Regardless of how experienced you might be when it comes to running a website, there are several mistakes that are easy to make when dealing with eCommerce. I’ve dealt with multiple eCommerce projects throughout the years and have gone through several different trials and tribulations during those experiences. My goal in this article is to share some of the most common mistakes that are made when dealing with eCommerce projects in general. I’ll also try to provide some recommendations to make sure you don’t end up making some of the same mistakes I did!
Choosing A Niche That Is Too Competitive – The biggest problem with niches like t-shirts, baby clothing and wedding favors is that they’re extremely broad and way too competitive. Do you know how many stores out there sell t-shirts? Tens of thousands. When you choose this kind of niche you’re going to find it’s hard to rank in the search engines for your target keywords, it’ll be more difficult to stand out from the crowd, and you’ll be subject to price erosion as your competitors try to undercut you in price. Ideally, you’ll want to pick a product or set of products which isn’t readily found in brick and mortar stores. It also shouldn’t have tons of online competition. Most importantly, you’ll want to find a product that has high enough demand for you to make a decent profit which meets your income goals.
Not Having A Marketing Plan – If you’ve picked the wrong niche or your products cost too much to make a decent profit, your store could be dead before it’s ever launched. If you manage to get everything right, you still need a plan for getting customers in the door. Getting traffic into your website is extremely crucial to its success and you’d be surprised how many people brush off marketing and decide to wing it once they’ve launched. Trust me, you cannot launch a profitable eCommerce store unless you have a traffic strategy in place. There are several different ways you can begin driving targeted traffic to your online store. For example, use Google Adwords, Google Shopping and the comparison shopping engines.
Brand Yourself for Success – Many internet marketers quickly pick a domain without ever thinking about SEO and product relevance. My last eCommerce project was named “Desktop Catcher” because I felt that it fit what the product did closely. However, when looking back on it now one flaw I see in that name is that it locked me into a specific demographic (desktop computers). If I wanted to make the same software available for Apple Mac’s or mobile devices a rebrand would certainly be in question. When you’re launching an eCommerce business, make sure that your company name not only reflects what you’re selling right now, but what you may be selling many years down the road. That’s one of the best things about eCommerce – everyone on the planet is your potential customer and it’s relatively easy to expand into new product categories.
Not Optimizing Your Website For Conversions – Having a website that gets traffic is important. However, even if you manage to setup a few good sources of incoming traffic those hits aren’t going to convert into sales unless your site is optimized for conversions. There are several deal breakers a potential customer can have when thinking about purchasing from you. Slow website loading times, no clear call to action buttons, and lack of credibility are just a few. There are many ways to screw up the design of your website even if your shopping cart is fully functional. Take the time to review everything on your site and make sure it’s optimized for conversions. If you don’t know how to do this consider hiring a web design company to handle the task for you.