Before you jump headfirst into building an online store, there are factors you should consider that can greatly affect your business in the long run.Failing to take note of them could mean setting yourself up for tough times.
Here are 5 common mistakes you should know before building your online store.
- Picking a niche that is too competitive
Consider what you’re planning to sell and who you’re targeting then do some research. You could be entering a very saturated niche with hundreds to thousands or even tens of thousands of vendors.For example, are you planning to sell t-shirts? There are already thousands of online shirt shops out there.
If you do intend to pursue a niche with high competition, you have to work on your value proposition. What makes you different from the rest? Why would people choose to shop with you? Or you could narrow down who you want as customers, say targeting the plus-size market or sticking to your local community.Another way is to focus on B2B, dealing with local companies and organizations which would help you avoid repeatedly hitting-and-missing your marketing tactics.
- Dealing with the wrong vendors
A Google search would draw up several suppliers for different types of products but simply going through them without proper filtering leaves you vulnerable to scams.You’d need to do more than just look them up on the internet as not all wholesale suppliers advertise online. Those that are don’t necessarily rank as the best. One good reason why wholesalers prefer to stay off the virtual radar is to avoid scammers and waste precious time with non-serious inquiries.
- Forgetting to make a marketing plan
It’s easy to shove this aside, particularly when you don’t have a background in commerce, specifically marketing. In a time when new businesses are launched every year, it has never been more essential.
Marketing means knowing what your brand is about: what you want to help your customer with, how you plan to do that, how you relate to them and how the message is best relayed. It’s the perfect marriage of creativity and strategic thinking, from the words used, to the tone of voice, to the colors, to the medium and more. Since people now have shorter attention span and there’s a lot of “noise” or other things trying to catch their attention, knowing your customer inside out is the only way you’d be able to get them to notice you.
- Disregarding search optimization
Google has 3.5 billion searches daily on average. Use Google’s tools to see the number of search queries for your products and you’re still likely to get hundreds to thousands. This indicates the pool of potential new clientele you could be getting if they’d find you on Google’s search results and other popular search engines.
Also, it’s highly probable that your customer would be looking for your website if they’re interested to make a repeat purchase or wants to browse through an online catalog for your other products. Don’t expect people to be able to remember your website URL address 100% of the time. Search engines help consumers, firms and organizations to find businesses when they don’t know where to look. These days, they’re the ultimate go-to when it comes to getting any information.
- Not optimizing their website for conversions
Online store owners often assume their website is performing at its best and is already easy for shoppers to navigate. Whether you’re the owner or the web developer or the marketing head, it’s always difficult to correctly assess the user experience. Find ways to test from employing the help of your family and friends to investing in tools that let you know at what point your customers tend to leave the site.
If you find building from scratch too much of a hassle, you can choose to build using an ecommerce platform like Shopify. There are several sophisticated ones on the market that don’t charge much. Be sure to compare prices and services, as well as read through reviews to prevent the possible issues of using a poorly developed one.