to realize that eCommerce is not about setting up a shop. Instead, it’s more of an endurance game; who can stay longer. And in the eCommerce game, many have tried, and countless have failed.

You need to clear and account for many hurdles to stay in business. Here, we share with you nine crucial mistakes that are common among newbies in eCommerce, which you can avoid.

1. Not Having a Logo

Most businesses fail in eCommerce because they fail to understand their own identity. Hence, they end up with an identity crisis, as they figure out what they want to be and do. A big part of that identity is your brand’s logo.

A logo is one of the first things your potential customers notice about you. As such, it becomes the source of their initial impression of your business. Having a good logo can influence how your potential customers perceive your business.

Choose a memorable logo. A memorable logo is unique. It communicates your brand’s philosophy and its personality and helps your brand stand out from the crowd.

Use brandable colors. Different colors can have different meanings and will evoke various emotions in your audience. Choose colors that coincide with the effect you want to produce.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a designer to have a good logo. There are designers online that can do it at lower prices. You can even go the DIY route and design it yourself.

2. Choosing the Wrong eCommerce Platform

One of the biggest mistakes when starting an eCommerce store is selecting the wrong platform. While there are options out there that may have the best features or offer the best prices, not all of them are equally suitable – and not all of them were made for you.

Before setting up your own store, make sure you understand all features, prices, customizability, and even scalability requirements. For instance, if you currently have limited stocks, you might not want to have unlimited listings as a feature as it might cost you more than you can afford to pay.

There are a variety of factors that you should consider when choosing an eCommerce platform:

  • What type of product are you planning to offer?
  • How do you plan to scale your business?
  • How much control do you want to have?
  • What features do you want to integrate into your business?
  • How much are you willing to pay?
  • What level of customization do you want in the design?
  • What kind of experience are you ready to offer your customers?

3. Having No Marketing Strategy

More often than not, the excitement is just too much to bear that we end up diving headfirst without actually measuring the water. Similarly, creating an online business without a clear marketing strategy is eCommerce suicide. Unlike the old adage “build it, and they will come,” in this case, they will not!

Building and growing an eCommerce business will take time and will require a clear marketing strategy to have the necessary traffic and customer base to sustain growth. Remember that there are over a billion sites already on the internet. Amidst all that, no matter how beautiful your site or products are, your customers will be unable to find you.

As part of your marketing strategy, you need to define two things: your market and your action plan.

Your Market

Having products and a place where you can display them (your website) simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to ecommerce. You need to clearly define your target audience and take time to understand who they are and what makes them tick. To do this, you need to perform market research and make sure that:

  1. They really have a demand that you can meet.
  2. You understand how to reach out to them.
  3. You can develop a strategy that puts your target audience front and center.

Your Action Plan

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you are now in a better position to present your products to them. You can now create an action plan as a second step for reaching out to your prospects. It entails selecting an appropriate marketing channel, choosing what content to produce, and standards with which to measure its effectiveness.

4. Underpricing Products

There are countless stories of eCommerce businesses that have failed to account for various costs into their prices and ultimately sank. That is why it is essential to perform financial analysis before you set your prices so you won’t end up losing money.

You need to account for shipping costs, overhead, production, shipping, and taxes. You also have to consider your business costs, such as income tax, which are not directly related to production but they still make part of the equation. Everything should be accounted for in your pricing scheme so you won’t end up charging $15 for a shirt that costs $25 to produce.

Additionally, the eCommerce industry constantly changes. You will need to update your prices from time to time to keep them competitive.

5. Failing to Talk to Customers

We all know that the customers are the lifeblood of an eCommerce business. And your goal shouldn’t be to have customers making a single purchase. Instead, it would be best if you aimed to have recurring customers. Hence, it would help if you always make an effort to take good care of your customers. That means interacting with them, accepting valuable feedback after every purchase, and accounting for their feedback to improve your product.

Stay in touch with your customers. It shouldn’t take too much time when you are in a phase of starting an eCommerce. Send them updates through a weekly newsletter and send them offers for staying loyal to the business. Invest in opening newer channels that make it easier for them to keep in touch with you. Not only is it easier to keep existing officers, but it’s also more profitable as they offer you more business when you show them fantastic customer service.

6. Spending Too Much Too Early

Most new businesses often succumb to outside pressure early on by keeping up with those who already developed their businesses, forgetting they are just starting an eCommerce. They want to achieve more growth and increase sales instantly. As such, they fall victim to pitches made by marketing companies that promise high volumes of traffic through PPC and quick SEO results. While these are undoubtedly helpful in the long run, when you’re still on a low budget, these will only drain your resources.

When starting an eCommerce business, think about growing your skills as you grow your business. It will make any growth you achieve more sustainable than trying to achieve too much too early into the process. Research and timing are everything. Otherwise, you might find yourself locked in a contract that might leave you struggling to achieve any form of growth in the first place.

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