Thinking of starting a new online eCommerce website? Ever 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 to give your WordPress eCommerce website the best chance for success.
Mistakes to Avoid for New eCom WordPress Sites
10. Not Having a Plan or Doing the Due Diligence
How do you determine if your new eCommerce venture can be competitive against the established sites already doing the same? First, due diligence, then creating a plan.
This includes finding a niche that you can do better or differently. Without niche — you are really nothing special.
Selling the same stuff, 1,000,00,000 sites are already selling, makes it hard to stand out. Without offering anything unique or of greater value (story, service, personality, freebies, member points, niche focus) is an uphill battle.
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
If your initial impression is anything less than professional, this lends to a lack of credibility. Generally speaking, when I run into a home-brewed “look,” it is often 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 sizes are standard and customary for a reason. Or that their preferred color scheme may cheapen their presentation.
8. One Line Generic Product Descriptions
You need to include the basic information customers desire to know to make a purchase. Size, colors, dimensions, and other specifics. The more details, the better!
This data is critical to getting onliners to click that “Add to Cart” button. Proof your descriptions for typos and misspellings, so you don't risk looking like you lack attention to detail. Every little detail matters.
7. Not Having Any Location or Contact Information
I was on a website this week that had no contact information or form. Nothing. Unless you were a customer. What about potential customers? Not having a way to ask pre-sale questions definitely created a negative impression.
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 solidify further you are established and have nothing to hide.
Having a valid phone number for customers to call during business hours for inquiries can be very important. In addition, 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
It would be best if you were clear about 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. So, to be clear, be honest and be sure to protect your customer's data.
5. Poor Quality Graphics and Visuals
Blurry graphics do not provide an impression of quality. Nor do they encourage visitors to buy what they can't clearly see. But, unfortunately, you also risk providing 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. Unfortunately, you can't have it both ways. Either learn how or hire someone to help you. This is an investment in your store's success.
Your product photos are the primary selling visual for your products. Blurry or pixelated product photos do not encourage sales or confidence that you consider quality an important factor.
4. Order Confirmation, Updates and Shipping Tracking Emails
These 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 Providing the Most Commonly Asked for or Required Information
Don't make potential customers fill out a contact form (aff) asking for everything but their shoe size to get basic information. Information on shipping, processes, returns, and policies should be provided without having to ask.
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
You need to have an aggressive marketing campaign to get exposure for your new eCommerce project. You won't make the top page rankings on Google simply by existing.
“It will happen some day, right?” Plan on maybe a couple years — if at all.
“Build it, and they will come” does not apply 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 established results competing for those terms.
New eCommerce store owners have to be rabidly committed to marketing their new website in every way possible. Naturally, therefore, you have to be prepared to participate in your own and other's blogs, groups, and social media sites (yep — wherever your market hangs out).
You need to run promotions, create newsletters, and get the word out about those too. Whatever it takes. That is, 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 or piece-meal the importance or implementation of these issues and still be profitable. That you can do only what you are willing, and you will still experience success.
There are those I've worked with who disregard my advice as just one person's opinion. Yes, it is my opinion—an opinion formed from successfully doing business online for over 25 years.
During that time I've lost count of the number of folks I have watched try, fail and then wonder why. I get it. It's hard work and a lot to embrace. But it is what it is.
Many negate the above issues because they didn't want to make an effort. Learning takes time, especially when learning new skills or ways of doing things.
If you aggressively apply all of the above, you increase your chances of online success exponentially. However, 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,