An ecommerce business may seem full of potential, but building a successful ecommerce business takes time, planning, and patience.
Setting up an ecommerce business is exciting. With the infinite opportunities out there, it’s promising as well. For those willing to put in service first, offer good prices, and willing to learn the basics, ecommerce can make your dream come true.
For the very reason it’s so promising and full of possibilities, some people occasionally make mistakes early on. Some mistakes are minor and don’t matter in the long run, while others are more serious in nature. There are certainly some things you shouldn’t be doing while setting up your ecommerce business, and here’s a list of the most important ones.
Don’t start anything without a plan
Whenever you’re building your ecommerce site, you need to make sure that you have milestones in place, that your objectives are established, and that you’ve hammered down metrics to measure how you’re doing. In other words, go in with a solid business plan – it’ll keep you on track for the long haul.
Planning keeps you prepared for most eventualities and helps you allocate resources with the end in mind.
It also balances undue optimism against stark reality. There are strong reasons to put your plan to paper because that will help you pinpoint what resources and knowhow you have as you set on this exciting journey. Most importantly, your business plan must tell you about funds inflow and outflow – because that’s what will decide if your business is going to be viable.
Don’t forget about design and branding every step of the way
You need to know what your site is going to look like, or at least have a general idea, and you should know what your brand will represent. This vision will help with decisions later on, such as button colours, what your product photos should look like, and what the tone of your copy will be, so make sure you’re considering these user experience factors from the start.
Never forget the fact that design and colour isn’t for aesthetics – far from it.
Great design drastically improves the shopping and overall experience. A neat, professional design inspires confidence and builds trust in the minds of customers. Additionally, it helps them look for the right product with minimum efforts and thereby substantially improves engagement.
Don’t skimp on the details
While you might think some decisions are irrelevant at first, these details can cost you down the road. Say, for example, that you’re looking at merchant providers and one option charges just .01 percent higher rate. While this doesn’t some like much, when you’re making millions on your ecommerce site, that can cost you a lot of money in the future.
Take, for instance, the way your online store will offer support. Support doesn’t have to be present all time, looking over the customer’s shoulders. It’s just that if the customer needs you, your support team is ready to swing into action. Or consider how you reduce cart abandonment rates by taking care of some simple things.
Don’t expect sales overnight
Yes, launching your website is a very exciting process, and you’re going to feel good about yourself once you finish. However, when you don’t see sales coming in immediately, you can set yourself up for disappointment. You have to remember that there are millions of ecommerce websites out there, many of which are selling the same products as you, so you need to know that it’s important to invest time and money into marketing. These investments will help make sure that traffic is coming and sales are going through.
Don’t expect sales overnight and you’ll be in good shape. You are fighting a war, not a battle. Just as you are putting in a lot of efforts into your ecommerce store, so is everybody else.
Have patience, put in the right efforts, measure the right things, put the learning back into your business, and you will see your business grow. Not overnight, but gradually. For sure.
Don’t try to do everything at once
There are a lot of decisions to make and a lot of actions to take when opening your online store, so set small milestones like “Today, I’m going to put together five product pages,” or “Today, I’m going to launch my home page.” Make sure that you celebrate those victories and you keep yourself on a manageable timetable to keep your sanity and your online business moving.
Of course, there could be dozens of things you could have goofed up while trying to setup your ecommerce store.
Feel free to let us know what all things we missed out, in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. Or just leave me a question in the comments box below and I’ll be happy to get back.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
Want to make your startup journey smooth? YS Education brings a comprehensive Funding and Startup Course. Learn from India's top investors and entrepreneurs. Click here to know more.