The Dos and Don’ts when starting an eCommerce Website
There was a time when starting an eCommerce website was just a matter of putting up the site, loading with images and price lists, creating a single checkout point and waiting for the customers to come. That time is long gone. Even though it is much cheaper and easier to start an eCommerce store today, it is not as easy to stay in business. To be successful in this endeavor nowadays, you need to provide your customers with a personalized experience. They need to get a unique experience every time they log into your website. With this knowledge, it is prudent for every budding eCommerce business owner to learn the dos and don’ts when starting an eCommerce website.
Do Use High-Quality Images
We’re assuming that you already have a high-quality platform designed for your eCommerce store. Your website should be classy and up to par as far as quality is concerned. Think of it this way, your website’s homepage is similar to your storefront if you had a land based store. Just as you would want that store-front to be as welcoming and as professional looking as possible, so should you want your website and homepage.
Once that is taken care of, you need to load the website with high-quality product images. Shopping online has one small downside; customers do not get to touch, feel, and even smell the product as they would in a land-based store. As such, the only interaction they have with the product is through the images posted online. This tends to improve that all-important customer experience.
Don’t be a copycat
Everybody knows that sex sells. That is why many high-end products such as luxury vehicles and yachts have pictures of chiseled and stunning models showing off the product. This is the sort of lifestyle that most people who can afford this want. But just because this sells, doesn’t necessarily make it suitable for your website. If you are selling accounting software, for example, it might be best to promote the product through educational videos and PDF tutorials about how it works and the associated benefits; that would be to simply drape a naked lady over the website and hope that corporate procurement officers will find that attractive enough to buy. You need to be in tune with your product and target market. Promote accordingly and appropriately, not just because everyone else is doing it in a certain way.
Do create a solid clientele base before launch
In eCommerce, it is easy to assume that once you build it, they will come. True, in many cases, you get a lot more of your customers once the website is up and running. But that does not mean that you should only wait until you have that eCommerce store up and running before you begin trying to attract customers. You should do your best to automate as many of the operational processes as possible. During your Alfa and Beta testing phase, start creating a list of potential clients. Look for online forums and where most of your buyers hang out online and start fostering a relationship with these people. Start promoting your brand as a business leader in your field so that when you launch, you will already have a following that trusts you and is willing to try out what you are selling.
Don’t be too quick to give up
It is probably true that one of the main reasons as to why you decided to create an online eCommerce store is because you read about all that money people are making online. Honestly speaking, it is a trillion dollar a year business, and most of these people are making all that money passively. You want that kind of lifestyle, and you think it will happen overnight.
It almost never works out that way. To be successful at anything, you have to put in the work and the time. Know that it might take years before you see the millions that you want to see. But do not give up. Always find new ways to make your eCommerce store better. Look for better ways to promote it and source out better, more marketable products that will sell.
Do focus on growth and scalability
The whole point of starting an eCommerce store is so that you can have the whole world as your target customer. This presents great scalability opportunities for those who know how to take advantage of it. Focus on being able to grow your business. If you find that you spend 18 hours every day just to keep your business afloat, then know that it might never really grow. Thanks to the ever-growing Freelancing nature of the world today, you can find affordable help to fill in orders and make sure that everything is shipped out in time. Take advantage of this affordable labor to free up some of your time so that you can focus on growing the business.
Don’t try to do too much at once
This is a trap that most eCommerce business start-ups fall into, trying to do too much at once. The internet is full of many shiny things, and if you are not careful, you will get pulled in many different directions. Keep your focus. Find that product that you are good at promoting and selling and then concentrate on that in the beginning. Ensure that your brand becomes synonymous with that kind of product and quality before you can scale up to other things.
These are 6 of the most basic Dos and Don’ts when starting an eCommerce website. Know that there is a learning curve for this kind of business and anybody looking to be successful at it needs to keep improving themselves if they wish to make it.