Three Reasons Why Your New eCommerce Store Won’t Set The World On Fire
No one who has any experience building a eCommerce business would claim it’s easy. With platforms like Magento, it’s certainly easier than ever before to build the bare bones of an eCommerce store, but throwing up a storefront is only the first step to a thriving online retail business.
Retailers have to source and procure products, organise fulfilment, market their store, create content, and a million other tasks that are the bread and butter of the eCommerce world. On top of all that, they’re competing with established giants with marketing budgets that dwarf the gross domestic product of some small countries.
Nevertheless, it’s perfectly possible to build a successful eCommerce store. Hundreds of new and innovative small eCommerce businesses will be started this year, and many of them will still be selling next year and for many years in the future.
But there are a few common mistakes made by new eCommerce merchants that will stifle a store’s long-term success.
To most eCommerce customers, the ideal shopping experience looks like this: they find a product they want, they click a button — that’s it.
Every step that moves the checkout experience away from that ideal will cost you customers. Every extra step is an opportunity for the shopper to reconsider or be distracted. Use social media sign-ins and one-page checkout to get shoppers through the checkout process as smoothly as possible.
Shopping online is not like shopping in a store. It’s much more convenient. But there are some features of in-person shopping that eCommerce can’t replicate — shoppers can’t look at, touch, or try the products. Great product images and copy can help shoppers make the right choice, but they need the reassurance that they can return what they buy if it’s not suitable.
Many new eCommerce retailers make it too difficult or expensive to return products. That’s understandable: no one wants to give back money once it’s in the bank and a generous returns policy can eat into a store’s profitability.
But a stingy return policy will sow a seed of doubt in shoppers’ minds, and that’s the last think a retailer wants.
A Slow Store
Another common mistake of new store owners: choosing low-rent web hosting. eCommerce stores are complex and they consume lots of server resources. The cheapest shared web hosting simply won’t cut it. Your store will work when it’s first deployed — when you are the only one browsing — but as more people start hitting product pages and filling their baskets, it will grind to a halt.
Shoppers hate slow eCommerce sites. If a site is frustrating to use, especially on mobile, they’ll go somewhere else. eCommerce performance should be a top priority for any new retailer.
Instead of being tempted by the cheapest hosting, look for a hosting provider who specialises in eCommerce hosting and can provide the resources a fast and responsive eCommerce store demands.
In 2017, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to build an eCommerce store, but to grow a successful business, new retailers should focus on providing a fast and reliable experience that gives shoppers confidence in the brand and its products.