The current failure rate of eCommerce online storefronts is a substantial 80%. 22% of which occur within the first year of operation. There are multiple reasons, but some of the most likely reasons your eCommerce venture might fail include poor planning, bad SEO, inefficient fulfillment, and lack of free shipping. The truth about online success is that you need to put in the work.
Like anything worth doing, operating a successful eCommerce platform requires hard work and dedication, the likes of which you are unlikely to have experienced before. You won’t get rich overnight, and it could be a long time before you earn a single dollar. But if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain first. Avoid the following to increase your chances:
An eCommerce site is a business first and foremost. And like any business, accurate planning is required. Market assessment, target audience, key demographics are the least you should include in an eCommerce business plan. Today’s hot products might be shelved tomorrow. Therefore you need to plan long-term goals and consider all you offer to your customers.
Order fulfillment for startups in eCommerce ventures is the lifeblood of the business. The challenges of receiving and shipping orders are logistically complex. They require outsourced services if you are to be successful with any orders over ten per day. Systems such as ShipBots sync, store and ship your orders from their vast storage facilities as and when orders come in.
The downfall of many businesses is unreasonable pricing. Why would a shopper pay 25% at your online store than a competitor’s? You need to set prices realistically based on what you sell with an understanding of supply and demand. For example, you might get away with selling a PlayStation 5 for a little over RRP. However, hundreds over will likely mean dormant stock.
No Understanding of SEO
eCommerce relies on several factors. As part of your site’s overall design, SEO should be included. But SEO for eCommerce is a little different than standard blog SEO. For an eCommerce SEO plan, try the following:
- Have reviews for web crawlers
- Use unique product descriptions
- Create relevant categories
- Use Schema for rich snippets
- Optimize your site’s speed
These are essential elements that will help boost your eCommerce SEO score. Page speed is vital these days. You can check your store’s speed at Google PageSpeed Insights.
Poor Site Design
Further to SEO, your website’s design is also a crucial factor in determining success. For the most part, please keep it simple and pay attention to the layout. A cluttered site with bold colors is likely to drive users away before they even click on anything. It is also helpful to prioritize large brands on your home page. Users like to see a brand association, and it gives legitimacy to your site.
No Inbound Generation
You can maximize sales by taking advantage of inbound leads. For example, a user clicks a backlink to your smartphone accessories store via an Apple iPhone review on another site. Inbound leads are generated by relevant content designed to bring a customer to your store, such as a blog directly related to your business.
Frustrating Checkout System
When users browse an eCommerce site, they want an easy experience to find what they want. From start to finish, the entire process needs to be seamless, quick, and efficient. Poor checkout contributes to the 68% shipping cart abandonment rate. One of the biggest culprits is adding hefty shipping charges at the final hurdle. Expenses like this should be made clear long before a user arrives at the confirm button.
Lack of Promotional Content
If you run an eCommerce online store, then you essentially sell products. And products benefit from only one thing – advertising. So you can maximize sales by doing all you can to promote your products either on related websites or throughout your own. For example, if you still hold BBQs as Autumn approaches, advertise a sale price to avoid being left with dormant stock until next year.
Given the nature of eCommerce sites, i.e., selling products, they are a visual experience. Potential customers need to see what they are buying. Therefore, you should pay extra attention to the imagery on your site. Use high-resolution yet adequately compressed images. Also, offer special effects like zooming, color swatches, and 360-degree viewing if possible.
The internet is a vast place with millions of competing blogs and storefronts. Competition might be operated by a very successful blogger, a dedicated eCommerce expert, or a large corporation. Currently, there are 24 million eCommerce sites active across the web. Therefore you need a niche to compete. In these competitive times, a successful startup should stand out.
Selling Too Much Stuff
As part of understanding the competition and forming a niche, you mustn’t sell too much variety. For example, as a tech store, you might have trouble focusing on all that’s available, from TVs and PCs to smartphones and tablets. Instead, your efforts are better served by focusing on one or two items as an expert, such as Microsoft Surface Pro and its accessories.
Lack of Investment
To make the most of your eCommerce startup, you need to invest money. Not only do your products require purchase, but investment in the site itself is an essential requirement, such as:
- Adequate web hosting
- Order fulfillment systems
- Professional web design
- Expert SEO
- Digital marketing
All of these are readily available via external services. Therefore, it is best to shop around and arrange deals to arrive at an optimal return on investment.
Get Rich Quick Thinking
The world wide web is littered with failed blogs and eCommerce sites, abandoned by one inefficient way of thinking. Many people assume you can get rich quickly using the internet. This is wholly misunderstood. Of course, there are random, isolated cases where this happened, but it isn’t expected. Becoming successful takes time, dedication, a willingness to learn and adapt, and passion. You won’t become successful overnight, so prepare for the long haul.