E-commerce has become increasingly favored by retailers and wholesalers. Selling products online is considered more efficient than selling them through a brick-and-mortar store. Instead of paying rent and hiring employees, you just have to buy a domain name or utilize the available online marketplaces to sell your products anywhere in the world.
While it seems easy, starting an e-commerce business doesn’t necessarily guarantee you more profits. E-commerce is also full of challenges and those engaged in the business are not spared from mistakes. Here are ten common e-commerce mistakes that every e-commerce business owner should avoid.
1. Choosing the wrong platform.
One of the most common mistakes often made while running an e-commerce business is choosing the wrong platform. Just because a platform has a lot of users or highly popular, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Before choosing a marketplace, you should first understand your own requirements as well as your customer needs. Learn the ins and outs of the platform you’ll be choosing. Figure out their popular or best-selling product and make sure that you have your target market there.
In order to reach more potential customers and increase your sales, consider selling your products across multiple marketplaces at once. Using a marketplace management software will greatly assist you in managing your e-commerce business. The software allows you to access all your sales, pick up and process customer orders, manage stocks and list your products across multiple channels through a single system.
2. Not targeting the right audience.
Have you targeted the right audience? You must be absolutely sure of your answer. Targeting the wrong audience can prevent your business from being profitable. This is why it’s very important to determine your target audience before you start an e-commerce business. Understand your products and create buyer personas that represent your ideal customers.
3. Not delivering good customer service.
Never underestimate customer service. Even if you are not in direct contact with your customers, delivering excellent customer service is still a must. Make it easy for your customers to ask questions related to your products or submit their complaints. Simplify the payment (provide various payment options!), product return and refund processes for your customers.
4. Insufficient product descriptions and images.
Your customers are unable to touch or try your products, therefore the only way to convince them to make a purchase is to provide them with sufficient product descriptions and images. Show your product images from different angles. If one product comes in various colors, be sure to display them as well or at least explain it in the product description.
The product descriptions are not less important than the product images. Include how the product works, the materials, the warranty, the nutritional information (if it’s food), and any other relevant information. Complete product descriptions will avoid unreasonable customer expectations.
5. Confusing check-out process.
A complicated check-out process prevents your customers from paying immediately. To avoid this, you should be able to make the check out process quicker and simpler. Make sure that your customers don’t need to encounter a lot of pages to get to the payment process. Give them social login or guest check-out options so they don’t need to create an account that takes a long time. Also provide some payment options to speed up their payment process, for example via mobile banking or virtual accounts.
6. Not offering appealing shipping options.
One of the things that often escape the attention of e-commerce business owners is the shipping methods. You may think that providing one shipping method is enough. You’re more likely to choose the one that best helps you. But, what about your customers?
You should also consider the shipping methods your customers favor. Customers will rethink making a purchase from you if there’s only one shipping option, especially if it costs as much as the product they’re buying. Using multiple shipping methods will help you ensure your order fulfillment. If your favorite delivery service is inactive, you can still fulfill your orders by switching to another one.
7. Neglecting social media.
Not taking advantage of social media when selling online is one of the biggest e-commerce mistakes. Facebook and Instagram can help you bring in more leads, perhaps more than you expect. So, make sure your e-commerce is always connected to social media.
8. Not designing a mobile friendly e-commerce site.
Most of your potential customers may more often transact via smartphones than desktops. Making purchases via mobile requires minimuml time and effort, let alone it can be done anywhere. So, make sure that your e-commerce looks good in mobile view. Better still if you can allow your customers to view your products seamlessly on any device they’re using.
9. Forgetting SEO.
How are people going to find your e-commerce site? They may be looking for products you sell by entering specific keywords in search engines like Google. Generally, people will only choose websites that appear on the first page. In order for your e-commerce to be listed on the front page, you need to optimize your content to be more SEO friendly.
10. Bad website navigation.
Don’t get too focused on beautifying your e-commerce site while putting your website navigation aside. Poor navigation can cause your potential customers to run off even before they see your products.
Hard-to-find information, lack of buttons and too many font types and colors can make your visitors frustrated. Avoid that situation by providing easy navigation. Make sure that your visitors can easily find the information they are looking for, go from one page to another, and get the options they need.