This lucrative environment has prompted entrepreneurs from all over the world to venture into the digital realm and establish their own online stores in the hopes of snagging a sizable piece of this grand financial cake.
While the Ecommerce industry certainly is an opportune environment, that doesn’t mean that success will come easy, simply due to the sheer number of competitors.
What’s more, there are numerous mistakes an inexperienced entrepreneur can make along the way that could cost them their business, and their livelihood.
The Ecommerce industry is a competitive one. If you are to stand a chance against established and recognizable stores in your niche, you will need to build a powerful brand identity that will set you apart from the rest.
Without it, the customer will feel no real emotional incentive to leave its trusted online suppliers and join your side.
Instead of creating a run-of-the-mill store and focusing on bland product descriptions and sales-y landing pages, concentrate on creating a unique visual identity and a compelling tone of voice that will capture the attention of your audience.
Forcing innovation when nobody wants it
There is a need to discern between thinking out of the box and being creative, and being annoyingly innovative or inventive when people just want to enjoy a laid-back shopping experience.
A common mistake among novice entrepreneurs is that their overzealous nature forces them to be overly innovative in a desperate attempt to reinvent the wheel that works perfectly fine as is.
It’s a tried-and-tested approach that will yield amazing results.
Saving money on your visual identity
Your visual identity is an inextricable part of your brand. For your audience, it’s one of the main factors that will influence their decision-making process.
Your visual identity matters, and there is no excuse for skimping on a modern, sleek, beautiful website design.
Yes, a beautiful online presentation will cost you more, but the long-term benefits will be worth the investment.
Allowing accounts receivable to disappear
Finance management is one of the most important elements of a thriving Ecommerce store, yet many entrepreneurs fail to tend to this complex task with the dedication and mindset it deserves.
In such a competitive business environment, there can be no room for mistake, and most importantly, there can be no room for missing or unpaid invoices.
Managing your revenue stream with accuracy and efficacy is imperative for maintaining cash flow and reaching your financial goals, so eliminating runaway accounts receivable should be one of your main priorities.
The key here is to invoice your customers promptly, define strict terms and conditions for your line of credit, and collect on your invoices as soon as possible.
Don’t just rely on your customers to pay their invoices either, but rather consider debtor financing as a viable solution for immediate cash flow needs.
Focusing on a single marketing method
Once you have your finances under control, it’s time to focus on the most powerful growth tool an Ecommerce store has in its arsenal – digital marketing.
The online world is vast and diverse, and its dwellers use a myriad of channels and platforms to communicate, research products, and find the solution for their every problem.
In such a diverse environment, you cannot afford to focus on a single marketing channel.
You need to cover all fronts, so make sure to include content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media marketing and management, and email marketing into your overarching marketing strategy.
Combining these marketing methods will allow you to position your store on every relevant platform and reach the eyes and ears of your target demographic.
Ecommerce website mistakes: casting too wide of a net
Speaking of target demographics, you need to have one. Market research is one of the most important tasks every growth-oriented business needs to tend to in order to obtain relevant insights about its potential customers.
Fail to do this, and you will have no way of tailoring your marketing approach to attract the best type of customer to your website.
The information you dig up should tell you everything about customer profiles, including their interests, their lifestyle, their shopping habits, and the values that drive them.
Optimizing for desktop in a mobile world
Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone and nobody leaves home without it.
People are increasingly browsing the web on the go, and most importantly, they are increasingly browsing the Ecommerce world for products they will either bookmark, or buy via a mobile payment system.
Regardless of the way they choose to finish a purchase, your customers are expecting to enjoy the same level of transparency, flexibility, and responsiveness they would get on the desktop version of your site.
Make sure to optimize your website for mobile users, and take advantage of AMPs for better Google ranking and higher visibility in the online realm.
Failing to implement meticulous technical SEO
How do you expect your customers to find you in a sea of similar online stores?
Without a doubt, they won’t be able to if you fail to implement technical SEO from the very start.
Technical SEO is instrumental in building your reputation with relevant search engines, and will have a major impact on your search engine traffic.
Given the fact that cumbersome Ecommerce sites are extremely prone to SEO errors, you need to tend to thorough website screening every week in order to fix and replace any broken links or misplaces keywords.
Be sure to eliminate all duplicate content and fix all 404, 301, and 302 errors that may occur.
Complicating the shopping journey
Another major mistake commonly found on new online stores is the lack of simplicity and unimpeded flexibility.
In other words, you mustn’t allow your store to raise your customer effort score. In even simpler terms, you should always strive to simplify the shopping journey.
The modern customer may or may not want to create an account on your site, leave that up to them.
They may or may not want to share their information with you, and they might not want to answer questionnaires and surveys.
Leave the boring information forms for later, and instead incentivize them to make a purchase by leaving their basic info, and clicking no more than three times to complete their order.
Last but not least, a surefire way to lose money and customers is to just let them abandon their carts.
Shopping cart abandonment is all-too-present in the online realm, and the stores that manage to get back in touch with their potential customers and incentivize them to finish their purchase are the ones that will succeed in the long run.
With that in mind, focus on creating a strong remarketing strategy entailing the use of targeted ads and email automation to reestablish communication with your potential customers.
The Ecommerce industry is on a never-ending upward trajectory, and its market value is rising fast.
Though this creates a lucrative opportunity for every aspiring entrepreneur, there are many dangers on the road to success that might hinder your progress.
Use these tips to prevent some common mistakes and ensure a successful future in the online world.
Lauren Wiseman is a marketing specialist and an entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in the fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to a business.