03 Sep

The Top 10 Startup E-Commerce Mistakes to Avoid Like the Proverbial Plague

It’s a common notion that plans may not unfold the way they’re supposed to. The same is true with setting up an e-commerce website. A lot of mistakes can occur in an e-commerce startup from planning to implementation to after-sales care.

We hope this list of the top 10 e-commerce startup mistakes will help you avoid doing them yourself. You may as well learn from other people’s mistakes, right? So, take note of these errors:

1. Too much focus on site development over marketing. If you’re spending too much time upgrading web server specs in lieu of creating e-mail newsletters, stop right now. You are running an online store, not a web hosting company (unless you are really running one, of course).

2. Obsession over getting the “perfect” website design. Don’t fret too much about whether the sidebar should be on the left or the right side. Things are rarely perfect on the first day of launch. You can always adjust it later if you want.

3. Incomplete product information. Your online customers cannot physically see the product, so make sure that your product information is complete and accurate. Attach clear pictures that they can zoom in on.

4. Equating web buyers to store visitors. People who buy in-store prepare themselves to go to your physical store. Online purchasers, on the other hand, mostly visit your e-commerce site by chance. Show your online visitors everything you’ve got in a few pages.

5. Too bloated of a home page. Over-decorating your main page may lead to a slow loading website that discourages online visitors and search engine bots. It can also hit people with too much information at once. It may be better to ease them into your site rather than try to do it all at once. There is a reason that clean and simple designs usually win out over busy designs.

6. Not implementing website security measures. Trust is one commodity that online buyers cherish. Show them that buying through your site is safe and secure. The last thing you want is for them to see some kind of warning from their web browser about your site being unsecured or untrusted. Most of them will likely click on the “Get me out of here!” button when faced with such a warning. And first time visitors will not be back.

7. Jumping on trendy marketing gimmicks. Focus first on tried-and-tested marketing techniques such as e-mail subscriptions, social media updates, and SEO. Once you’ve got these set up and working, then try your hand at something different. You never know, maybe you’ll start an online marketing trend.

8. Not monitoring site analytics. As the online store owner, you must know which pages are visited the most and which products have high sales. This way, you can focus your strategies on these areas of your site. Yes, they can be confusing to look at at first, but make sure you learn how to use Google Analytics.

9. Separating your physical store from your e-commerce site. If you have a tangible store, you should use it to advertise your online store. You should also use your e-commerce store to direct customers to your physical store. Remember the internet isn’t separate from reality. It’s just a tool you use.

10. Lack of customer support. Assure your online consumers of after-sales support by providing a feedback form or contact information.

If you find yourself falling into any of these ten traps, now is the best time to re-think your strategy and change your game plan. If you’re just starting out, good luck and treat these mistakes like Ebola and avoid them at all costs.

[Photo courtesy of Lisa Moffatt on Flickr]
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