Thinking of starting a new online eCommerce Website? Wonder where most sites fall short and why many fail? I bet you'd like to avoid making as many mistakes as possible, right?
Here are a few of the initial variables you need to consider and embrace before you even think of starting your business!
Mistakes to Avoid for New eCom WordPress Sites
10. Not having a plan or doing the due diligence necessary to determine if your new eCommerce venture can be competitive against the established sites already doing the same. Without niche -- you are really nothing special.
Selling the same stuff 100,000 sites are already selling, without offering anything unique or of greater value (story, service, freebies, member points, niche focus) is futile. So, what makes YOU so special? That's should be at the center of your marketing plan!
9. Your eCommerce store's design is home-brewed looking which lends to a lack of credibility. This type of "look" is many times due to the store owner cutting corners or modifying settings to their preference.
Perception is everything online! Many don't realize that white space is good, standard and customary font size are standard and customary for a reason. Or that their preferred color scheme may cheapen their presentation. Be sure to test your site for mobile responsiveness too!
8. One line generic product descriptions that do not include the basic information customers desire to know to make a purchase. Size, colors, dimensions and other specifics -- and the more details the better! This data is critical to getting onliners to click that "Add to Cart" button. Add to that typos and misspellings and your risk looking like you lack attention to detail. Every little detail matters!
7. Not having any location or contact information on your site. Why would people order from someone that they cannot contact or determine even where they are located? Even if you are an online only company, at least offer a mailing address to further solidify you are established and have nothing to hide. You also must have a valid phone number for folks to call during business hours. Doing so offers huge confidence perception value. Full physical or mailing address, phone and customer service email forms/addresses should be clearly displayed and easily found with a click or two.
6. No privacy page stating what you will do with customer information. Being clear and reassuring that you will protect and not disseminate store customer's information goes a long way toward building confidence to do business with you. Be clear, be honest and be sure to protect your customer's data!
5. Poor quality graphics and visuals give the impression that quality is not of concern. From logos to product graphics, low quality images do not offer a presentation that makes visitors want to part with their hard earned dollars.
Many site owners don't know how to use their digital cameras or don't want to pay a professional. You can't have it both ways. Your product photos are the primary selling visual for your products. Blurry or pixelated product photos do not encourage sales or confidence that you are about quality.
4. Order confirmation, updates and shipping tracking emails that are sent to customers. These two emails are critical and essential to building confidence and ongoing relationships with your customers. If you do not have the best of class customer service, the rest really doesn't matter.
3. Not having the most commonly asked for or required information that a customer would seek. Don't make potential customers fill out a contact form that asks for everything but their shoe size just to get basic information.
Operational and product FAQs should be provided with every question a customer has or may ask in the future. You know what those are -- create a FAQ page with them. Use my 3X rule -- if you get asked anything 3 times -- it goes in your site FAQ!
2. Not establishing, implementing and being involved in an aggressive marketing campaign to get exposure for your new eCommerce project. Some believe they will make the top page rankings on Google some day -- plan on maybe a couple years -- if at all!
"Build it and they will come" does not apply to online and it is near impossible to get those top rankings at this point. Search for your product on any search engine and see the hundreds of thousands if not millions of results competing for those terms.
New eCommerce store owners have to be rabidly committed to their marketing campaign. You have to be prepared to participate in your own and others Blogs, discussion forms, social media sites (yep -- wherever your market hangs out on), creating newsletters -- whatever it takes -- if you want to stand any chance for visibility and mind-share.
1. And, the #1 eCommerce Mistake that new store owners make is... Assuming you can minimize the importance or implementation of these issues and still be profitable.
Some may think the above is a little tough or just my opinion. Well, yes, it is my opinion -- an opinion formed from successfully doing business online for over 20 years. During that time I've lost count of the number of folks I watched try, fail and then wonder why.
Many who piece-mealed the above issues because they didn't want to make the effort, learn the necessary skills, spend the required time or invest accordingly to make sure these variables were solid.
If you apply all of the above, you increase your chances of online success exponentially! Wouldn't you rather know the reality of what is required for you to succeed so you are armed for success?
I thought so. Now, get to work!
At your service,