Many would-be entrepreneurs have turned to e-commerce as their business model, and for good reason. You can sell and ship products around the world while suffering very little overhead. It generates sales no matter what time it is, to the point that it can sometimes be considered passive income. It doesn't even take a lot of people to run.
So what's wrong with it? Why aren't more businesses embracing the e-commerce model? The reason is simple - much like any other business type, it's vulnerable to a whole host of errors.
When you want to turn a profit, you must avoid these mistakes:
1. Wrong Pricing
Pricing your e-commerce products is no simple task. There's no magic formula that'll solve it for you.
Price the product too low and you get the wrong market, resulting in lowered sales.
Price too high and the same thing happens. Nothing short of experience, trial-and-error, and research will help you here.
2. Low-Quality Product Descriptions and Images
Pictures tell stories. For example, if your e-commerce site's pictures look cheap, customers will think that your product is of poor quality. That goes for your product descriptions too. When your product descriptions are riddled with spelling errors and logic holes, expect customers to bounce right off that page, never to be seen again.
Online customers have nothing to judge your product by but your images and descriptions, so make them as accurate, high-quality, and descriptive as possible.
Technical manuals aren't enough - get real writers and photographers to handle your descriptions and images.
You'll also like: How to Use Video Marketing to Promote Your E-Commerce Website
3. You're Attracting the Wrong People
One man's garbage is another man's treasure. That's something you must come to embrace and understand as an e-commerce site operator.
If you target the wrong audience, you'll get little to no sales.
Research your audience as thoroughly as possible and make sure your marketing team knows what to do.
Creating well researched customer avatars will go a long way in getting your ad targeting and content creation relevant to your actual buyers.
4. Poor Marketing
As many content creators know, making content is the easy part. Actually getting people to watch or read is the difficult part.
Any online business worth its salt must promote its site properly, or face failure. It doesn't end at your marketing strategy - once you've got a strong userbase, it's time for a user-generated content strategy as well as testimonials to keep the promotion engine going.
There's never a point when you can stop marketing. When people stop hearing your voice, they hear someone else's.
As Grant Cardone is famous for saying, when no one knows who you are, they aren't going to buy from you.
Thus, you need to get attention and 10x your marketing activities - so, when a consumers encounters a need, want, or desire that your product can fulfill - they will think of you first: top of mind.
5. No Contact Information
Whether your product is highly complex or exceedingly simple, people will have questions.
Some of these questions will be about the product, while others will revolve around other aspects of the purchase, such as shipping costs.
Shameless Aside: speaking of shipping cost if you're an e-commerce store owner that is looking for global reach and excellent cross border shipping cost from you logistics partner, you'll want to check out Fulfillment Bridge's shipping fees for global e-commerce.
When your site doesn't have contact information, not only will customers hesitate to make a purchase, they'll consider it a red flag and move on.
6. Checking Out is Too Complicated
If there's anything that stomps an online business into the ground, it's a complicated checkout process.
The more steps you put between putting a product into the cart and the actual exchange of goods, the more people you'll lose.
Unless you're selling something that requires verification, don't require registration.
Give your store visitors the choice to register after they buy their item, not before.
7. Hidden Rates and Charges
Customers like making informed decisions, and it's not just when it comes to what products to purchase.
They like to know just how much they're spending. You'll have your e-commerce site riddled with abandoned carts when you hide expenses like shipping rates until final confirmation. This is a simple fix, be transparent with the full cost of purchase to avoid cart abandonment and maintain trust with your site vistors.
If you're afraid that your site will cost customers too much money, it's time rethink your stores costing and pricing strategy.
You'll also like: How to Reduce Your E-Commerce Cart Abandonment Rate
8. Confusing Layouts
Site layout is an often overlooked part of e-commerce. To win the online e-commerce game, user experience (UX) can make or break your business.
When your customers don't know where to find the checkout button, they can't checkout. Duh.
Make sure each page informs your customers what they can do on that page and how they can do it.
Don't make them guess. Make it easy for them to pick you.
The classic book in this area that most serious online entrepreneurs have consulted at least once is the apt named Don't Make Me Think.
Get that book and implement it's recommendation, your pocket book will thank you; your shopping cart conversions will improve; your users frustration levels will diminish.
9. Poor User Interface
Your e-commerce can fail for the most innocuous of reasons.
For example, small buttons can cost you a lot of business.
Four out of every five shoppers will hit your site through their smartphone, and if they can't click or see their buttons on their screens, they won't buy from your site.
Save your sanity and your business by making sure your site is tested on phones and is mobile responsive.
Learn more UX tips from Steve Krug, the author of Don't Make Me Think in the video below:
10. You Do Not Engage Customers
It may not be obvious, but customer engagement off the site matters.
Talking to customers on social media and replying to their queries and comments keeps your online business in the forefront of their minds.
Participate in industry events. Keep promoting your business and make sure they never forget you exist.
Online businesses can be incredibly profitable.
Despite the many things that can take them down, e-commerce businesses remain durable and long-lasting due to how easily they can pivot if the market turns.
All you have to do is make sure you don't trip up.
When you're ready to up your shipping game, with global shipping solutions and e-commerce expertise - including integrations with all major online shopping platforms - check out Fulfillment Bridge service offerings and level up your logistics capabilities for piece of mind and customer delight.
After the Checkout: Make Shipping Easy on Yourself with the Help of Fulfillment Bridge
Once you have your site optimized, from guests checkout options and pricing to images and user generated content, your sales will start to climb. Prepare to keep your customers happy and yourself sane by taking advantage of the full suite of Fulfillment Bridge Ecommerce solutions.