Opening an online store can be an exciting adventure. Finding the products you need to market, setting up a website, and promoting your venture for the first time can be a fun way to launch a new career. Ecommerce offers up a lot of unique opportunities, but there are many pitfalls that a newcomer should be aware of. After successfully implementing an online store I can guarantee that there will be things you wish you had known before you launched.
Being in the Ecommerce development business, I get a lot of feedback from clients, and those new to ecommerce often have many of the same things that they with they had known before launching their store.
1. I wish I had known how competitive my market was.
Fact, it’s relatively easy to set up an Ecommerce site, however, it’s never easy to launch a successful business online or off. I hear a lot of people say, “I want to set up a site just like (….)” and they list out one, two or twenty other sites already doing what they want to do very successfully. If this is the case, rethink your niche.
2. I wish I had known that my product wasn’t going to sell.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with people who have had some really great product ideas, then actually produced fabulous products and experienced great success. Sadly, I’ve worked with many who believed that their products were great and experience dismal failure. The sad truth is that many product ideas just don’t make it. Those who have successfully launched new product ideas have one thing in common and that is they tested their ideas before trying to go straight to the consumer with an ecommerce site. How, they pre-sold to niche distributors, they tested their product online using Amazon and Adwords. Yes, it is true, testing costs money, but it’s an investment that could save your product from failing.
3. I wish I knew about all the things I could do with my site.
I know that seems kind of general, but I was paraphrasing for multiple . An Ecommerce website can be a pretty complex thing and running a successful online business certainly has many intricacies that take time to fully understand. Common examples are;
• Not understanding how shipping can affect your bottom line.
• Not taking advantage of coupons and discount codes.
• Not using call to action items on your landing pages.
• Not taking advantage of social media.
• Not using your shopping feed.
• Not taking advantage of Google Shopping.
• Not taking advantage of customer reviews.
• Not using email marketing to retarget people who are already interested in your products.
It can be a real eye opener to an Ecommerce novice as to what a good Ecommerce platform can offer. For instance, BigCommerce literally has hundreds of built in sales and marketing tools that can make customer outreach so much easier.
Here are a few tips to help you successfully launch your first online shop.
Tackle the Project in Phases
The whole idea of getting your store off the ground can be so exciting that you want to avoid anything that might waste time getting it started but this could lead to a major burn out. There is a lot of work involved in launching an online store and the natural tendency is to plow right through it all. Instead, you should consider approaching the project in phases. The problem is that you’ll usually end up isolated from friends and family while you work on your launch, leaving yourself feeling tired, frustrated, and burnt out when you finally finish your venture. Taking a break between phases of the project helps to relieve stress and could even be an impetus to boost your efforts at promoting your business.
Your Customer Is Your Most Important Asset
It may seem that your online store is simply a place where people can order things and then wait for them to come in the mail, but there is much more to it than that. Your customers don’t just want any product they want to find quality that can be delivered to them within a timely period. Your goals are to provide your customers not only the products they want but the convenience that is naturally expected from an online shopper. This may require you to go above and beyond to keep them satisfied, this way, it will be easier to keep them coming back and supporting your business in the process.
Know Your Risk Reward Ratio
As an entrepreneur, you need to be ready to take on more risk than an average employee. It requires just as much effort to launch a small business as it does to launch a large venture so you might as well push your efforts to the limits. Rather than focusing on a small time venture that will produce minimal results put your energies into your business so that you can get the maximum potential out of it.
Regardless of the type of ecommerce store you launch, it is clear that you will have a lot of work to do to get your project off the ground. Resist the tendency to take short cuts and try to keep your business practices mean and lean until you are sure that your business will be strong enough to survive the potential pitfalls that may arise. Keeping these basic tips in mind can provide you with major rewards as your watch your new venture grow and mature into a viable entity that can support itself in the end.