Setting up an ecommerce business looks fairly easy, doesn’t it? You just have to have a name, a logo and an ecommerce platform – what’s so hard about that? Well, if you actually are thinking like this about ecommerce, you are gonna have a bad time when you set it up. As everything in the digital world (heck, as everything everywhere!), ecommerce takes planning, analysis and a little trial and error.
Fortunately, here at Lis7o we know a thing or two about ecommerce – and we’ve seen tons of mistakes. So, though we can’t make the planning for you, we can definitely help you out by telling you which mistakes you should avoid – if you don’t want your business to go down in a flash, that is.
1 – Sitting and waiting for customers to come
If you’re doing this, we hope you are comfortable to be waiting for all eternity. Customers won’t show up at your front door simply because they don’t know you even exist. With billions of pages available online, waiting for people to come without doing anything is like hoping to be found while sitting in the bottom of the ocean.
It doesn’t matter if your website design is top notch and if your catalog outnumbers and put your competitors to shame. You have to make yourself known! Paid ads, marketing strategies and SEO are practices that you’ll have to embrace and never let go. Those aren’t the only things you’ll need. You’ll also need patience, because your ecommerce will take time to position itself in the market.
2 – Not having a clear value proposition
Why should people buy from you? If that doesn’t prompt a quick and easy answer, then you’re simply not ready to launch your ecommerce site. Understanding your strengths, what makes you unique in front of your competition, is essential to succeed. This is especially true for stores competing with giants like Amazon whose efficiency, reliability and convenience has already been proven.
So, you’ll have to take a deep look inside your brand to understand who you are and where are you standing. After that comes the real hard work – communicating it clearly. Don’t get tangled between sexy and smarter-than-everyone-else copy. You can afford to be cool and still be brutally straightforward about what you sell and why you’re the best option among its sellers.
3 – Not understanding the relation between images and product descriptions
If you’re about to launch an ecommerce business (or even if you already have), you’ve surely researched the web for inspiration and have checked tons of ecommerce stores. Have you noticed how different they treat their product descriptions? Some prefer to keep them informative, others prefer an “ad-like” copy and others plainly refuse to include them. Some offer large photos and others barely include thumbnails. Which one of them is right? All of them.
Look, there’s no rule here. Product descriptions might be useful for an electronics ecommerce shop (where the specs are more important than the pictures by far) but they might be pointless in a clothing store (where it matters most how the clothes actually look). It’s important to be informative about your products but it’s far from more important to understand the bigger picture. You have to think about how your customer will shop for your products – will they care more about their looks or about their capabilities? This will be decisive to understand which aspect you should prioritize.
4 – Putting pop-ups that cover it all
Pop-ups can be very effective for ecommerce. They can help you convert, get feedback or bring attention to special discounts. We can’t imagine an ecommerce without them. But there’s a limit to them. Because of their disruptive nature, pop-ups can certainly feel like an obstacle for someone browsing through your products. And that’s insanely true for pop-ups that cover the entire screen, desperately calling for attention.
It’s understandable that you want to grab your visitors’ attention. But if you use this kind of pop-ups time and time again, you’ll wear your potential customers out. And they’ll certainly leave, never to come back. Remember, user experience is the most important thing here, and if you’re putting obstacles in the user’s way, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Think before adding pop-ups and design them in a way that they appear as helpful and not as “this freaking thing again.”
5 – Looking amateur
Finally, trust issues. Given that the Internet is the fertile soil in which thousands of scams grow, it’s understandable that your potential customers demand you look the part. If they can’t trust you, then all deals are off and your business will quickly be gone. So, you have to take the time to show them you’re a trustworthy company. The key word here is “show” because you can tell your customers you’re alright, but that doesn’t mean a thing. You have to prove that to them.
How do you show you’re trustworthy? First of all, with your website design. Your site looks is amazingly important in this time and age simply because is the easiest of ways your customers can compare your ecommerce with other well-known sites. If you look professional and modern, then you’re one step closer to success. Of course, this won’t be enough. You should also consider adding customer testimonials, press mentions, and info about your company and its team. Showing that there’s real people behind your brand is a smart move, since it gives your customers a sense of trust and transparency.
You’d be amazed by how many of the people we meet with Lis7o are making these mistakes in their ecommerce sites. Don’t be one of them. Pay attention to what you’re doing, test and adjust all that you can, and get help from professionals when you feel like you’re stuck.