Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Your First eCommerce Business

Last Updated: 

June 22, 2023

Starting an ecommerce business has quickly become one of the most popular ways to make a living these days. The promise of being able to earn passive income with only a bit of work each day is too alluring to pass up, hence why so many people have dabbled in the idea of starting up their own business at home. With all of the home-based business options available, it should come as no surprise that starting an ecommerce business is one of the most popular.

But starting up your own business is no easy task, especially if there’s some level of investment involved. You’ll want to be as prepared as you can so that you’re less likely to fumble or fail in the future. So to help you out, we’ve put together a couple of the biggest mistakes that people make when starting their first ecommerce business. We’ll provide some solutions to those mistakes as well so that you can get off to a great start with your new company.

Key takeaways on avoiding mistakes on your first Ecommerce Business

  1. Treat your ecommerce business seriously: Dedicate sufficient time and effort to maximise growth potential.
  2. Conduct thorough market research: Stay informed about current trends and customer preferences to increase chances of success.
  3. Avoid overcomplicating your product lineup: Curate a smaller selection of quality products for a better customer experience and higher conversion rates.
  4. Focus on creating valuable website content: Optimise your website with informative content to enhance SEO and engage customers.
  5. Prioritise search engine optimisation (SEO): Invest time and effort into SEO strategies to organically grow your business and stand out from competitors.
  6. Pay attention to website design and development: Ensure your website has a user-friendly design, simple navigation, and concise content to enhance the customer experience.
  7. Leverage social media for brand building: Actively engage with your audience on social media platforms and consider influencer marketing to establish a strong digital presence.
  8. Differentiate your brand: Identify unique selling points or strengths to set your ecommerce business apart from the competition.
  9. Provide exceptional customer service: Invest in delivering excellent customer service to build loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.
  10. Analyse business data: Regularly review and analyse data to gain insights into customer behaviour and make informed decisions for business growth.
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1. Don’t just treat it like a side hustle

Perhaps one of the biggest tips you could receive to improve the success rate of your ecommerce store is to stop treating it like a side hustle. Far too many people try to start an ecommerce project in their spare time, and they’re only ever able to dedicate a couple of hours to it every week. This might seem like it’s enough at first, but ecommerce businesses really benefit from having more time investment. Whether it’s sourcing new products, researching trends, or being active on social media to promote growth, more time means more growth with an ecommerce business.

2. Remember to perform market research

Don’t just go off your intuition or past data. Make sure you perform current market research by looking at trends on social media, looking at what customers want, and planning ahead when it comes to new products. Market research is an essential component of any ecommerce business that will greatly improve your chances of success.

3. Don’t overcomplicate your product lineup

Thanks to the popularity of dropshipping, there are loads of ecommerce stores that will fill their lineup with lots of different products. This usually never works out as it just creates too much choice for your customers. It’s often much better to have a smaller curated list of products that you can vouch for. This will greatly improve your chances of making a sale and also make the browsing experience more pleasant.

4. Ensure your website has good content

A lot of people forget that good content can really make a website good. It provides a lot of useful information for customers, and it can be used to improve your search engine optimisation. Write evergreen content such as guides on how to use your products or information on their history. This will be a great place to use different keywords to boost your SEO and provide value to your customers.

5. Don’t overlook search engine optimisation

And speaking of search engine optimisation, don’t overlook its importance in your growth. SEO is one of the best ways to grow your business organically, and it’s something that will take a lot of time to nurture. Focus on important keywords and analyse your competition so that you know what kind of content to create in order to get noticed.

Starting Your First eCommerce Business
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/8pb7Hq539Zw (CC0)

6. Don’t neglect your website design and development

A huge mistake when starting a home-based ecommerce business is forgetting to focus on website design and development. Far too many people overlook the power of good website design, but there are also many people that focus too heavily on the design aspect. Here are some golden rules for good website design:

  • Keep the design simple yet friendly to the eyes.
  • Make navigation simple and effective.
  • Reduce the number of clicks it takes to reach somewhere from the front page.
  • Keep content concise.

7. Remember to be active on social media

Being active on social media means that you’ll have an easier time establishing a digital presence. One of the most popular ways to generate an audience is to make good use of social media marketing and also influencer marketing. With billions of social media users across the world, it would be foolish to not tap into this lucrative market. It doesn’t take much to establish a social media presence either, but it can take a bit of time investment since you’ll be expected to engage with people that follow you and ask you questions.

8. Do something to set your brand apart from the competition

Ecommerce businesses are a dime a dozen. There are so many of them that exist across the world that it can often be difficult to set yourself apart. But while it’s tough, it’s not impossible. Some ecommerce brands focus on their strengths, such as offering great customer service or pairing their products with really informative and interesting content. Others leverage their social media presence, and others are all about their brand message.

9. Ensure you have great customer service

Don’t forget that you have to offer excellent customer service in order for customers to return to your store. Good customer service is easy as long as you have time to commit to it. If you don’t, then don’t hesitate to hire people to help you provide an excellent level of customer service. This can be expensive if you’re a relatively new store, but it’s absolutely essential once you start growing and have more customers visiting your ecommerce store every day.

10. Remember to look at your business data

Lastly, don’t forget that you have to analyse your business data. This includes any data generated from customers or the way that your audience interacts with your website. Failing to capitalise on this data means that you’ll have a poor understanding of your customers and how they operate. Looking at the data and compiling it into comprehensive reports can help you make informed decisions that will boost your growth and help you track your progress.

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