Most Common Mistakes When Starting an E-commerce Business
Beginners in the e-commerce world face a great challenge – how to create a successful online store and not to forget about anything? It may be overwhelming and stressful, but it’s important to stay pragmatic and prepare a step by step plan, focus on priorities. Today we prepared a list of 10 most common mistakes made by beginners in the e-commerce industry. Treat it as your benchmark when checking what is your store missing and what to improve. Let’s start with a list!
1. Trying to build an online store on your own
Instead of using one of the e-commerce building platforms, many merchants are trying to be self-sufficient. On the one hand, it gives them complete freedom, but on the other hand, there’s just so much more work to do in that scenario. When starting an e-commerce business, we recommend using one of the e-commerce building platforms, to save time and money. It’s also crucial to choose the right platform for business. There are many e-commerce website builders available on the market, with different features and various limitations. We have prepared a short review of 5 platforms that are the best ones, in our opinion. Feel free to check it out here.
2. Extremely wide range of products
It’s best to start with a few types of products but of high quality. It’s easier to manage a shop with a smaller amount of products at the beginning. This way a store owner can learn the whole process and check the demand on the market. If the business goes well, it can always be expanded later.
3. Poor product descriptions
A thorough, yet concise product description and a matching photo is a must. Customers need to know exactly what they buy since it’s an online business we are talking about. They have no opportunity to see and touch the product before purchasing it, so a good description is a fundament of customers’ trust.
4. Ignoring mobile users
Mobile phones are an inherent part of people’s lives nowadays. So an online store which is not mobile-friendly loses a significant number of customers. And by mobile-friendly we mean simplifying store’s navigation on a mobile phone, enabling screen size adaptation, etc.
5. Forgetting about customer service
Even though we are talking about an online store here, this still requires contact with customers. It involves much more effort, but shouldn’t be neglected. What are the options to make contact with shoppers? There are a few. A dedicated “Contact” page is a must. Customers have to be able to easily find an e-mail address and a phone number or a contact form to fill in. Other options include a support chat or a newsletter.
6. Skipping the testing phase
We strongly recommend testing the e-commerce store before going live. It’s possible to test it on your own, but we encourage you to ask other people to do it as well. Just go through the website, check if all pages are responsive, go through the purchase process, test if the navigation is intuitive and clear. Testing phase helps merchants understand customers’ preferences and improve their shopping experience.
7. Overcomplicating the purchase process
Nobody wants to click through ten pages before being able to purchase an item. Many customers simply give up halfway. The checkout process needs to be simple and effective to decrease the number of shopping cart abandonment. It’s recommended to place as much information as possible on one page to limit the necessity to redirect customers to different sites.
8. No “About Us” page
It’s surprising how many e-commerce stores forget about this page. It shouldn’t be the case, since “About us” page is one of the most powerful tools to build a trust-based relationship with a customer. It gives businesses an opportunity to tell their story and remind shoppers that even though it’s an online store, there are real people behind it, working hard to make it successful.
9. Lack of social proof
Social proof is another way of earning customers’ trust. It’s an undeniable fact, that people are more willing to buy something if they see other people’s reviews of the product. The comments section is one of the most important parts of an online store.
10. Missing SEO and marketing strategy
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is one of the marketing tools. Its goal is to increase the visibility of a website (in this case, an e-commerce store) in the search engine results. It focuses on free and organic search results. Together with paid advertising, like Google Shopping Ads, it makes a perfect combination that allows to drive traffic to the store and increase sales.
These are the most common mistakes in the process of creating an e-commerce store. Avoiding them will surely increase your chances for a successful and prosperous online business! In case you need some extra help with any of the above points or with building an online store in general, don’t hesitate to contact us. In Heraldbee we can not only automate your Google Shopping campaign but also build and optimize your e-commerce store.