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Acknowledged, you have a great product to sell and you are roaring to market it with big dreams and ambitions. But somewhere, even after the commencement, you feel that your venture is being unprofitable. E-commerce is easier said than done. This is precisely the reason why startups fail miserably. Here, it is survival of the fittest that matters. So, let us get the math right and see the top e-commerce mistakes that an entrepreneur should avoid if they have to get their goods selling.
Work out your finances first. Take into account shipping, advertising, tax, production, marketing, listing fees, platform costs, returns and all other overhead costs. Jot down the expenditure and the revenue you will earn from each product sale. With e-commerce, first-time entrepreneurs need to be bitwise in calculating the profits, cash flow, and margins. If you are weak in e-commerce math, you may end up draining all your resources sooner than anticipated.
See how your product is different from others. Rather know how your product can be highlighted in a different and attractive way. Research about the product is important. Remember, you compete among scores of similar products being available in the online market. If you need to go up against them, find your niche.
If you are not aware of what your competitors have to offer, you are sure in for a big disaster. Do a detailed and continuous study on how your competitor markets the product. See where you lag behind from your competitor in marketing aspects and how you can make a different plan that sells. Have a better marketing strategy and the best brand plan.
The major mistake of every entrepreneur is trying to market a lot of products. But alas, you gradually understand that all don’t sell. Thus, the best idea is to stay focused on niche products instead of getting pulled in all directions. Market it with different innovative and appealing concepts. You can start marketing other related products side-by-side gradually.
With the search engines, content works. Once you get hold of the bots, then it is your responsibility to get impressions and convert the leads to potential customers. Content marketing is a must for organic results. Product descriptions should be short and crisp with focus on customer understanding. The input here is to stress on the customer benefits rather than the product features. Plan your content marketing around the customer and not on the product if you are to connect with the audience.
It is a given, freebies and contests are a great way to market your product. But it does not work on every product, financially. You need to do your homework right. Freebies and contests are effective if well-thought of. They help you get more followers on social media. But, what after the contest? Do you have a Plan-B so that your customers do not wither away? Be prepared with the outcome of the contest and its aftereffects, beforehand. Contests and giveaways, otherwise, just drive sales. Do it in such a way that they build the brand.
Have a solid marketing plan before you start off with the marketing of your product. Let it cover all aspects. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, organic content, SEO, social media and digital advertising- keep all the things ready at the time of launch. No matter how prepared you are, new challenges do come your way. But if you have a solid marketing strategy, you can rise steadily without too many hassles.
As a first time entrepreneur, you may want to handle everything yourself. But the end result is that you will burn out yourself quick without any significant sales coming your way. Don’t take pride in a one-man show. Hire a right team for tasks you can delegate. For important positions like customer support, be in a position to control and oversee the operations.
Customers are the authority who gives you valuable feedback on your products and services. They are the key to know how well your product has been able to make a positive impact and what the changes are that needs to be enforced on your product to make them more customer-friendly. Keep the customer updated about your product by offers, emails, and newsletters. Add live chat box to your site and work on building customer reviews so that you get to hear from them.
Allocate some of your resource for PPC and for social media ads. The best option is to not be dependent only on paid ads but put your own SEO efforts so that you get organic searches that convert into sales. Here is the statistic for the percentage of the budget, enterprises put into marketing and advertising obtained by a survey conducted by Marketing Sherpa
As per the Statista survey, more than 60% of the shoppers abandon the purchase when they find unsatisfactory shipping charges or payment gateways. Make available varied payment gateways and shipping options. Be ready with the refunds without unnecessary arguments. Any queries from customers regarding the product and its services have to be immediately and optimistically tackled through live chats and email responses. Most importantly, include the order tracking and reporting system in your e-store.
Have a product description that is relevant and point-wise that covers all the important aspect within the first glance. Try to include video demos and images from the customer point of view. The advantage is that it can be embedded in your blogs and articles and shared on social media.
In a proper e-commerce website, there have to be few clicks for the check-out process with no irrelevant buttons displayed in between. Optimize the registration process to a few steps. The rule of the thumb is to keep the checkout process easy by highlighting the check-out button. This results in trust building between the buyer and the store.
Most of the e-commerce stores will have many products assembled under a common category. This becomes a tedious task for the shoppers to browse through the product catalog. By categorizing your products, a customer can easily enter into the desired section. The shopper has to arrive at his product within 2-3 categories. You can make the selected category more efficient by adding filters. Use simple labels for the category and offer a good quality full-text search.
Its mere presence reassures the buyer that your brand is trustworthy. Be active on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and so on. Testimonials, reviews, likes and comments- all these deeply influence the psychology of the user. Another apt name for this is the social proof. With it, your store gets the user credibility and reliability.
By now, you might be aware that most of the online shopping takes place through mobiles. So if you are not providing for a responsive design you are losing out on about 4 out of 5 shoppers who use mobile devices to carry out their shopping activities on the net. Make sure that your website is mobile-optimized and it seamlessly integrates into whatever device they view.
What is the use of a good e-commerce store design, if you do not rank at the top in search engine results? Have a strong SEO strategy so that your site is listed among the top search results. Have proper SEO plans and focus on keywords, tagging images and the data crawled by the search bots.
Shoddy navigation path in your store design will make the shoppers leave your website never to return back again. To have a seamless buying experience, it is necessary that you incorporate a good navigation and return path in your website. The shoppers will find it useful when they can easily find the way to the product page and backtrack to the homepage without any hassle.
There are dozens of platforms available to build a great e-commerce store. Select the one that is right for you. It must be easy not only for you but also for your visitors. And make sure to get the basics right. Even the minor elements have to be optimized so that you have a user-friendly and easy e-commerce webpage.
Many of the entrepreneurs are short of ideas when the business has to be in a continuity mode. When your e-commerce business starts to give you good leads, inject fresh ideas and changes that will get you sailing through. Be on a continual growth mode. Never hit the pause button.
We have enlisted some of the common eCommerce mistakes that entrepreneurs need to avoid if they are to rule the e-commerce market. Once you are aware of the mistakes you are in a better position to overcome them.
Here below are some guidelines for new entrepreneurs to be successful in e-commerce:
The e-commerce industry is constantly evolving. So you need to keep yourself updated on anything and everything that goes on in the e-commerce industry. Online shopping is here to stay and with a proper e-commerce strategy, you can reap the benefits for years. We have tried to compile the top eCommerce mistakes that entrepreneurs should avoid while planning and designing the website. If you have any other mistakes which can be avoided and some tips that would be beneficial for a novice starting on e-commerce, don’t forget to share it with us in the comment section below. Every tip of yours shall be acknowledged.