Thinking about starting an eCommerce site? Avoid these common mistakes
Online retail has gone from strength to strength over the last decade. When the internet first came onto the scene, however, people were dubious about buying goods online. Thankfully, that mistrust was short-lived, and it wasn’t long before entrepreneurs realised the potential of ecommerce, finally seeing a way to beat brick-and-mortar outlets at their own game.
As a result, eCommerce has rocketed in popularity, with an unparalleled 70% of shoppers admitting they’d rather visit their favourite retailers on the information superhighway than the high-street. Sadly, however, simply stamping your company’s logo onto an eCommerce website is not a guarantee of success.
If you’re thinking about going into online retail, don’t fall at the first hurdle by making one of these common mistakes:
Brains before beauty
Aesthetics are undoubtedly important, but it doesn’t matter how eye-popping, style-savvy or appealing your site looks if you don’t have solid strategy in place. Plan your strategy on a month by month basis, concentrating your efforts on one or two key areas. Take care of the basics (products, content, customer resources, interface), and once you’ve carved out a slice of the market, you can consider giving your website a makeover.
Don’t ignore email
One of the most efficient ways to steer traffic towards your site is to start building a mailing list. It’s a great resource, especially early on when money is usually tied up in development, leaving you with little to spend on advertising and promotions. Try to entice people into signing up by offering nominal discounts, exclusive items and free gifts. Unlike social media, email never goes out of style, making mailing lists an invaluable resource.
Don’t say ‘no’ to SEO
Like it or not, Search Engine Optimisation is here to stay. In the past, sites have had to spend hundreds of man hours, as well as wads of cash, retooling their sites to make them more SEO-friendly. Don’t make the same mistake: ensure your site is SEO-ready out of the box, integrating it from the very beginning. Start stockpiling those keywords, title tags and meta data, and make sure each page, product description, and blog post receives its fair share.