E-commerce businesses are a booming industry. There are many channels and avenues that can lead to a profitable business. Many people are running successful revenue generating organizations selling via places in like eBay and Amazon. But for those who want to run their own store there are also a lot of e-commerce platforms to choose from such as Shopify, Woocommerce or Bigcommerce. Platforms aside, for people looking to get into this industry it can be pretty overwhelming to know what to do and what NOT to do when getting started. So here are 7 mistakes to avoid when starting a new e-commerce business.
1. Not carving out a niche
Trying to kick things off with too many target customers and too many products can be detrimental to your e-commerce startup. When you’re new to this world adding additional balls to juggle in the form of different products and offerings along with more target audiences to identify can mean that you’re not focusing on a number of items small enough that you can do well. Many times, depending on your niche it’s worth having a select few items that you can really drive a profit with before you look to incorporate anything else.
2. Not knowing how and where to target your customers
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to digital marketing. Every business, niche and set of target customers is going to require a different strategy and approach. For example if you make intricate handmade beaded necklaces then Etsy might be of great platform for you to incorporate into your plan. But for somebody who sells aftermarket car parts Etsy is probably not the best place to be investing your time. So it’s not always a great approach to try and replicate what other e-commerce businesses are doing especially in other niches. Their activities are not a blueprint for your success.
3.Thinking your target market will come to you
Wrong! Building an audience and loyal customer base takes blood, sweat and time – OK sometimes tears too. So it’s definitely not a case of set up your site and you will be found. The way you market to your most valuable audience is going to vary per business but you may have a combination of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, Pay-Per-Click Advertising and even traditional media. Every business should have a marketing budget worked into their plan. If you currently cannot afford to have experts come in and work with you on your digital marketing it may be worth you setting a plan in place so you can work towards that because sales and marketing can make or break a business.
4. Undervaluing the power of words and images
You may think you have a great product and that it would be of value to potential customers but part of your job as an e-commerce business owner is to persuade your target market that they can’t live without your products. Having superbly crafted content and engaging images are not only great for your brand but will resonate better with customers. You want to create an enjoyable experience for them and part of that is their interaction with your online store. Don’t make the mistake of not investing resources and time into this.
5. Trying to do everything yourself
This is often a big mistake many business owners make, not just in the e-commerce world. This is a great thing to do if you want to burn yourself out and not be able to efficiently scale your business. It’s important to work with the right experts to assist with the huge volume of work so that you can stay in your zone of genius and work in the specific areas in which you excel.
6. Picking a bad business name or domain name
You want to start off on the right foot and try not to lock yourself into anything super specific where you may then need to rebrand to reflect your next product offerings. Rebranding after you have worked to build an audience can be very costly and is often confusing to your existing customer base. Make sure to think about what impact your choices could have on the future of your business.
7. Poor website infrastructure and navigation
Don’t do this. Just don’t. There’s no excuse with all of the amazing talent out there in the search engine optimization world. Many digital marketing & SEO agencies will work with business owners on pre-launch SEO packages to make sure that everything is set up for long term success. Think SEO is not worth the investment at this stage? Imagine losing your (likely limited) search engine visibility and all your hard work because your url paths need to be changed so that you can achieve your business goals in the long term. Invest in your own success and kick things off from a great position with strategic website infrastructure and navigation.
Whether you are new to e-commerce or have dabbled in the past, this industry as with all online based channels is forever changing at a fast pace. It’s important to set yourself up for success and know when to outsource so that you can enjoy long term success. Get in touch with our team to discuss E-Commerce SEO services.