Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an E-Commerce Business
- 5 Mins
Avoid These Mistakes When Starting Your E-Commerce Business
We like to think that starting a Shopify store is a simple enough process that making mistakes just isn’t a part of the equation; after all, how could so many people have been successful on online marketplace platforms otherwise? While the overall concept of kick-starting a Shopify storefront is indeed simple, there are a lot of mistakes that beginners make. Often, they’re not detrimental enough to make a company fail, but they can certainly inhibit your brand’s success if not accounted for! Read on to see the missteps we see most often when stores are trying to get off the ground and running.
Going At It Alone
One of the biggest mistakes we see is solo entrepreneurs that aren’t supported by a team or seeking support from other professionals in the field. There are a lot of things that go into making an e-commerce store, including but not limited to product design and development, site design and development, marketing campaigns and consumer outreach, customer service, and inventory aspects like stocking, shipping, and returns.
Trying to do everything alone is a sure-fire way to feel burned out quickly, even if it feels like managing all of the components is going well. Moreover, it’ll only get harder as your business grows. Acquiring the support you need — or even just getting advice — from industry specialists is helpful for making sure every component of your business is being run professionally and perfectly.
Forgetting to Scale
Many e-commerce stores start small without the foundation to eventually scale. Choosing a platform that makes it easy to grow with your consumer base is essential, hence Radiant’s love for Shopify, which makes it easy to do so. Be sure to pick a platform that supports growing and adding features as your business does, allowing you to find your pace and never need to switch management to do so.
In a similar vein, it’s important to keep a global mindset when starting your business. Don’t forget that all of your decisions should be focused on who your e-commerce company can become in time, and that means when your consumer base has expanded. The beauty of e-commerce is that many businesses are eventually presented with the ability to go global and reach international markets. Don’t be confined to a geographical region or overly specific product category, especially within your name; rebranding later is far more of a headache than having a brand name that’s a little more general.
Balancing Creativity and Marketing
E-commerce stores require a 50/50 balance of creativity and marketing, whether that be within the individual running a store, or across a team of members that collectively run its separate aspects. For some, marketing comes easily, while creativity takes more time. This can result in a lack of new products or services, though the existing ones will be well-backed. For others, creativity is what has driven their e-commerce store. This may lead to a focus on creating new concepts, all of which have a unique twist that makes them potential best-sellers, but may ultimately lack the ability to fully flesh them out and market them to their fullest. The key to e-commerce is to set aside time for both creativity and campaigning, keeping your store at the forefront without having products that never make it off the shelves.
Underselling Your Products
One of the biggest beginner’s mistakes that e-commerce sellers make is undervaluing their products in hopes of selling more. While this may attract some customers, it won’t attract the customers you want. Your goal is to create a consumer base that buys within a price range that’s close to your ideal selling point for the highest profits possible. Setting the price of your products low prevents you from possibly raising them later, at the risk of losing your consumer loyalty.
An even bigger problem is that you may be underselling products to a point of profit loss. Many e-commerce companies have realised they’re in the red only months later, while doing taxes or performing quarterly analyses. Calculate all possible losses to ensure positive cash flow even in the worst case scenarios, and price your products for what they’re truly worth when labor has been taken into account. Underselling only hurts a business in the long run.
Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
A lot of e-commerce beginners focus solely on driving traffic to their sites, without emphasising improving conversion once those same customers are on their site. For as much as you market in attempts to garner new leads, an equal amount of focus should be put into upselling customers. Put a solid amount of effort into conversion, and increasing average order value, revenue per visitor, and customer lifetime value. Continue to track cart abandonment rate and bounce rate, among other key metrics, and consider using retargeting ads and abandoned cart emails to bring customers back.
By encouraging sales from a variety of angles, you’re diversifying your profits in a manner that leads to long-term growth and success. And if you need help, Radiant’s consultancy services can help optimise your site for better metrics, including things like higher average order prices and revenue per visitor.
Forgetting Customer Service
In the beginning of a business, it’s easy to put the focus on the company itself and not the consumers. Even when attention is on the buyers, it’s for their buying behavior and not their thoughts and opinions. It’s well-known that many beginner businesses are sales-focused, and implement their marketing plans as determined from the beginning without adapting much to critiques until they’ve made more of a profit. Your best bet for success is to reach out to customers for feedback, read through reviews, and have a comprehensive system in place for handling customer service communication.
Radiant’s E-Commerce Expertise
If there’s one thing Radiant does best, it’s e-commerce. With decades of combined experience, our team has all of the elements necessary to help you grow. We offer e-commerce consultancy services for those looking to optimise their current site, as well as design and development services to give brands totally custom websites for standing out amongst the competition. Once your site is up and running, our priority maintenance services are there for any improvements or additional pages, keeping your storefront up to speed as you grow. Contact us today to see how our e-commerce agency can provide you with the tools necessary to succeed!