Do you dream of becoming a major player in the ecommerce arena? Are you charged and ready to create a new website to suit needs and fill your treasury too! In any new venture, there are bound to be hiccups in every journey. But if you’re a true entrepreneur, you will forge ahead and pursue your dream.
If it is your first time creating an ecommerce site, it can be very challenging. It would be my duty to warn you from making the same first-timer mistakes that I made. If you do your research you’ll notice these seem to be rather common.
#1 Ditch the Typical- Get A Snazzy Name!
Let’s face it! There’s almost a dearth of names to christen your baby business with. Almost everything you can think of is already in use either online or in a brick and mortar store. But expending some creative energy on deciding a unique and relevant title can pay off (real good!) in the long run. It automatically increases brand recognition and come on! We all are inclined to being associated with quirky and fun brands right?!
If this task of choosing a name seems tough and daunting, go ahead and hire a creative agency to help you out. Don’t delay on this essential.
#2 Apply Unique Graphics & Logo Design
For a very long time I did not have a website graphic/logo which was true to my brand and made sense to things I was trading online. Then one day, my friend suggested I design a logo which I could use as a representation of my brand. He said it’s all about being authentic and different to prevent being drowned into oblivion. Contrary to popular belief, it does not cost thousands to create an alphabet with three strikes through it. Today, the internet opens up many avenues to create free designs and graphics which look professional and interesting. I discourage using images from Google because your customers are likely to have come across it before. Be original and make an effort; they will notice it and appreciate it.
#3 Don’t Underestimate the About Page
What’s that you say? You were so busy filling up your product catalogues that you forgot to create and update your website’s ‘About Us’ page? That reads newbie all over it!
As a new website you are likely to attract a lot of new visitors who may be interested in knowing who you are and why you have started a business like this. It is well visited and should be prepared with care. It shouldn’t be very long. Don’t sound like a robot; try to maintain a human touch to it. Personalize this page to talk about where you are place, what is your dream, what is different about your enterprise, where you ship to/from, where your physical office is, how many employees you have, what is your team philosophy.etc.
#4 Customers Will Come Automatically
While building your business, you devote all your energy towards juggling the various responsibilities that accompany it. You forget to do something essential. When you ideate and take a survey as to who your potential customers are, we feel content that there are many takers for our product. But after it launches, the conversion from potentials into real customers is very low!
Customers will not bombard your website the day it opens! It’s not all hunky dory. You need to understand that it is a long term process and be patient through it. There are X number of websites out there that have existed for longer, given them good service, maybe even discounts over time and they are bound to give them preference. So shed the mentality and work towards bringing clicks and visits to your site.
#5 Parade Inactive Social Networking Site Links On Website
I know of people who create social media accounts on every platform possible and feel proud about their ‘Social Footprint’. In reality, their accounts (often newly made) are not reassuring about their credibility and neither expresses their thoughts, ideas or creativity. They soon lose interest in the network. When it comes to designing a webpage, they include all means to reach them by social networking. It’s upsetting to see that the ecommerce website owner follows 1000 people on Twitter but has only 40 following him back. It reflects badly on him- his popularity as a person and the credibility of his business.
#6 Not Buying a Domain Name
Yes, I am guilty! It took me a while to realize the power of actually having bought a domain name in the name of my brand. There is a certain seriousness associated when a brand operates out of a purchased domain name as compared to WordPress, Tumblr or even Facebook. When your subscribers receive newsletters from your domain name rather than a Yahoo or Gmail account (which makes it look amateur and makeshift), they know you mean business. So acquire the right domain name today!
#7 Neglecting SEO
SEO and keywords and this and that! If you’re maintaining a “Maybe Later” attitude to SEO, you are digging your business’ grave slow and steady. New websites need it more than anything else to build on traffic. It is important to set aside a budget and strategy for SEO for your website. To start out your SEO journey, take out your notepad and write down the top keywords which are relevant to your business. If you cannot list upto ten, you are surely going wrong.
#8 Do You Need Comments and Reviews Immediately?
It is true that a comments section and/or a reviews section at the end of every article or product on for sale looks professional and follows the norm of the moment online, but it can work against you in certain situations.
Consider this: You browsed through 3 websites selling the same/similar product.
Website 1 is well established thus the product is rated, shared and commented upon.
Website 2 is evolving into great competition for Website 1 in terms of price. The product is also well rated and shared.
Website 3 is a newbie but looks to have potential. You notice that the product has never been rated or shared on the platform. You see a Comments section which is scandalously empty, waiting for you to post the first comment.
Website 3 automatically loses a certain amount of credibility in your eyes. This is a natural consumer reaction. You will prefer the websites the masses flock to and think about trying Website 3 once it builds a base amongst consumers better (..and eventually forget that it exists..)
Reviews, Comments, Social Media Sharing Buttons are called ‘Social Proof’. They can influence a customer but with a business just a few days old it can be detrimental. So think about whether you require them at the moment or not.
#9 Multi-Business Management
Finish what you start! If you do not concentrate on building your business from down towards the top of the pyramid, there are barely any chances of success. Knowing entrepreneurs, there’s a chance you are involved in more than one thing at a time. But this may complicate things for your business. So set aside spare time for the other projects you are passionate about so that the effort you can worked in a focused manner for your ecommerce business. More efforts, more results i.e. translation of your dream into reality!
#10 Fixed, Stagnant Marketing
You may have heard of the term ‘Marketing Mix’. The name is so appropriate and it surely sends out a message. Mix, match and utilize various marketing channels- they could be print, TV, radio, Out-of-Home, Direct and digital mediums to experiment with. With a pre-decided budget, you must outline the mediums which may seem beneficial for you. Being an ecommerce site, try to choose as much as social media advertising as possible. The plus point of this is the cost-effectiveness and reach. Be skillful and redirect traffic from your Pinterest blog, from your Instagram followers, Facebook friends/ads or even global Twitter pals!
Understand the payoff of each channel individually and decide on your very own ‘Marketing Mix’!
Keep assessing the requirements of your ecommerce website from time to time and keep your venture alive!