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5 E-commerce Business Fails and How to Fix Them

5 E-commerce Business Fails and How to Fix Them
Josh Donelson

Establishing your business online isn’t always a walk in the park. Now, layer on the responsibility of setting up and managing an online store for your business. Things can get overwhelming fast and without the proper knowledge and planning, your leads stop converting into customers and sales begin to dip. Fear not young grasshopper, we are going to help you avoid the five biggest e-commerce fails your business can make.

1. Poor e-commerce planning

Planning for e-commerce is much like planning a brick-and-mortar store, except product placement in-store is replaced with product placement in hot spots on your website. The core principals remain the same. The SKUs, item numbers, pricing, and descriptions all translate from in-store to online. Overcomplicating your online store with specific codes, different SKUs, and descriptions will bring on confusion when it comes time to reconcile the books.

Once you have established your account and selected the best payment platform, the rest of the work is uploading products into the system. Ensure that all the data translates across platforms and you will avoid having to redo all of the work down the road.

2. Overusing free e-commerce templates

Big hitters like Shopify and Squarespace offer plenty of great templates, but what they don’t tell you is that many of the most successful e-commerce websites in existence all have a custom-coded design. If you want to stand out from other companies, put all your chips on a custom website that compliments your brand online and is an online store you are proud of. Think, “what I want is” versus “what I have access to.”

3. Using the wrong type of store.

You need to determine the best option for your e-commerce store. Companies like Shopify offer tiered packages ranging from simple Buy Buttons to more robust options to accommodate the largest of companies.

Here are some common scenarios:

  1. Maintaining your current website and building a similar aesthetic on the e-commerce platform linking them with CTAs (Good)
  2. Use Collections and Buy Buttons on your existing website (Better)
  3. Building your entire website and store on an e-commerce platform (Best)

If you have an existing website and do not plan to translate your website’s design into a separate online store, you may want to entertain using embed codes of custom collections. This might sound like nonsense so let’s break it down.

Product Collections and Buy Buttons

Collections are a grouping of products that fit together in an online store. For example, selling posters online can be grouped into categories based on context such as movies, music, pop-art, and so on. These collections have their own specific code that can be embedded on your website where you would like the collections to show. Using this functionality maintains the entire transaction on your main website without having to navigate to a different online store.

If you want to be able to use abandoned cart tracking, discount codes, or more robust functions, you will want to find a package that incorporates these options. The goal is to create a seamless journey for your potential customer. Taking them from your main website to your e-commerce website, if done incorrectly, will confuse and ruin your chances of potential sales.

To see what your best option is click here.

4. Using poor quality images and lack-luster content

Working in the web design world, we are professionals tasked to take dull, lifeless websites and fine-tune them into attention-grabbing, converting machines. Unfortunately, the lack of time, dedication, or research can lend itself to a poorly executed e-commerce website. If you want to grab the attention of a customer that lands on your online store, it all starts at the source which ranges from:

  • Social media strategy or paid posting
  • Organic or paid Google Search (let’s be honest, they’re the top search engine)
  • Email marketing
  • Traditional referrals

Consider yourself lucky if you have made a dent without using any hi-resolution photos and well-researched, keyword-rich content. For those who haven’t made an impact or simply starting over, make sure you use all the tools are your disposal.

Use your camera or invest in one

Most of the population is walking around with powerful cameras already built into their iPhones or Androids. This will get you over the hump, but investing in a good-quality DSLR or Mirrorless camera can save you from over-paying for professional product photography. Bonus, you can use it to get original images for your website and save you from going to Getty or Istock.

Keyword research

If you are embarking on an e-commerce journey, Google shop ads through Adwords is not a bad way to get your feet off the ground. Visting adwords.google.com and make your account. Once you are in, you will have access to the Keyword Research tool that can help you determine the best keywords for your copy. Include these in your product descriptions and site content and you’ll be set.

5. Not marketing to your fullest potential

I feel like there is a theme here and that theme is Shopify. This company gets it and makes it easy to build your brand and online store. What they also provide is seamless integration with other platforms like social media giants, Facebook. Did you even know you can sell directly on Facebook? No? Well, you should start. Leveraging every option will give you the greatest exposure.

What you should consider is:

  • Who is your target demographic for specific product lines?
  • What platforms are my potential customers using and how do I reach them?
  • Am I remarketing to past clients and people who’ve abandoned their carts online to make sure I stay top of mind?
  • Do I have a budget for paid advertising?

All of these questions will set the tone for your marketing strategy. From here you gather data and fine-tune your plan until you’ve got a well-oiled machine.

If you have any questions or concerns about your e-commerce store, feel free to drop us a line or give us a call today.

Josh Donelson
Josh Donelson
Marketing Strategist
Jan 25th, 2018 • Business Development, Marketing

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