5 biggest mistakes businesses make when they start selling online

As web designer I have built many online stores. But there are mistakes I see people repeat again and again. Selling online doesn’t have to be difficult. You can increase your changes of succeeding by avoiding some of the common pitfalls.

Trying to be perfect.

This is also know as ‘failure to launch’. Some people just want everything to be perfect before they unveil their creation to the world. Fair enough, but life isn’t really like that. Most good things in life are a product of incremental improvement.

To avoid this problem try starting small. Your e-commerce website doesn’t have to be an enterprise level project. If you start with a small list of features and products you will be able to get started much more quickly. The website building process will be faster and less expensive.

No Plan.

This problem is a common one. People start with a vague idea and then keep adding to the website as they go (see problem one).

Create a plan and a deadline for going online. Start with your core products or services. You don’t need to add every product in your inventory, just the high selling or easy to ship ones.

Systemise the process of putting products on the website and make someone in charge of it. Work with your website designer to make sure the instructions on how to use the website are clear and easy to follow.

No Marketing.

The Internet is a big place. The days on building a site and people finding it on Google are over. You will need to market your website. There are many ways to market your online store, both on and off-line. If you already have a physical business then you have a head start over online only businesses.

Bad Product Photos.

This is a big one. I have seen a lot of store owners ruin a website by taking very bad photos. You want to show your product in the best possible light don’t you?

This is especially important for clothes stores. You want to show the colour in the photo as true to the real life colour as possible.

You spend thousands on a great website, why scrimp on a decent camera and a piece of white card for a background? Or if your budget allows, hire a professional photographer.

Not choosing the right e-commerce type for your business.

The standard ‘selling shippable products’ a’la Amazon e-commerce site we all know isn’t always the right match for your business. There are many different types of e-commerce website that might prove to be a better match. People have made successful businesses from subscription type services. Services that ship products regularly for a fixed monthly fee. Shaving blades, underwear, food, the list goes on.

Services can also be sold online. People are used to Uber and booking cabs online. Why not pool cleaners, plumbers, lawn mowing and gardening.

If you are thinking of dipping your toe in the world of e-commerce it is worth spending a little time to avoid these common mistakes.

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