Make your new business a success
This is a truly exciting time for new eCommerce businesses to start their ventures. The shift from traditional purchasing to online purchasing has created a thriving marketplace, and the companies that succeed are set to generate huge profits. Moreover, the financial requirements are far smaller when starting an internet-based company compared to a brick and mortar store while your selling activities are no longer restricted to the local market.
Despite the incredible possibilities, though, building a successful business isn’t a simple task. If it were, everyone would be doing it. Perhaps more importantly, the number of failures easily surpasses the success stories. The harsh reality is that many inexperienced eCommerce ventures fall victim to the same issues time and time again.
If you’re new to the world of online business, here are six faux pas you should avoid at all costs.
Mistake #1: Having No Defined Audience
When starting any business, reaching the biggest possible audience will naturally be one of the top items on your agenda. However, the harsh reality is that only a small number of eCommerce retailers truly boast a universal appeal, which is why being overly broad could come back to haunt you.
Market research is an essential part of the eCommerce strategy, as a defined target audience will help guide you to greater success in virtually every element of the business. From perfecting your brand to choosing the right product designs, building a company that resonates with the target market will instantly give you an advantage over the rest.
There are many ways to define gain a more in-depth insight into the preferences of your demographic. Market research, surveys, focus groups, and trials can all be used to tighten your grip on this situation. When you tailor the website and the business to the needs of the target audience, the opinions of outsiders won’t matter.
Mistake #2: Selling The Wrong Products
Running a successful business relies on several key elements. However, none of the other features will count for anything if you don’t have the right products in the first place. This is another reason why an appreciation of your audience and understanding your place in the market is vital from the very start of your journey.
Winning products ultimately need to do one of three things. They can either plug a gap in the market by bringing a completely new function or purpose to the table. Alternatively, they can do what other products do with greater efficiency. Finally, they could do those things but at a cheaper price. Essentially, then, the products need to provide value to the user’s life.
The harsh reality is that consumers and B2B clients are unlikely to switch to your products from their current suppliers unless you give them a valid reason too. While many businesses chase money, it’s often better to focus on something you feel passionate about. If you’d buy your products over the alternatives on the market, others will feel the same.
Mistake #3: Going It Alone
When starting a business, you will want to play an active role and throw yourself fully into the project. While the enthusiasm, commitment, and endeavour are commendable, it’s important to strike a right balance. We all have strengths and weaknesses, along with time restrictions, which is why trying to do it all alone is never the answer.
Building a strong team is one of the most important challenges you’ll ever face and getting it right will provide the driving force to lead you to greatness. However, you don’t have to take the traditional approach to recruitment. Outsourcing your admin, web management, and other key matters to willing freelancers can cut the need for commercial rentals.
Meanwhile, a virtual receptionist can take care of your call and redirect them to your phone when needed. This allows you to provide a winning service without sacrificing your own workload. Finally, if you can find winning packaging and delivery services too, the bulk of the eCommerce model will take care of itself.
Mistake #4: Inadequate Financial Control
Every business decision needs to be a financial decision, not least if yours is a new eCommerce business. While it’s true that it is possible to start a company with very little capital, this cannot be an excuse for failing to control your finances. After all, running out of money before the business becomes profitable is the main reason most startups fail.
Keeping a close eye on your spending habits is vital, especially in terms of reducing unnecessary waste, which can also include ideas aimed to utilise your time in a better fashion. Meanwhile, you need to have systems in place to ensure that clients pay on time. Repayment plans can lead to increased sales but may cause cash flow problems, which is why invoice financing is a great tool too.
Staying organised and using automated payments to avoid late fees and charges will aid your cause too. As an eCommerce platform, one of the most important features, however, is to install a safe and reliable payment system that processes payments from all major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal, ApplePay, and other popular methods. If people can’t pay, you can’t gain sales.
Mistake #5: No Visibility
When building an eCommerce business, you’ll naturally spend a lot of time creating the best website. A great layout and navigation, supported by engaging product photos and descriptions, will establish a solid foundation. However, even the most exciting and persuasive website on the web will be redundant if nobody visits.
In the bid to gain online traffic to your site, Google is your best friend. A strong SEO strategy is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for success while setting up a free Google My Business listing will help too. Blogging, vlogging, and the use of social media pages can be a great way to further increase the awareness, which will simultaneously encourage trust from the users.
Paid online advertising such as PPC is far more cost-effective than traditional marketing campaigns too, so you shouldn’t ignore the benefits of taking this route. Finally, eBay and Amazon stores can be a great way to reach users on those platforms before eventually redirecting them directly to your eCommerce platform for regular sales.
Mistake #6: Poor Customer Care
While providing great products and building an interesting brand is vital, you should not forget the human touch. After all, people buy people. Given that you no longer have the ability to use face-to-face interactions, ensuring that your customer care game is up to scratch should be considered more crucial than ever. Falling short is not an option.
Great customer care can include virtual receptionists, website Live Chat teams, FAQs, clear returns policies, and a host of other factors. Above all else, all customers need to feel that your business is approachable and understanding. When you make a genuine commitment to solving their problems, this will carry a lot of weight, leading to repeat sales.
Moreover, this can be one of the best ways to gain testimonials and positive customer reviews, which will persuade prospective customers to become genuine clients. In truth, the quality of customer care is often the key factor that separates the success stories from the failures. Given how easy it is to get this right, it’s vital that you do.
The Final Word
Running a successful eCommerce business isn’t easy, but your hopes of success become far greater when you know how to avoid the common pitfalls. Take note of the above, and you won’t go far wrong.