A lot of people think that starting an ecommerce business must be easy – which really makes me think that not enough people are actually trying to start an ecommerce business! The fact is that ecommerce businesses, despite what certain outlets may have told you, are not easy to develop and maintain at all.
Of course, if you just want to sell things on Etsy and call that an ecommerce business, then it’s not exactly the most difficult thing in the world (although even that can be harder than you think!). But if you want to start your own website, get your own payment system, formally start a business, and get your products selling? It’s no cakewalk.
Despite the supposed ease, most people starting out in this line of work make deadly errors that risk the lives of their business. We’re going to take a quick look at the most common errors out there in the hopes that you won’t commit them when it’s time for you to start your own business.
“Build it and they will come”
This ain’t Field of Dreams. If you build a website, you need to find a way of getting visitors. Having beautiful visuals, great UX design, and fantastic prices is no guarantee that people will flock to your store, I’m afraid. Brick and mortar stores generally have people that happen to be walking by them anyway, which gives them a brief chance to impress – but people don’t just wander past websites. You need a way to lure them in. If you think you can do this without some form of digital marketing, then you’re probably making a huge error. There are certain digital marketing techniques that work better for online stores than they do other types of websites, so be sure to explore your options thoroughly.
Not creating your own platform
Sure, it may seem easy enough to simply build a store on Shopify. But that basically means your store – and, thus, your entire business – becomes subject to the whims of another shopping platform. The best thing you can do is having your own platform developed, giving you a website of your own. It will be difficult building any sort of ecommerce empire when you have to rely on someone else’s platform. Work with developers to build your own website and payment system. Use something like Magento to manage the content of your website. All of this gives you way more control over your business than if you host it on elsewhere.
Ignoring social media
Let’s face it: when was the last time you saw a tweet from Amazon or eBay that went viral? That made you chuckle? That was retweeted by your favorite musician or writer or YouTuber? There’s this idea that an ecommerce business doesn’t really need to make waves on social media – or, at least, they shouldn’t do. But the same goes for your category of business as it does for others; social media can be a massive boon for any sort of business, as long as you play your cards right. Sharing good content and having real interactions with others can help you get more attention than you may think.