Updated: Feb 3
There are about two million eCommerce webstores and everyone is trying to be successful but how many of them are making enough to justify their existence?
Setting up an eCommerce site require a lot of thinking, planning and preparation before going live. It is not about registering a catchy domain name and picking an eCommerce software solution and you are in the business.
Yes, no one is stopping you to jump in and start your eCommerce business in a week of when the idea of having an eCommerce site dawned on you. Yes, you can be in eCommerce business just like this. Rest assured that you will also be out of business in no time.
Below are 5 common mistakes made by companies that people commonly make:
Differentiation – Finding the Niche
Have you asked yourself why people will prefer buying your product and services instead of someone else. If there are too many sites offering the same product and services many at better rate and many of them can earn more trust from the customer than your site, why will someone buy from you.
Differentiation is all about your unique value proposition. What is that you offer that is different from others? Is it better price? better quality? You expertise in the area of specialization? unmatched customer service? no question asked return policy? or something else?
There are many mistakes people do when offering the product and services to the prospective customer.
Spreading too thin with the products
Do remember Pareto’s famous 80/20 rule? This is also called law of vital few. This principle has stand test of time and says that 80% of your revenue is earned by 20% of your products and vice versa.
Agreed, that a eCommerce site with huge selection attracts customers but in the urge to make the site looks well stocked they end up adding products that (1) do not contribute significantly to the sales and profits; and (2) confuse the customer more than assist them in their buying process.
Your product Catalog is like the departments and sections in a departmental store. Have you ever tried finding a pair of shoes for a well-known brand like say Calvin Klein in the dress section? At the same time, you may have a Calvin Klein section in the store which showcase all the product range from the Brand.
The same philosophy applies in case of eCommerce stores. Your customer should be able to drive through your site in multiple ways to find what they are looking for and you being the seller must give them a wonderful shopping experience to earn their business.
In the brick and mortar store where customer can touch and feel the product that you are offering. In an eCommerce web store, customer uses different set of parameters to make a buying decision. In addition to their trust in your offering, the way you present your products can make or break the viability of your eCommerce store.
In a study, it was found that people pay more attention to text for standard items like TV compared to the images when making a buying decision. The reason is that they have a fair idea of how the TV or fridge or deep freezer will look when placed in their living room or kitchen. The main objective is to establish what are the usage benefits of one product over the other.
5. Product images/videos
A good quality image can do magic when it comes to personal or household items. Again, remember that with lack of ability to touch and feel the product being offered by your eCommerce site, the pictures try to give the feeling of how they will look and feel when you wear them. This is also why you will put multiple images of the same product from the same product and the ability to zoom in and out to give a better buying experience to your customer.
When buying standard products, the customer is more keen to see the features and benefit of the product as long the look of the product is not considered ‘ugly’ in their eyes. Therefore, many sites provide a product comparison feature to the visitors on their site. This feature help customer to spend considerably less time to compare the different products on their buying criteria and they are expected to spend more of their dollars on your site than on the site of your competition.
7.Earning Customer Trust
Your eCommerce customer has never been to your shop or warehouse. They do not know you, have never dealt with you, have never done business with you. You are still asking them to trust you by charging their credit card for the cost of they are buying and the shipping charges. Why would they do that? They will never ever make a purchase on your site until they trust you. The question, therefore, is whether your site can earn customer’s trust?
Unfortunately, many of the business have not earned the brand image in the eyes of the eCommerce web store visitor compared to the big players in the market like Amazon, Sears and others. It takes time and effort to build a name and there are companies who have been very successful in building their brand image. In most cases, however, the brand image does not exist but it does not mean that you should not try to earn it over time.
Customer references and testimonial give the prospective buyer what they seriously lack. (1) That the product will do what it is intended to do; and (2) they are dealing with a supplier they can trust.
The powerful references are from the customers to which your customers can relate to. The referring customers that fit as close to the persona of the buyers will earn more trust from the buyers than the other references.
Influencer marketing is providing recommendation or reference from influencers. Influencers are those people whom your customers can relate to. These are the people who have an influence over your customers. The idea of influencer marketing not new. It was introduced in 1940 and have been used since then in different forms and manners.
11.About Company’s Performance
You would have noticed the kind of statistics being presented by the company to emphasize that they are dealing with a company that is in this business, have serviced the wide range or customers and is in this business to stay.
12. Press Coverage
Trust is immediately build when customer find your company or the product that you are offering are covered and recommended in press articles. Review in related Press like GQ for fashion sites or Forbes for businesses, give an instant boost to your credibility and hence your sales.
When buying standard products, the customer is more keen to see the features and benefit of the product as long the look of the product is not considered ‘ugly’ in their eyes.