Retail ecommerce is projected to grow by more than $50 billion during the next 12 months. This growth presents a huge opportunity for both new and experienced operators to experience significant ecommerce success.
When it comes to achieving ecommerce success, knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. That's why we want to share 10 common mistakes that negatively impact ecommerce businesses of all sizes:
1. Underestimating Mobile
Consumers are getting more comfortable making purchases from their mobile phones. On Cyber Monday, sales from mobile devices topped $1.5 billion, which was an increase of 39% from 2016.
The growing influence of mobile shopping is why things like responsive web design are a must for ecommerce success in 2018 and beyond. Google's algorithm also uses mobile performance as a major ranking factor.
2. Not Writing Great Descriptions
A lot of ecommerce sites that use drop shipping simply copy their product descriptions from manufacturers or suppliers. Although this is fine to do as an initial placeholder, it's not ideal as a long-term solution. The problem with using generic product descriptions is they're not going to grab shoppers' attention.
A description that's on dozens of other sites also won't help your page rank well in Google. If you want to create long-term ecommerce success, it's worth taking time to write great descriptions. You should focus on creating descriptions that simultaneously cover everything shoppers need to know and tell a compelling story.
3. Overlooking Different Marketing Channels
When you find a marketing channel that works, it's easy to fall into the trap of putting all your resources into it. The problem is if that channel stops working, your business is going to be caught in a bind. You can avoid this pitfall by making a conscious effort to test and build multiple channels.
With something like content marketing, you will need to consistently invest for a few months before seeing any major results. By developing and sticking with multiple channels, you can ensure that an event like Facebook changing its algorithm won't completely disrupt your ecommerce business.
4. Failing to Build Trust
Consumers of all ages are much more comfortable buying online than they were just a few years ago. But that doesn't mean people will type their credit card information into any random website.
If someone finds a product they like but encounters any issues that cause them to question the legitimacy of an ecommerce site, the chances of them buying are very low. That's why it's so important to build trust.
Creating a great About page that profiles your business and team is a great starting point for building trust. Other steps like using SSL and trust badges during checkout help a lot as well.
5. Investing Too Little in Branding
Branding was a big part of why Dollar Shave Club was able to sell their business to Unilever for $1 billion. The same is true for why PetSmart paid $3.35 billion to buy Chewy.
As a new business owner, it's easy to dismiss branding as something that only huge corporations need to worry about. But if you want to achieve ecommerce success for years to come, building a real brand is a must.
6. Overwhelming Customers During Checkout
It's always frustrating to lose a customer during the checkout process. Although it's normal to have some abandoned carts, a high percentage can really hurt an ecommerce business.
When businesses have this problem, it's often due to an unwanted surprise during checkout. Shipping costs that are higher than expected are a common culprit. It's also important to minimize how many form fields you require shoppers to fill out.
7. Misaligned Pricing
Choosing the right prices for your products is both an art and science. Pricing can play a big role in how consumers view your brand. For example, sudden price slashing by a luxury brand can hurt its long-term ecommerce success.
Nailing down optimal price points requires understanding your market and where you want to be within it. Once you have a range, you can use surveys and testing to refine your pricing strategy.
8. Trying to Sell to Everyone
The single biggest mistake new ecommerce businesses make is trying to sell to everyone. With the exception of Amazon, trying to appeal to everyone generally results in failing to resonate with anyone.
The best way to avoid this pitfall is truly understanding your target customer profile. Once you know who you want to reach, you can improve your marketing efficiency and actually reduce customer acquisition costs.
9. Running Out of Inventory
It feels great to understand your ideal customer profile and then dial in your marketing efforts. But nailing down those essentials doesn't guarantee ecommerce success forever.
The reason is even the best marketing efforts can be disrupted by running out of inventory. Avoiding this problem is part of what makes drop shipping so appealing.
Not needing to stock your own inventory makes managing and adjusting far easier.
10. Taking an Outdated Approach to Email Marketing
Around 96% of visitors who come to your website are not ready to buy. That's why it's so important to focus on getting as many of those visitors as possible on your email list. While more ecommerce businesses understand the importance of email, many still make a big mistake in terms of what they send. Simply blasting out a newsletter or generic promotion to every subscriber is very ineffective.
A far better approach is using an email marketing automation tool to personalize when and what you send subscribers. This type of tool means you can easily send different emails to new subscribers than you do to repeat customers.
Achieve Ecommerce Success By Avoiding All 10 Mistakes
We hope you take the 10 mistakes we covered and use them to create an improvement checklist for your ecommerce business. Making these improvements to your business will put it on the path to significant ecommerce success.
And if you're new to the ecommerce space or want to pivot your current business model, we encourage you to take a look at how Dropified can help you achieve ecommerce success by automating your Shopify drop shipping business.