When an online retailer asked Grant Cardone about the secret to success in business, he fired back:
“Sales cure all…. Sales and Marketing are the oxygen of a business.”
And he’s 100% right.
More sales mean more income. And more income means you can make more profit, do what you love and make a great living doing it. You no longer need to count every penny in the couch before you make a decision.
The problem is, people often make HUGE mistakes in their E-commerce business and eventually ruin it…
…and I’ll reveal each of them today.
Online shopping is quickly becoming the primary way consumers get the products they need. In many ways, this trend has opened up thousands of business opportunities for people all over the world, though, all it takes is a few bad decisions for your company to fall flat on its face.
Now, making mistakes can be good, as making mistakes and learning from them is how we grow, yet there’s no need to go through all that trouble when you can simply look at the mistakes other people have made and learn from those instead.
Here are 17 mistakes that can cripple your e-commerce business and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Spreading your product line too thin.
At first glance, it may seem as if there is no downside to selling as many different products as you can, especially if they’re non-perishable.
You may think,
“if I can sell chairs, why can’t I sell tables?”
“if I can sell tables, why can’t I sell ashtrays?”
And “if I can sell ashtrays, why can’t I sell cigar cutters?” And so on, until your store no longer has a coherent market statement.
Remember, it’s not just about sales, it’s about branding. By offering too many products, you’re going to have a difficult time catching the attention of specific customers, and by trying to appeal to everybody, you may end up appealing to nobody.
Mistake #2: Failing to developing trust.
Trust has been at the core of business for thousands of years, and with the advent of the internet, it has developed even deeper importance.
Not being able to see the man or woman you’re doing business with is a major drawback for many customers, and this is why developing trust in e-commerce is essential.
Although it can’t be done overnight, by continually fulfilling your companies promises, creating an ‘about page’ and using SSL and trust badges, you will eventually prove your companies loyalty to the community.
Mistake #3: Not knowing your target audience.
On a similar note, a BIG MISTAKE that people make is failing to understand their target audience.
You need to know the sorts of people you’re selling to
The language they speak
What bothers them
What amuses them, etc.
For example, if you’re selling machine parts and tools, decide ahead of time whether you want to sell to other industrial companies or individual consumers.
If you’re selling to individuals, you don’t want to make your jargon too complex or you’ll scare them away, and if you’re selling to other professionals, you don’t want to make your descriptions too casual or they’ll think you don’t know what you’re talking about.
With help from SaleWow, we’ll make sure you have a solid amount of information about your intended audience to help you when developing a marketing strategy.
Mistake #4: Poor email strategy.
Sending emails to potential customers is an excellent way of generating leads.
Unfortunately, it can easily backfire on you if you don’t think your email strategy through.
There’s no point in blindly sending out generalized promotions to everyone in your email list. What you want are personalized emails that connect with individual customers. You don’t want to send the same emails to returning customers as to new customers, or the same emails to people in their teens as to people in their thirties.
Try using an email market automation tool to help you send the right emails to the right crowd.
Mistake #5: Undeveloped brand content.
It may sound odd, but oftentimes when people shop at an online store, they’re looking for more than a product, they’re subconsciously looking for an opportunity to engage in a community.
In other words, if you sell patio furniture, make it a habit to write articles and blog posts about the world of outdoor furniture,
‘how to protect your furniture during a storm,’
‘how to arrange your patio furniture,’
and even ‘how to throw a summer BBQ party.’
This will give your brand a more complete and richer personality, and keep people from feeling as if they’re shopping in a black hole.
Mistake #6: Running out of inventory.
When you’re on a roll with your sales, the worst problem that your e-commerce business can face is running out of inventory.
Not only are you missing out on some intense profit while you hurry to resupply, but when customers read ‘out of stock’ on a product they were hoping to buy, it’s likely they’ll feel discouraged to return.
There is an easy remedy for this, though, and it’s called drop shipping.
Drop shipping is a way to outsource your shipping and inventory to a wholesale supplier, who processes your orders and delivers your products themselves. Plus, they continually restock, so you’ll never be out of inventory.
At SaleWow, we can help you find suppliers you can trust to get the job done.
Mistake #7: Over complicating the checkout process.
It’s been proven that over complicated checkout procedures are a profit killer. Customers are generally wary when purchasing something online.
In many cases, shoppers are not convinced they need the purchase even as they are putting it in their cart. All it takes is one surprise or delay for them to click away from your page.
Usually it is because a customer discover a hidden fee that they decide to back out, however, it can also be repeated requests to sign up for a newsletter, to take a survey, or to add something extra to their purchase.
Buying a product should be as simple as clicking on what you want to buy, filling out payment information and pressing ‘ship.’ If what you’re selling is good, customers will return by their own choice.
Mistake #8: Boring or unclear product descriptions.
Product descriptions are important.
Your product descriptions need to give viewers all the necessary information in a way that’s flashy, but not overwhelming. Product descriptions are an art form that can take a long time to master, and if you’re not comfortable writing them yourself, it may be a good idea to hire a professional.
On the other hand, if you believe you’re up for the task, here are some pointers. First, write a general meta description for each product to catch peoples eye, then write more thorough descriptions underneath them that give interested customers all the facts.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of bullet points, as bullet points are a great way of presenting information in a clear and simple format.
Mistake #9: Focusing on too few marketing channels.
There are always going to be one or two marketing channels that work out especially well for your business, though when you find them, don’t ignore alternative channels.
Opening up new channels for your internet store is good for two reasons. First, you never know when you might strike gold unless you start digging, and two, if your main channels break down, you need others to keep you afloat.
An example of the latter may be Facebook changing their algorithm after you’ve already invested tons of money and time into your social media campaign.
Mistake #10: Slow site speed.
Think about how long you stay on a site with terrible connection speed, especially if you’re already uninterested by that website.
The vast majority of people who visit an online store do so without intending to purchase anything, just to look around. You need to get people coming back again and again until your leads eventually turn into sales, and just one bad experience on a website could send potential customers away forever.
To keep your site speed past, try to keep it as simple as possible. Excessive amounts of animations, pop-ups, and options may seem to make your site more interesting, though most of the time all you’re doing is bloating your page and reducing connection speeds to a crawl.
Even worse, search engines are not eager to place slow websites on the top of the results pages, so make sure site efficiency is a priority.
Mistake #11: Poor picture quality.
Unless you’re on eBay, nobody wants to buy a product that looks as if it was photographed on a shag carpet.
Descriptions are critical, but pictures are what sell, so make sure you take the time to get clear, high-resolution snapshots of your products, as well as lifestyle photos of people using and enjoying your products to give your store a sense of humanity and personality.
Mistake #12: Confusing website navigation.
You don’t want to force your visitors to make too many decisions when they first enter your website.
A good rule of thumb is to present no more than three of your best products on your home page at once; any more and you’ll overwhelm them. If you offer a wide variety of products, then make sure you separate them into categories for easy navigation.
A good website does not lead customers but guides them as they lead themselves. Confusion does not sell.
Mistake #13: Underestimating mobile device shoppers.
Many people were surprised by how much sales have increased on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
In fact, since 2016 the number of sales from mobile devices has increased by around 39 percent, meaning that if your store has a poor mobile experience or no mobile experience, you’re going to be missing out on some profit.
Remember also, that even if people don’t buy on a mobile device, they very often research products on mobile devices which they then purchase later on their laptops, so if you think that focusing on mobile is a poor use of time, you may have to pay the price.
Mistake #14: Pricing that’s too high or too low.
Speaking of prices, finding the optimal price range for your products can be quite a challenge.
You want to know exactly how high people are willing to go without backing out, and how low your prices need to be to stand up to the competition.
Without the resources of SaleWow, that’s no small trick. Remember though, it’s not about what you’re selling, but who you’re selling to. Understanding your customers’ budgets is very important, but also, you sometimes need to think less about what your product is worth, and more about what its price says about it.
In other words, if you’re marketing your store as a high-end brand, enormous price cuts may deter potential clients who will then think your brand is ‘cheap’. That doesn’t mean you can’t alter your prices, it just means that you have to research your customers and market trends very thoroughly before you do.
Mistake #15: Failing to follow up on abandoned carts.
On many companies’ websites, there is usually a large crop of profits just waiting to be harvested in the form of abandoned carts.
When customers get halfway through the buying process and then back out, it may mean that they changed their minds, but it may also mean that they simply became distracted by something else or wanted to wait more time before making a decision.
If you don’t follow up, there’s a good chance you’ll lose these sales as your customers soon forget about you.
Make sure you email customers with abandoned carts, just to remind them about their purchase, and maybe even through in a discount.
Mistake #16: Wasting time on menial tasks.
Anyone who owns a business, especially a small business with a limited number of employees, knows that budgeting time is a necessity and spending time on projects that are not critical is a waste of resources.
If something must be done, but you don’t have enough staff members to do it such as content creation or data entry, you could try outsourcing these tasks to another company, but if it’s something like fiddling with a logo or writing handwritten notes to your customers, those jobs can be put off until you’ve completed the most important tasks first.
Mistake #17: Rushing special projects.
A common mistake that people make, especially after they’ve experienced a burst of creative energy, is rushing into special projects without thinking them through, such as raffles or free samples.
For example, if you want to try offering free samples, make sure you select a promising group of people who you think would be interested in purchasing your products before giving away your goods.
Also, only give samples of consumable goods like shaving cream or cookies, not durable goods like doormats or pocketbooks.
And before you do anything like this, make sure you have first generated a healthy amount of content for your brand, otherwise, it will seem to the people on the other end of your giveaways as if they are receiving gifts from some unknown and nameless spirit, instead of your specific business.
Also, one more thing…
Making a living through e-commerce can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, for people unfamiliar with the nuances and pitfalls, it can be a nightmare.
To succeed with your online store, you need two resources. The first is the skill of thinking quickly on your feet, which can take years to master, and the second is having somebody there who’s got your back, which, with us, can be acquired in minutes.
SaleWow keeps you up to date on market trends, helps you price your products, leads you to trustworthy suppliers, and more. For more information, or to request our services, visit us at https://www.azamd.com/service/ today.