All too often we hear about how successful our friends are in their E-commerce business or we read a ‘rags-to-riches’ story that involves starting their own online store. Many of us feel inspired by these stories and quite frankly, who doesn’t want to earn a handsome sum and be your own boss right? While this dream seems easily attainable, there are those who fail miserably at running an E-commerce business. How so? Well, we’ve narrowed it down to 7 common mistakes made by E-commerce owners:
Not Knowing Your Target Audience
The most common mistake faced by the E-commerce business is that owners fail to cater to the needs of their target audience. Before launching a product, it’s important to properly analyse your target audience’s pain points, values, behaviour and shopping patterns. By conducting this research, you’ll be able to market your product to the right target audience which consists of many potential customers. Failure to do so will result in a lack of sales as your target audience will deem your products ‘unnecessary’. But if you take the time to study who your target audience is, then your products will be flying off shelves in no time!
Lack of Social Media Presence and Information
Ever since the rise of social media, online shopping has gotten so much easier. When platforms like Lazada, Shopee, Zalora etc entered the market, it created new opportunities for common folk to easily set up their own businesses too. Take for example the existence of IG Shops (Introducing Shops on Instagram: A New Online Shopping Experience | Instagram for Business). What was formerly a social sharing site has now turned into a business platform as well. Yet, some E-commerce business owners don’t take advantage of this useful feature. In fact, some of them have no social media presence at all. When online stores lack a social media presence, customers tend to steer clear of these stores because they don’t trust that it’s a legitimate business.
A lack of social media presence usually comes hand-in-hand with poor image, video and product descriptions. If there is no information available about your services or products, then how are your customers supposed to gather the information they need to make comparisons? For each and every product you sell online, there must be a thorough description paired with a matching photo or video. Remember, your audience can’t touch or feel your product. The only stimulation they have is what they see on the screen, so make sure it leaves a good impression on them.
Inefficient Customer Service
Nobody likes talking to a brick wall. Unfortunately, this is also something many E-commerce businesses tend to ignore – customer service. They fail to realise that it’s pivotal for their customers to be able to communicate with them when needed. Most of the time, customers aren’t able to contact sellers because they don’t have a ‘Contact Us’ page or simply because they ignore the Direct Messages sent to their social media platforms. When running an E-commerce site, you must provide your customers with an easy way to get in touch with you if they were to experience any hiccups while purchasing from your webstore. Communication is a two-way street and excellent customer service is a MUST for any online business.
Let’s be honest, a couple of mishandled orders here and there are pretty normal. But, if you’re constantly getting orders wrong by mixing up the products or putting the wrong delivery address, then you need to take a step back and reevaluate how you’re handling your online business. People mostly shop online for two reasons – convenience and efficiency. If you fail to fulfil orders and deliver products in a timely manner, you’ll have no choice but to deal with angry customers. Bear in mind that the more angry customers you have, the more your business will take a plunge. The simplest solution for this would be to keep a checklist of everything you need to double check before sending your orders out to your customers. Trust us, it creates efficiency and is far better than handling upset customers.
Insufficient Marketing and Ads Budget
The digital age has allowed for a new wave of marketing campaigns that are centred around exclusive shopping days. These days include, but are not limited to, 11.11 sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc. Many online shoppers are aware of these days and strategically plan their purchases around these events. However, many E-commerce business owners don’t see the importance of participating in these events. More often than not, they tend to sit them out because they failed to allocate a proper budget for marketplace campaigns. Ultimately, this will result in a lack of brand awareness which doesn’t help your sales.
But, that’s not the only thing that could lead to failure. When running an online business, it’s important to spend the appropriate amount on Ads as well. If you spend too little on running ads for your business, nobody is going to see it because it’ll get lost in a sea full of other promotions. At the same time, spending too much on ads could be the downfall of your business too if it’s not targeted at the right people. In conclusion, the best way to overcome this problem is by executing a proper marketing strategy that caters to the needs of both your business and your customers.
A mistake that will eventually end up killing your online business is a webstore with never-ending problems. If your business solely relies on an online customer base, then having a website that has slow loading time, bad design or problematic payment gateways is a sure way to bankruptcy. People like to buy stuff online because it’s a simple process that even a toddler could figure out. But, if your checkout process is too complicated, you could be deterring your customers. Fret not, an easy fix to this would be to invest in a proper web developer. By doing so, you can ensure that your website has a clean look, a simple checkout process and runs smoothly when customers are browsing or placing orders.
No ‘Rate and Review’ Section
When shopping online, the first thing customers look for are reviews about the product. If your E-commerce business doesn’t have a ‘rate and review’ section, then how will your customers determine the value of your product? Peer-to-peer reviews are an essential component of running a successful online business because there is no tangibility to the products. Therefore, having a ‘rate and review’ section will bridge the gap between your customer’s trust and the reliability of your online business.
Now that you know how to fix and avoid these common mistakes, it’s time you start thinking about where to store your products. Luckily, FlyBear can handle this next step for you! At FlyBear, we pride ourselves on our Pick-and-Pack services. With a temperature controlled storage facility paired with 24/7 security, our team will receive your orders, pack up your products and deliver them to your preferred logistics company. Don’t stress yourself out with trivial matters like storing and packing, let FlyBear take care of it for you!