The world is becoming increasingly ecommerce-dependent. People like to order everything online from the ease of their homes. More than 95% of shoppers in the UK have made an online purchase and the credit goes to 90% of retailers who accept credit and debit cards online.
However, some businesses are still in the process of developing a website or accepting cards for purchases online. This leads to much disappointment for buyers, who turn away from these sites and never return.
Startups are hasty in launching their business because they think it is the need of the hour, and in this process they ignore important business decisions like site navigation, payment options, delivery options and options of return/exchange. It is estimated that 75% of such businesses fail in the long run. Whether your business is launching a website or you are an ecommerce startup, you need to know how to be self-sufficient.
Here are four common mistakes that most ecommerce startups make:
Being an internet business, it is extremely crucial for you to keep a tab on the latest analytics of your website. This includes daily, weekly and monthly progress to measure improvement rates. This is where you’ll get your metrics and milestones, without which you won’t be able to measure your success rate. This is a grave mistake most retailers make in the early stages of their ecommerce business.
The major players in this market were also startups once, and they fared well because of consistency and research. Google Analytics is your right hand tool in ecommerce, which can be set up easily on the site. Using an omni-channel social media system like Hootsuite can give you access to all the insights you need, on any timeframe you want. If you prefer to use social media accounts separately, then Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights, Pinterest Analytics should be your go-to places. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns can be measured by studying the cost per minute CPM, cost per click CPC and click through rate CTR.
No custom marketing strategy
Every business is different, that’s why every business requires a different marketing strategy. Many startup owners consider themselves experts and try to follow the marketing path of successful big businesses, which is very risky considering you’re just starting out.
Not only should you brainstorm over your marketing channels before launching the business, but you should also keep updating this strategy based on the analytics you frequently record because they show user preferences over time.
If you follow a calendar, and post one decided thing every day and call it a day, chances are that people will soon find your business boring or irrelevant. A robust marketing strategy not only takes into account the multiple promotion channels, but also keeps developing over time to cater to an audience with a diverse set of choices. You will learn that some channels are more effective than others. For example, an ecommerce startup about wedding supplies will be more popular on Pinterest and Instagram because the large following of these channels pays a lot of attention to new trends, if accompanied with beautiful photos.
Ecommerce is not like a physical business where inventory is limited to a walk-in audience. It is a business displayed on the internet, where anonymous users may be ready to order a product from your store from anywhere in the world.
Startups need to understand that there is a bigger picture to inventory management than just ordering and dispatching. What if you end up with a large quantity of a product with few people to buy it? Conduct in-depth research on your target audience with regards to their gender, preferences, incomes and geographic areas to understand the quantity of a product you need and how much will the ideal buyers buy.
Special events like Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and seasonal sales can increase demand. Recent stats posted on the Retail Sales Index website suggest that the value of online sales in the UK has increased by 11.2% since October 2015 and the Brits spent £732m per week online on retail.
This calls for a steady balance between the supply and demand on your store.
Becoming a ‘me-too’
Some startup owners make hurried decisions to launch a product in the market that is already available. Consider electronics as an example. Even if a startup embraces the dropshipping model and advertises items like MacBooks and Xbox online, it may not turn out very favorable because there are better websites and stores that sell these items. Not to mention the Apple Stores and Microsoft Stores.
Identify a gap in the market to cash in on the whole ecommerce experience. Do ample market research before diving in and spending money and energy on developing an ecommerce site. Secondly, you will notice that the average user who buys stuff online is looking for a trustworthy store. People hesitate to buy from a name they haven’t heard of. You can use this to your advantage by not only starting business in a unique niche, but also informing the users about its benefits.
Top ecommerce retailers have hundreds of user reviews, shares, mentions and a lot of press coverage on their side. Consider the example of Skylantern. After thorough research of their product offering and managing the SEO, the company became a top lantern seller in the UK and have been going pretty strong ever since! As a startup, they studied about competitive price scheming and reached a wide range of customers in the UK, France and abroad. Benjamin Hamon explains the wonders of tapping on a new niche market in this video.