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Easy Mistakes New eCommerce Store Owners Make

eCommerce mistakes
  • Written By Livie
  • Posted October 26, 2018
  • 6 minutes Read Time

Starting up your own eCommerce store is never easy, especially if your a first timer and along the way of your eCommerce journey you may have made some mistakes. Some mistakes could have been very costly and some a little more harmless, although making mistakes is frustration it’s often the best way to improve later down the line.

Here is our list of easy mistakes that eCommerce owners make so you don’t make the same ones on your own store.

Market Research Fail

When launching your store, it’s often that you start off with just a few products and then grow over time. Usually, after your first few sales, it’s easy to get very optimistic and start to include a wider range of products immediately. But wait! One of the first things you need to get down is doing your market research and seeing what your customers really want.

It’s so easy to get carried away and go on a bit of a “creation spree” and designing new styles and products, but just because you like them and were fun to create doesn’t mean they will sell making it harder to generate an initial profit.  

One of the best bits of advice here is to do one thing really well rather than being just okay at fifty other things. In other words, put an emphasis on just one product type with a few different themes or using the same theme across a different number of products.

It’s also a good idea to spend a few weeks learning about what types of products sell well online as well as conducting your own research about your competitors instead of just diving straight into it then wondering why it’s not working. If you are taking the leap into the eCommerce space try and talk to as many ‘experts’ in the industry as possible, do thorough research and asses your competition closely.

Doing Everything Yourself

In the very early days of your eCommerce store, you will more than likely be doing everything yourself, from the designing of products through to your marketing strategies, but you will find out easy enough that it’s a good way to burn yourself out!

Undervaluing key positions like customer support is often an initial mistake often made, hiring decent customer support within your country you operate from to look after your customers will be a great investment and there is no shame in asking for a little help.

While building up your eCommerce business, it’s important to find experts to help with the workload which will, in turn, help you achieve to reach your goals faster.

While building up your eCommerce business, it’s important to find experts to help with the workload which will, in turn, help you achieve to reach your goals faster.

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Not Focusing on Business Development

A lot of peoples favourite parts of actually running their own business is having the freedom and being able to turn their ideas in their heads into tangible goods. For creative people who are creating their products, it can sometimes be hard to sit down and focus on the sales aspect of running a business when all they want to do is create their products. More times than most this means beginning eCommerce stores don’t have much in the likes of marketing and will just put things out there without having an actual plan.

Take some time and put a pause on the creation side and spend some decent time on your marketing efforts, sales and overall business developments. You need to be aggressive with your sales tactics to grow a business, especially in the eCommerce world.

When you first launch your store it’s easy to be bought into the rhetoric that everyone will hate your brand of you start sending out emails often and think you may come across as spammy. This, however, is not true! If you carefully segment your email list so that you’re sending people products they might actually have some interest in, a lot more will open, click and purchase than you think. Those who don’t will just delete the email so don’t worry about people developing an inner fiery hate for your brand.

Finding The Perfect Platform For Your Products

When you first start selling your products online you may favour platforms like etsy. While it’s a great platform you may feel like it’s not making the progress you are wanting it too. If you start putting your products on Amazon or even its own Shopify store you may see your sales quickly start to rise.

There are a lot of sellers that benefit from the Amazon partnerships, some may be better suited for a niche platform catering to a more specific demographic. You do need to think about whether you would search for your product on Amazon, if not then don’t go down this route as if people won’t search for it there is just no point. You will be surprised how often people don’t market to the right audience.

Branding Yourself For Success

Entrepreneurs will pick their domain name and not necessarily think about SEO and product relevance. Pick a name that tells people what it is you sell but also be aware for your brand’s growth in the future.

An example of this would be a company that sells canvas prints and calls their business around those products, but over time they may expand to selling other products such as pillows, T-Shirts and greetings cards but still under a name solely speaking about selling canvas prints. Yes, you are able to rebrand later down the line but it will be costly and also confusing to your buyers so just bear product growth in mind while choosing your name.

This is the beauty of eCommerce, everyone on the planet with an internet connection is a potential customer and it’s relatively easy to expand into new product categories and ranges. Make sure your company name isn’t the thing holding you back.

Failing To Communicate With Your Customers

With orders your needed to fulfil and marketing campaigns to get out, customer research and feedback can often fall by the wayside. Your customers can be the ones that provide you with valuable feedback about your products, but will also shad a light on how they’re actually finding you.

It’s important to keep close contact with your customer’s post-purchase. You can keep in contact via various offers and newsletters, however, this method is missing that personal touch.

Adding in chat boxes to your site will mean you will get to hear from people more often. Start reaching out to customers personally and hear about their experience first hand.

Underpricing Your Products

It’s important to do a financial analysis that takes into account shipping returns, and all overhead costs to properly price up your products. Margins and cash flow is everything and eCommerce can be very expensive which means you can often lose money and not even know it if you aren’t up to date with your numbers.

So, whether you’re an eCommerce novice or a pro, the industry is constantly changing. It’s so important to keep yourself updated on everything from SEO algorithm changes to platform fees. Online shopping isn’t going to go away so get started with eCommerce and today and if you play the game right you will benefit from it for years to come.