A well designed and maintained eCommerce website can be a source of great income. The flexibility and market accessibility it provides to the small business owner is incredible.
It is an irrefutable fact that renting a storefront in cities like Vancouver, Coquitlam, Surrey, Burnaby and surrounding areas is expensive. Instead you can own a virtual online store and reach wider audience with targeted online marketing. Think of a store that is open 24/7, no staff to manage, is not limited to a local area and runs on a very low overhead cost.
Easy as it sounds there are lots of things to consider before starting your eCommerce business.
Simply cataloging all the products & integrating them to a shopping cart will not guarantee sales. You will still have to identify the common mistakes and avoid these pitfalls to provide great customer experience throughout your website.
- Lack of details: The notion that eCommerce business is a simple business comparing to storefront is the first mistake. Just like any other business, you will require a solid business plan and an effective online marketing strategy to attract the right customer. You should throughly plan the process from lead generation to successful conversion. Envisioning the steps involve in the operation helps to minimize errors and maximize the shopping experience.The process should be as simple as possible. Your first goal is to reduce inessential steps that deter your customer from placing order at your shopping cart. The second goal is to prolongs the time they spent on your website shopping related items. Make a diagram of your processes and consult with an expert. Your web design and development project should be detail-oriented and throughly planned.
Lack of marketing plan and strategy: Once you complete your eCommerce website, how are you planning to bring traffic to your site? Develop a clear marketing plan based on your objectives, goal and budget. Distribute your resources wisely between online and offline marketing. Start with a small test budget, analyze your market until you develop an effective marketing strategy.
Choose the right platform for your digital marketing. Some business do better in one platform than in another. Since each business is serving an unique niche, your strategies should focus solely on them. Do not copy and blindly follow others marketing plan.
Most importantly, you should have a clear identification of your target consumer. Although your store is open to everyone, it might be attracting more of a certain demographics or interest than other. Integrating your eCommerce platform with right analytic tools can give you insight into your site’s performance. Make a list of KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure marketing results.
Lack of customer service: A direct contact with the customers is more likely to promote an effective customer service program. As an online platform your business lacks this opportunity. You should be aware of the fact that not being able to meet face-to-face with your customer is more of a disadvantage than an advantage. Formulate a plan that makes it easy for your customers to send you feedback, reviews and comments. Act promptly and politely to their concerns. Also make sure that your refund process and policy is extremely easy and accessible.
Lack of sufficient product data: Your eCommerce website is your salesperson. If you provide high-quality product images with variations, product description with specifications and additional product information with appropriate policies (insurance, refund etc), your website will help to transform your potential customer into a loyal customer.
Poorly showcasing your products undermines your business and severely harms your brand.
Lack of appealing visual presentation: Your eCommerce website shouldn’t look like a makeshift of a storefront. As you are trying to convince your customer to buy products through your website, it needs to look trustworthy, classy and well maintained. High quality graphics and well designed site architecture should focus on user friendliness and page loading speed. Using too many graphics and large file and significantly slow down your website. As the primary SEO rule, your web pages should load faster than 5 seconds.
Now you can avoid the most common eCommerce mistakes and use them as your guidelines to improve your online business.