What has actually changed in the financial world that marked the dawn of a new era? The answer is e-commerce. The fast-paced development in science, technology, and lifestyle of people around the globe has completely changed the market trend. The Global E-Commerce sales is expected to hit 4.5 trillion USD by 2021 as per a report from statista. The internet penetration rate for 2018 has been speculated around 54% that contributes for over 4.1 billion people having access to the internet. This clearly corresponds to the number of online shoppers adding true value to the E-commerce sector.
The unquantifiable potential of online market and e-commerce is evident to all. This gives a great opportunity to online merchants to establish, grow, expand and profit. Although, it may sound quite easy to conduct online business yet the reality isn’t a cakewalk. Today, startups and entrepreneurs around the globe are jumping the bandwagon and entering the ecommerce segment. The lack of multitasking ability and proper planning for the execution of online business creates huge blunders for these E-Commerce players and the fall badly. If we go for an Insight into these blunders, there are 13 biggest E-Commerce mistakes that must be rectified in order to have a successful online business.
1) Financial management and planning: The foremost requirement for entering the online business domain is proper planning of the complete functionality and execution of the e-commerce business. The main aspect of the online business model is the financial investment and cash flow. If an online merchant hasn’t conducted the calculative analysis before establishing the business, it may certainly lead to the end of business or to bankruptcy in the worst case scenario. Multi-level planning Of the different financial stages involved in establishment and growth of the online business is crucial for the longer sustenance and profit maximization.
From purchasing a domain and hosting to marketing expenses, and from online payment processing services to other essential requirements, well-planned financial feasibility is a very important aspect to start an online business. A money reserve deposit is needed to maintain the cash flow. You if there won’t be proper cash flow, the business will stop.
2. Appropriate e-commerce platform: A mismanaged platform with inappropriate services will never benefit The E-Commerce business. Right from choosing a domain and hosting to website management, the platform used for online business should be suitable for the specific business model. Merchants should opt for custom-tailored services that can accentuate the sales and profit their business in a sustainable manner. Domain-hosting providers and web developers like Godaddy and Wiz can help merchants with the right option.
For example, to have an online Fashion Boutique, it is advised that the website should have required interfaces for shoppers. Thoughtfully planned web structure can help for further expansions and integrations needed in online business.
Also Read: Top 10 Online shopping site in Nepal
3. Website security: SSL encryption is the most prominent Security feature for E-Commerce websites these days. After the introduction of new AI system in 2014 Google announced that it would give special attention and ranking boost to The E-Commerce websites using SSL encryption for customers’ data protection. With the further advancements in technology that have been many other security features available to secure the host’s and customers’ data.
4. Finding the target Clientele: This is indeed the most important factor of e-commerce. Without the target audience, there can be no online business. For every tangible product or service, it is important to have a buyer. One of the biggest blunders that e-commerce startups are doing these days is that initiate the business without researching the target audience and product Niche.
For example, if a startup company is selling pool construction services, they must find the target audience who need the services and can also pay for the same. The market competitiveness should also be kept in consideration while searching the ideal customers.
5. Website design interface: The visual effects play a very important role on the E-Commerce platform. The way a website can be represented has a huge impact on the sales of that particular E-Commerce business. They should not be too many Complex features on the website or extra add-ons and popups placed randomly on the web page. The design of a website directly corresponds to its usability and hence, a perfect design must be used to optimize the business potential.
6. Payment processing interface: Online shopping is a matter of seconds these days. Customers don’t prefer to wait too long or undergo a rigorous process of multiple data entries and transitions of different pages in order to complete an online payment. The payment processing services opted by the merchants should be prompt, fast and Secure. A customer always looks for his financial security and safety during online shopping. Major PSPs like Firstdata, Authorize.net, AlliedWallet, QuadraPay etc. can help merchants with right solutions at the global level.
Another important aspect of payment processing is multiple payment options. There should be a number of payment options available to a customer at the time of payment. So that the customer can easily purchase the items or services added to the cart with his preferred payment option. Credit/Debit card, prepaid card, online transfer, wire transfer, E-wallet, Echeck, and ACH are some of the popular online payment options.
The blunder that actually new startups create is without proper knowledge and market research they choose the payment processing services which can adversely affect their business model. An established service provider company helps merchants in finding online business solutions along with payment processing options and global payment gateways.
7. SEO content strategy: most of the e-commerce businesses fall because SEO content strategy is either inefficient or incorrectly planned. The Penguin update launched by Google in 2012 has completely changed the SEO strategy for the Google rankings and visibility. Whether it be company’s introduction, company profile, related information, or products and services, Engaging accurate and thoughtfully unique copywriting is essential to describe everything on an e-commerce website.
The content has to be well optimized using proper SEO content techniques like keyword analysis and placements, anchor texting, Internal and external linking, backlinking, onsite and offsite postings, customizing URLs, etc. A number of SEO tools are available from Google and other established SEO service providers like SEMrush, MOZ, AHREF, Serplab, etc. that can be used for SEO management.
One of the biggest blunders that E-Commerce merchants make is not giving proper attention to the content part of their business. The most attractive force that can compel a customer to buy a product or service is the written description. To reduce the cost factor of the company, many e-commerce businesses Avoid investing in a creative content writer. This in-turn results in huge financial loss and decrease in sales of the company.
8. Content Optimization/blog writing: as we have already discussed in the previous segment that well-planned SEO content (https://blog.lemonstand.com/importance-of-content-marketing-for-ecommerce/) is the key to business maximization. Most of the E-Commerce sites these days are working without a blog which is indeed a big blunder. An active and running content stream or a blog helps in enhancing the presence and visibility of an e-commerce website.
If a merchant is dealing with travel industry providing services of ticketing and travel packages, then a travel blog is really essential for him. With continuous article updating on the travel blog about travel destinations, to do and not to do, miscellaneous information and other related stop can help that travel Merchant get significant traffic and increment in the Google ranking with use of proper SEO content Optimization. Online merchants should have exclusive content writers for their blog to be up and running.
9. Website Mobile Optimization: Most of the E-Commerce websites have creatively designed websites, but they do not have a flexible mobile version of the same. As per a recent study, the number of mobile internet surfers and the number of converted clients have a huge difference. This is accounted because of lack of mobile optimization of the e-commerce websites. With the further advancement in technology, everything has been accumulated in a single mobile device. For any product or service, people usually search on the mobile itself. Thus, an interactive mobile view of the E-commerce website is essential to continue the growth. Many of the E-Commerce giants Amazon and eBay have also developed mobile applications for their websites available on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
10. Image alt tags: when it comes to proper SEO planning, it’s not just the content that is essential to mark the presence of the website, but the images and video embedded in the websites also play a very critical role. Image alt tags are important for Google’s AI to understand the company’s real domain. The description provided with the image enables the Google crawlers to understand and compartmentalize the website’s presence for its ideal audience. If a website selling handcrafted wooden artifacts will have a relevant image with proper description, then it will for sure reach the ideal audience of art collectors.
11. Strong customer relationship: This is the key to growth and success of a business. This is true for online business and e-commerce sector as well. Building strong customer relationship by providing best in class services in quality products rightfully abiding by the description will for sure result in company’s profit. Companies should take feedback from the customers after delivery of products & services. On the basis of the reviews, companies can make further changes to accentuate the profit. In case of disputes, The E-Commerce websites should be prompt in refund return and exchange facility to have a satisfied clientele.
Having strong customer relationship can actually benefit online merchants in the other way round. With higher satisfied customers, the chargeback ratio gets minimum and this result in longer life of an online merchant account. Therefore, not just to expand the business but to stabilize and maintain the merchant account and processing services, merchants should always provide dedicated customer service.
12. Marketing strategy – discounts, offers and sale: Establishing an online platform and giving quality services and products are not sufficient to attract maximum customers. Merchants must come up with lucrative discounts and offers and frequent sales to attract more audience to their E-commerce website. It is essential for customers to get the feeling of special recognition and chances to get heavy discounts so that they can buy the products and services. This has short term and long-term benefits.
Appropriate marketing strategies are really important for the sales and promotions. Launching a sale or discount offer at the right time will add to company profit. For example, a Christmas sale will for sure attract more customers if you give some products at a discounted rate along with additional benefits or gifts. The marketing campaign should be regularly updated, and innovative ideas should be projected to attract more customers.
13. Performance evaluation and business remodeling: last but not the least, the specific element accounts for a big blunder by many of the E-Commerce websites. Continuous performance evaluation is really the need of the hour in this competitive market. Today customers have become intelligent, and they look for the most comprehensive option available at the most competitive pricing. An e-commerce merchant must evaluate and analyze monthly, quarterly, half yearly and yearly performance to re-strategize the business model for an increase in sales and company profit.
Change is inevitable. The rightfully said proverb has a deep implication on online business as well. As per the market requirement, the services and qualities should also be rectified and remodeled. This will result in further expansion of the online business worldwide.