e commerce

Opening an Online Store? Here Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid

If you’re getting ready to launch an eCommerce site for the first time, you must be flat-out planning and arranging many elements. For example, there’re the products you’ll sell, the website platform you’ll use, shipping methods, business structure, packaging, and more.

However, even though the growth in online sales has been huge in recent years, this doesn’t mean your venture is a guaranteed success, no matter how hard you work. To help you avoid taking wrong steps, learn from others. In particular, pay attention to common mistakes many online entrepreneurs have made over the years.

Failing to Complete Enough Research

One of the top mistakes made is not completing adequate research. While the eCommerce market continues to thrive, this growth also means plenty of competition. New traders must learn as much as they can about what’s already on offer, so they can ensure they present something different.

Research your competition to get an idea of the products currently being sold in the niche you want to target. Also, check out the site features, customer support offerings, shipping and returns policies, and other factors competitors have. Learn if there’s an area of the market not currently catered to and if there are certain platforms or marketing avenues that consumers prefer.

Also, make sure you look into your target demographic(s) so you learn as much as possible about these people and what they want. Get an idea of the price points they prefer, how and when they like to shop, and other important factors for them. The more you understand this side of things, the better you can target your offerings and help your store to stand out for the right reasons.

The research shouldn’t stop once you’ve launched your store, either. Once it’s up and running, continually look at the data generated to determine how you might improve features, functionality, product choices, and messaging, among other things. Utilize a comprehensive web analytics tool that will allow you to see what people look at when they shop.

Check out where they spend most of their time on your site, where they are when they click away, how many products and other pages they examine, and how long they spend browsing your store in total. All of this information can be invaluable for continually testing and measuring and improving your eCommerce venture so you can obtain better results every year.

Website Not Up to Scratch

Of course, all the research in the world can’t help you if you don’t create an online store that’s up to scratch. Your website needs to be user-friendly, with easy navigation that people don’t have to think about and a checkout that isn’t too laborious. Leave enough white space on each page to ensure the website doesn’t look cluttered, but at the same time provide shoppers with enough information and graphics to answer all their questions.

Use a font that’s easy to read and large enough that people can see every word without having to squint. Also, choose quality photographs and videos that showcase the wares you’re selling from every angle. Your site should be fast-loading and mobile-friendly, too, and have clear “Contact Us” details so customers don’t have to search to see how to get in touch if they need to ask a question.

Not Taking Enough Security Measures

Another common mistake made by eCommerce entrepreneurs is not concentrating enough on security measures. Hackers are out in force daily and are only growing in number. The tactics they use to break into networks, crash sites, steal sensitive information, and more continue to become more sophisticated, too.

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Take the appropriate measures to keep your business data and customer details safe from prying eyes. Your business won’t last long if it’s compromised by cybercriminals and financial or other data gets stolen. Choose a website platform that’s security-conscious, and minimize the number of people within your organization who can log into and make changes to your site. This way, there’s less chance of secure details getting out.

Utilize comprehensive security software and firewalls, so there’s less chance of a hacker attack. Choose proper passwords made up of at least eight characters or more on all the programs and accounts you and your team log into online, including your website. Plus, try not to store customer payment details but instead use a payment gateway that transacts financial data securely.

These are three of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make every day that you should work hard to avoid. Address these and take steps to avoid them, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a more successful venture that’s around for the long term.