6 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an E-commerce Store

While it’s true that you learn from your mistakes, most people will agree that it’s better not to make them in the first place. Here, are the most common mistakes you should avoid when launching your online business.

If you want to be successful, be consistent

1. Not Identifying Your Target Audience

If you were asked who your ideal customer is, you would probably say ‘everyone,’ but that would be misleading. Your business can’t satisfy the need of every consumer, and that should not frustrate you. You should focus on identifying who your products or services will be appealing to and strategise on how you can meet their needs. By not identifying your primary target consumers, you may not be effective in marketing to them directly. Your eCommerce business will have an advantage over more established companies if you can find a way to target a niche audience.

2. Using an Unreliable Webhost

Customers will be visiting your website at any time of the day. Therefore, failing to always have a site that’s online may result in a loss of revenue, because time is money on the internet. To ensure that your online store is served by a reliable web host, do enough research before using the services of any provider. Also, ensure that you commit to a trusted payment gateway services provider so that you don’t experience any difficulties with accepting payments online.

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3. Not Paying Attention to Customer Service

Despite the fact that you’re doing business on the web and don’t have face-to-face interaction with your customers, your customer service has to be up to standard. In fact, an online business’s customer service should exceed that of a regular store since most eCommerce transactions revolve around trust and the store’s reputation. Good customer service means that your customers should be able to reach you if they have any questions or complaints, meaning that your store’s contact details should be prominently displayed.

4. Failing to Do Research on Your Competitors

You can’t have a successful eCommerce business if you don’t know who you’re competing against. This relates to various issues. For example, you could price yourself out of the market if your closest competitor is selling similar products but selling them at cheaper prices than you. Similarly, your competitor’s products could be perceived to be better than yours, and it would be difficult to come up with a competitive strategy without having done your research.

5. Not Optimising Your Website

One of the biggest mistakes first-time online business entrepreneurs make is not optimising their websites for online shoppers, which costs them sales. Consumers are quick to leave a website that takes too long to load; according to a Kissmetrics report, 47% of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less. If your website does not load fast enough, even if you have a great product or service, customers will quickly move to a competitor.

6. Not maximizing social media

 E-commerce entrepreneur and educator Ezra Firestone says it’s also important to master platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google. Make your brand accessible and pull your customer into your company’s story with sneak peeks of new offerings and behind-the-scenes photos. Says Firestone, these platforms can also help you create a dialogue with customers in order to know and serve them better and survey them on which direction to take your business.

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