LAUNCHING AN ONLINE STORE? STEER CLEAR OF THESE 5 COMMON ECOMMERCE MISTAKES
Starting or running an eCommerce store means endless sales, revenue and brand building opportunities for marketers. However, building a new online store has never been easy, considering all the critical decisions you must make – from deciding on a profitable niche to choosing an eCommerce website development platform and building a marketing strategy. Between all these processes and decisions, new marketers make slip-ups that cost them money and time.
Just as you plan and implement various strategies to ensure a successful eCommerce launch, it is important to avoid certain mistakes that other marketers make while launching an eCommerce website to prepare for the success of your new online store.
Keeping that in mind, we have listed some minute but destructive mistakes that you must avoid to eliminate hassles down the road and keep your eCommerce store profitable.
1. CHOOSING THE WRONG ECOMMERCE PLATFORM
Whether you are just launching a new online store or have an eCommerce presence for some time now, the platform you choose to manage your eCommerce business plays a major role in how you attract shoppers, showcase and sell products, generate sales and scale your business over time. A good eCommerce platform would be able to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, offer the desired level of customisation and control and allow your business to grow efficiently.
Here’s a checklist of factors you need to consider while choosing an eCommerce platform:
- What products you plan to offer?
- How much are you willing to spend on your eCommerce solution?
- When and how do you plan to scale your business?
- How much control you want to have over your eCommerce website?
- What tools your platform needs to integrate with?
- Do you have enough technical knowledge to manage the platform on your own or will you consider hiring a professional?
- Do you want a unique design or an in-built template will do?
- What kind of a shopping experience your customers are looking for?
Remember that choosing an inappropriate eCommerce platform for your business could mean the need to invest even more money, time, and energy into updating your platform or migrating to a new one altogether.
2. MOVING FORWARD WITHOUT DEFINING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Having a product to offer and an online space to market it, is not enough to ensure success in the eCommerce landscape. You must also know who are looking for and most likely to buy that product; unfortunately, many marketers make the mistake of considering everyone as their “ideal customer”. Without a defined target audience, you will have no idea who can best use your products/services and how exactly you can market to them.
Defining your target audience, on the other hand, will help ensure that you are selling to the people who need your product. In addition, with an understanding of your target customers, you will be able to better create a brand message that entices them to buy from your store. This will eventually help to deliver an experience that encourages your customers to repeat purchases and stay loyal to your brand.
3. CREATING A DESKTOP-ONLY DESIGN
We no longer live in an era where people had to go out to shop online. Today, shoppers can browse thousands of products not just on their desktop computers but also on their smartphones.
In fact, most of the online transactions happen through smartphones nowadays. According to research data, mobile accounts for more than half of web traffic globally. That said, it is essential for marketers to create a responsive eCommerce design for customers to seamlessly view products on whatever device they use.
4. NOT OPTIMISING YOUR WEBSITE
A functional website with an aesthetically appealing design is not enough to guarantee traffic and sales. You need to make sure your website is optimised for speed and performance. With so many options out there, online shoppers have little to no patience for web pages that load slow. In fact, 47% of consumers expect a website to load within two seconds and 40% of consumers will wait no more than 3 seconds for a web page to load before they abandon the website. So, no matter how unique your products or service may be, people will click away if your website takes too long to load. There are several ways to enhance the speed and performance of your website, including:
- Reducing the number of plugins and unnecessary extensions
- Enable website caching
- Optimising the size of the images
- Moving to a better hosting service
- Utilise a content delivery network (CDN)
- Reducing redirects and HTTP requests
In addition, including a CTA on every page of your website that evokes interest and curiosity will increase your chances of generating conversions and sales.
5. POOR NAVIGATION
There is no point in having a website that looks good and attract users but fails to convert them into paying customers. Nothing can discourage a potential customer from completing their purchase than complex website navigation. It can be quite disappointing for shoppers to click several buttons or go through a hundred pages and confusing website features to finally find the information they have been looking for. Not only can it cause irritation, but poor navigation can also increase cart abandonment on your website.
It is important to optimise your website in a way that allows visitors to easily navigate product descriptions, product images, checkout page, and get back to the home page instantly with a click on the header. Consider working with a UX expert to optimise your web pages for smooth navigation and a seamless user experience.
These were five common mistakes that most retailers make when launching their first eCommerce website. Being aware of these obstacles that other eCommerce business’ face on their journey will help you avoid unnecessary troubles and unexpected costs in the long run. Not only will you be able to optimise your website for smooth performance and better conversions, but you can also create a positive reputation for your business online and a following of happy, loyal customers that choose your brand every time.