It’s the age of ecommerce and the small business website. Hundreds of thousands of new entrepreneurs have flooded the internet with ecommerce websites of all kinds, and many individuals rely on ecommerce websites to provide another income stream. Given that the world is increasingly net-reliant, small businesses which rely on ecommerce are increasingly taking notable market share away from bigger businesses, and more than half of all shoppers prefer to buy the goods they need online rather than in person at a store. Even better? Even conservative estimates indicate that the increasing trend of smartphone use will increase ecommerce opportunities.
But starting an ecommerce website is easy. Thanks to the advent of website builders, it’s sometimes as easy as a few clicks, with no more time than a few hours’ writing content before an ecommerce website goes live. The problem with such low barriers to entry is that a large number of potential entrepreneurs are rushing into ecommerce without aggressively considering their potential market share, their competitive advantages, or what tools and benefits they’ll need to be able to compete with other businesses. It’s not enough, anymore, just to have a template-based website with a shopping cart, and an internet presence isn’t a good guarantee of any financial success.
So to help new entrepreneurs and anyone else wanting to build an ecommerce website to avoid the most common pitfalls, we’ve put together a number of great guidelines. What follows is a simple summary of the most common and most egregious ecommerce mistakes, and how to avoid them.
Not Building Your Website With a Strategy
You could easily make a slick website with a fantastic product… and never get discovered by your potential clients. It’s important not just to have a plan for the website, but how you’re going to market that website and grow your business. So read up on what it takes to build great SEO into a website, how to discover new clients using PPC, the importance of a strong social media presence, and anything else which can help you get your website in front of potential clients.
Because if you pick one over another, it could have dramatic impact over the design of your website. For example, social-strong websites should have a lot more pop and visual attention than one which will be marketed using mobile PPC! Once you have a strategy for your ecommerce website, you can begin to build to strengthen that strategy.
Not Protecting Your Website from Hackers
As many as 30,000 websites get hacked a day, and especially for a small ecommerce site getting off the ground, even a small hack which affects clients can be disastrous. So focus on building a strong and secure website which protects your consumers and their data. Look for a great antivirus software plugin and ensure that your framework, cpanel, and themes are all frequently updated. Utilize strong login authentication and limit your admin access to specific IP addresses.
Not Planning Promotions
Launch promotions can gain serious traffic; some companies went from 0 clients to tens of thousands in a week or two with great, targeted promotions. So if you’re serious about growing a reliable consumer base for your ecommerce website, have a promotional strategy in place and make sure that your order fulfillment team is capable and ready. Especially for new ecommerce websites, it’s an important tool you can’t afford not to leverage.
Not Getting Visitor Email Addresses
The vast majority of individuals who make an order at a new ecommerce website never return… in great part because they forget! Collecting visitor email addresses can help you to develop a strong communication with existing visitors and clients, and to grow them into reliable repeat business.