Spoiler alert: the key to success is closer than you think!
Starting an eCommerce business can appear deceptively easy. However, the eCommerce success rate can only notch up to 20%. That means, most eCommerce businesses tend to have 80% chances of failure.
On the face of it, all you need to do is set up a website, product listing, payment gateway, and few promoters for all the marketing buzz. But there is more than meets the eye. This seemingly quick way to start a business is a lot more challenging than some entrepreneurs can even imagine. Even though each business is unique, several common pitfalls contribute to eCommerce failures.
According to studies, a whopping 90% of startups fail. This fun yet sobering fact shouldn't let your spirits down, though. These failed businesses have a lot to teach first-time entrepreneurs. Some of the most common reasons for business systems to fail include:
- Lack of traffic on the website
- Increasing competition
- Trying too hard to scale your business to another level
- Bad financial mismanagement
- Lack of investment
Other than these, there are other reasons why eCommerce failures have become more common. We’ve identified the top three reasons for eCommerce business failures and what you can do differently to avoid them!
In the age of digital marketing, content is the king, and your website is the fort ruled by it. Despite having a great product, all your efforts can easily go down the drain if your content isn’t strong enough. That’s not all, grainy pictures or bad photography can equally dent your brand’s value. A poorly written copy, along with amateur pictures, can make your business look like some dodgy vendor that one often finds on e-commerce giants like Amazon.
To avoid this pitfall, be mindful of what you post on your website. After all, the eyes of the world are on you, judging everything they see. With customers having attention spans that are less than even a goldfish, there is no room for such mistakes. Make sure the content on your website is top notch if you want to stay ahead of the competition and compel your visitor to buy from you.
Pro Tip: While you dazzle your audience with professional product pictures, don’t forget to create engaging content description as well. The copy needs to resonate with your audience, influencing their decision as they browse!
Bad Customer Experience
Another reason for e-commerce failure is a bad user experience, which can be caused due to various reasons: tedious check out process, bad UX experience, and no clear return policy. If the primary objective is getting repeat business, then losing customer trust is the final nail in the coffin for your e-commerce business.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what all you expected from the e-commerce website you last visited?
Was the checkout process too complicated?
Was the payment gateway partner reliable?
While these questions seem pretty obvious, they are overlooked.
Many organizations still fail to make their checkout process as easy as possible. Studies indicate that the top reason why customers abandon the shopping cart is because of complex checkout processes. Also, partner with renowned payment facilitators so your customer knows they are not shopping from a scammer. To ensure repeat business, make sure you capture all the relevant data to provide a personalized customer experience the next time they visit your website.
Pro Tip: On average, an e-commerce store loses more than 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. To reduce such instances, the presence of live online chat support is critical. It can help people better understand the terms and conditions of the store and offers a popular alternative to phone support. With live chat software for websites, companies can make visitors stay, and convert them into customers.
We all love discounts and deals on websites. Most people wait for the big sale on e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. But what if you get a steal on a product you wanted very badly, but later during the checkout found out that the shipping and packaging was almost the actual price of the product? Bummer, right? When pricing and ads aren’t aligned, it leads to higher traffic, yet lower conversion. Worst still, people may never trust your brand. Moral of the story: manage your customers’ expectations better.
When listing the price of a product, always mention all the hidden costs like shipping, taxes, etc., and the final price of the product. It is a great way to reduce shopping cart abandonment and sway the customer’s decision more easily. Don't let the final cost be a surprise to your customers. Include shipping calculator widgets on your website, so your customers get the product for the price they see!
Pro Tip: Misleading marketing ads can also have a detrimental impact on your customer’s experience. They can undo all the hard work you’ve put in to establish your business. Make sure your digital ads are aligned to the offer on the landing page. Never play with your customers’ trust – it is like a mirror, once broken can never be mended.
Be the top 10%
One thing that all these tips have in common is customer experience. Whatever you do, make sure to keep your customer at the center of your eCommerce universe. And while you’re at it, don’t become impatient. Most e-commerce businesses take time to break even, and several months to start churning out profits. We hope these reasons for e-commerce business failures will help you avoid common mistakes.