New to Ecommerce? Avoid These 5 Beginner Mistakes
The truth is, all ecommerce merchants make mistakes—whether they launched their stores yesterday or have years of experience underneath their belts. Running a successful business in this ever-changing industry is challenging. Sometimes experience is the only way to learn certain lessons. But other times, understanding common beginner mistakes will help you avoid the consequences of making them yourself.
Are you new to ecommerce? Avoid these five beginner mistakes. And even if you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s still helpful to brush up on the basics from time to time.
Neglecting the Mobile Experience
Mobile ecommerce is on the rise. In 2015, so-called m-commerce made up approximately 40 percent of digital sales. In 2017, mobile commerce accounted for nearly 59 percent of online sales. More and more people are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to complete purchases. In the past, people tended to use these devices for research, rather than completing transactions, but this is changing as apps become more prevalent and the mobile experience improves.
In light of this emerging trend, you must optimize your hand-held experience as well as your desktop one. Make sure mobile users can read your website, tap appropriate commands with ease and complete transactions. Failure to do so will only result in missed revenue. Your choice of cloud-based ecommerce platform will play a role in both your desktop and mobile experience, so choose wisely.
Targeting a Wide Audience
It can be tempting to target everyone online. But casting a wide net will not necessarily yield the best catch—so to speak. A better strategy is developing a profile of your target customer, so you have a guide for marketing, designing your website and setting your product lineup effectively.
According to Search Engine Journal, your customer profile should include:
- Online and offline subcultures
- Needs solvable by your products
- Places they spend time
Modern data analytics make it easier to conduct this kind of customer research on a large scale, and quickly.
Requiring Users to Register
It’s generally a good thing when people take the step of registering for your site. But forcing people to do so discourages many first-time buyers. Mandatory registration also adds another step—one users in a hurry may not be willing to take. Instead, offer optional registration after someone has already completed a transaction. This ensures you’ll earn the conversion, while also enabling this customer to add just a few more details to create an account for next time.
Missing Branding Opportunities
It’s easy to push off branding, thinking you’ll get around to it once your store is more established. But the decisions you make from before your store’s launch will affect your reputation down the road. It’s important to put thought into branding right off the bat. To start, you’ll need a logo. It’s also important to develop a brand personality as conveyed through on-site content and social media posts. Part of branding is also establishing a unique selling proposition capable of conveying your value to consumers in two sentences or less.
Underestimating Customer Feedback
Customers are your biggest source of insights because they have firsthand knowledge of their own wants and needs. Neglecting to garner feedback is a major missed opportunity for fledgling ecommerce brands. Make sure you’re keeping the lines of communication open with responsive customer service. You should also send out periodic surveys soliciting honest feedback and incorporate it into your decision-making process. If you watch out for these five beginner mistakes when you’re getting started in ecommerce, you’ll progress farther and faster and be more profitable in the long run.