Running an e-commerce business is a lucrative idea, however, with so many competitors out there, it’s quite hard to thrive and prosper without the right business plan. While some may assume that running a business is the one and the same thing, regardless of the niche, in reality, there are some problems and issues that are quite specific to the world of e-commerce. This means that a person without much experience in this field might have a hard time recognizing them, as well as averting the disaster that comes from it. With that in mind and without further ado, here are seven things you have to look out for so you can avoid this expensive eCommerce mistakes.
7 Expensive eCommerce Mistakes
1- Offering a default shipping option
Even in a scenario where you believe you know what’s best for your audience, you might be surprised to find out that not all of your consumers have the same priorities. Same-day or next-day shipments can be a selling point, however, you shouldn’t assume that this is of the same priority to all of your customers. Why not make a counter-offer and provide your audience with an option to get their items somewhat later, while making the purchase somewhat cheaper? The difference in price or delivery time shouldn’t be that great, however, this is completely beside the point. What matters, is that you’re giving them the option to choose how they customize their delivery.
2 – Miscalculating shipping expenses
Another massive mistake that some e-commerce companies make is a failure to properly calculate their shipping expenses. Think about it, the size of the package may completely alter the conditions under which the item is transported, especially if we’re talking about transporting these items in bulk. In fact, this size/weight related factor may make your estimations so inaccurate that they may persuade you to agree to the deal which would lose you money. This is one of those managerial issues that take place due to the inexperience in this field, however, allowing yourself to learn on your own mistakes might end up being too expensive, in this particular situation.
3 – Ignoring feedback
Online, it’s often hard to differentiate between the feedback and bitter, unfounded criticism, yet, this is something that you’ll have to master in order to drive your e-commerce business forward. After all, your business is not there to accommodate you or to nurture your ego, it’s there for a single purpose – to appeal to your clients and make them trust you enough to become paying customers.
Sometimes, people will abandon you in droves for no reason, yet, in some situations, they’ll be quite vocal with their concerns and discontent. Needless to say, you can’t allow yourself to turn a blind eye to their pleas. Listen to what they have to say and, if their concerns are reasonable, find a way to implement changes that will fix the problem.
4 – Downplaying the importance of customer address validation
Everyone makes mistakes, however, one of the greatest mistakes that could take place in the world of e-commerce is an instance where a customer pays for the product and the item gets sent someplace else. While there are several reasons why this might happen, most commonly is due to the fact that they’ve listed the wrong address. Keep in mind that even though this is their own fault, they’ll still expect you to do something about it. Reimbursing them or sending a new item puts you at a clear financial loss, which is why it’s always better to find a way to prevent this from ever becoming a problem. The simplest way to do so is through a more efficient customer address validation process.
5 – Underestimating the importance of product images
Imagine a scenario where you’re running a real-life store and a person comes to buy a product (a phone or a computer). It’s more than clear that they wouldn’t be able to tell the quality of the product just by looking at it or holding it in their hand, yet, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll make a purchase without this checkup.
At very least, in a situation where you don’t have the item in the store, the salesman will show you an image on the screen. This is why it’s important that the images you post are of high quality, that all the relevant information are displayed on the side and that you have an eCommerce marketplace platform that will make all of this easy and seamless to pull off.
6 – Relying too much on manual management
The problem with manual management is that it requires too much of your time and effort, time and effort that you could spend much better elsewhere. Moreover, the margin and a probability of error also get drastically increased in this way, which is probably the main reason to automate as many of your business processes as you can. This is particularly the case when it comes to shipping processes, which are a strenuous job, at very least when done manually, a menial task when entrusted to a software. All in all, missing out on an opportunity to make your job easier is never a smart thing to do.
7 – Ignoring social media marketing
Finally, no matter how efficient your self-promotion methods are and how much money you invest in your SEO, it’s simply never a wise thing to ignore social media marketing. The connection between social networks and social media marketing runs deep and those who pay a close attention to analytics, know just how many sales come through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Therefore, you need to establish a strong presence on all of these networks in order to avert a major loss of opportunity.
One might make a mistake of believing that adhering to the above-listed seven tips may save you money, when, in reality, this is not their purpose. All they stand to do is save you from unnecessary expenses and prevent mistakes that could set your business back or cause you to do some extra work without any kind of reward. Fortunately, most of the above-listed are so intuitive that after applying them only once, they’ll come to you completely natural for years to come.