Ecommerce is now a must for any business to have an online presence with an ecommerce store front to offer their services and products to the customers all across the globe as well as locally. As we continuously tend to rely on internet technology, entrepreneurs are focusing more & more on their digital front store to reach potential customers whenever and where ever including their computer, tablet or smartphone .
10 mistakes Ecommerce Startup Entrepreneurs Should Avoid :
1) Putting Features Above Strategy: Creating a unique and feature rich website is not all about strategy. You need to think out of box. You must focus more on online marketing, fill white spaces and take innovative initiatives that will lead to success of your ecommerce business.
2) Lack of Competitive Analysis & Research: It is crucial to do competitive analysis & research to get a better understanding of your competition. Keep an eye on big and successful ecommerce stores and research their marketing strategies. You must follow each step in sequence to get succeed online. Define your goal, research your market, plot your presence, create sharing opportunities, feed your campaigns, track, analyze and optimize your marketing campaigns.
3) Not Measuring Performance : Many ecommerce stores measure success from month to month which is in a way wrong because it varies due to seasonal changes & events. You should measure your success yearly, like June 2014 to June 2015. It will give you more precise data and figures and an idea to develop better marketing strategies. Also, add Google Analytics, Webmasters and other ecommerce measurement software to get details of your customers demographics and their behavior on your site. This will help you establish Key performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your success.
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4) Not Having a Marketing Plan & Promotions Strategy: The need for ecommerce industry is growing and it might not be bad idea to consult the experts in the initial phases of your ecommerce setup. Marketing and promotional aspects of your products /services (if applied correctly) can give you necessary boost and allow you to hit the ground running. Most of the visitors/traffic comes from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. So you must have an effective strategy to engage in marketing practices to get your website listed on popular search engines. Advertising can demote your brand if it is not done properly. Select a platform for advertising that fits your demographic audience and industry while considering click-through rate (CTR), data reach, frequency cost per click, and open rate of the advertiser’s sponsorship among other metrics.
5) Think Twice Before You Negotiate on Contracts: In ecommerce, you always have to deal with contracts with your customers, employees or advertisers. It is important to make sure you deal with your contracts properly in order avoid adverse effects on your business. Be cautious not to under price your items on product marketplaces, suppliers, distributors and dealers.
6) Not Having Mobile Friendly or Responsive Design: Responsive or mobile friendly designs the foremost step for your website aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of re-sizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones, tablets, iPads, desktop computer monitors). Ecommerce is evolving faster than ever with the rise of mobile commerce or m-commerce. Smartphones & tablets are almost everywhere by now so people like to shop via mobile phones. Your Website should be designed to not only be visually appealing but it should have clear navigation that makes the online shopping experience easy. It may be noted about 80% of sites are non responsive in design thereby losing their mobile traffic every day.
7) Not Selecting the Right Ecommerce Website Technology: Most of the entrepreneurs choose solutions that are short term but have to redesign and develop their new ecommerce website which is time consuming and costly. Also, it’s a good practice to choose a better solution which allows adding features easily without having custom code them from scratch like WordPress (woo-commerce) or Magento. Your site must be user friendly with scalable, flexible, latest payment/shipping integration features and must adapt to the growing consumer needs with mobile friendly (responsive) design for mobile users. Make sure you follow the latest SEO tools to get traffic from different search engines including Google, Bing & Yahoo! According to a survey commissioned by United Parcel Service Inc, more than 70% of shoppers prefer to shop online.
8) Not Leveraging Customer Data – Poor Mailing List Management: You should build an email marketing list to make sure your customer trusts you more than anyone else. It’s much easier to convince an existing customer to buy something than to try to sell to a brand-new prospect. With a list of buyer addresses, you can increase sales by creating customized campaigns to get repeat customers.
9) Imbalance in Understanding Supply and Demand Needs: Always make sure there is a balance between supply & demand. As you know, brick & mortar stores have limited space to offer products to a huge number of customers sometimes. But in case of an ecommerce store, you have an unlimited space to offer services online. But remember one thing, you shouldn’t confuse a consumer with thousands of products instead make sure you offer him only what he is actually searching for! It will keep balance between supply & demand thereby will make you trustworthy for consumers.
10) Poor Customer Experience and Feedback: Customer experience & feedback is important for an ecommerce store. By now, you have some good reasons as to why visitors are not converting. To gather more data, start getting feedback from your customers. What customers expect and what is delivered to them are not always same. To fix this, internet marketing technology is needed to collect and analyze customer feedback.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.