If you've always wanted to run your own business, then eCommerce presents a fantastic opportunity. After all, you can discover all the positives of selling and sourcing your own products, without having to worry about things like paying for a brick-and-mortar location. If you decide to use specific eCommerce methods like dropshipping, you could even eliminate the need for things like warehousing and product storage.
Of course, just like any other big decision in life, if you want to get things right with your eCommerce business, you need to make sure that you're prepared. One of the best ways to plan for success is to make sure that you're aware of the mistakes that people before you have made with their eCommerce strategies. This way, you know what you need to avoid. Here are our top mistakes to avoid as a new eCommerce webmaster.
1. Choosing the Wrong Platform
There are plenty of eCommerce platforms to choose from on the market today, all the way from Shopify to Magneto. However, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. To improve your chances of success in the competitive digital world, you'll need to invest in a platform that can give you the simplest, and most stress-free solution for your needs.
Think about what kind of features you'd like to include on your site, what integrations you need, and any customisations you'll need to investigate and find the platform that ticks as many of your boxes as possible. If you're not sure, you can always check out some free trials from eCommerce platforms before you commit to anything.
2. Not Knowing Your Customer
There's more to selling products online than simply choosing the right price for your items. You also need to know who you're selling to so that you can make sure that your website is speaking your customer's language. Before you launch your site, spend some time researching your target audience and finding out as much as you can about them. If possible, try to create a series of user personas that will help to guide your decision.
Understanding your customer before you start building is important because what you know will influence decisions about everything from site navigation to the designs that you use. The more you know about your clients, the more likely you are to launch a successful site straight away.
3. Underestimating Security
One thing that all customers are bound to have in common when it comes to an eCommerce site is that they want a secure experience. No-one wants to feel nervous about handing their bank and personal details over when they reach the checkout basket. With that in mind, make sure that your eCommerce site is as secure as possible. This means that your site should have an SSL certificate that helps to keep payments safe.
Your SSL certificate will indicate to consumers that they can trust you to take care of their details. You'll also need to make sure that any partners you work with commit to the same level of security as you if they're going to be handling details like shipping addresses for instance.
4. Creating a Confusing Check Out
Your site needs to be more than just secure if you want to encourage sales, it also needs to be very easy to use. People want their online purchasing experience to be as simple and straight-forward as possible. This means making sure that there are very few barriers between your customers and their final sale. Don't ask for any information from your clients that you don't need, and make sure that it's as easy to fill out your checkout forms as possible.
Remember, you'll also need your checkout process to be simple enough that it's easy to go through on a smartphone or mobile device as well as a computer. Make any buttons you need big and easy to click.
5. Forgetting the "Contact Us" Page
Finally, remember that some people will have questions that they need to ask about your product, service, or company before they're willing to hand over their money. In that case, if your website doesn't have the right "contact us" information, then you could be losing essential sales. Set up a contact us page that you can link to directly from your home page, and make sure that the details on how to contact you are available on your product and checkout pages too.
It also pays to have an "About Us" page, where you can introduce your customers to the human beings that run your site.
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