Just because you don’t have a literal storefront doesn’t mean you can’t build your business from the ground up
Question: What is the most common mistake entrepreneurs make when it comes to building/operating an e-commerce business?
Looking for overnight success
“We believe that building a business takes time and energy and we know that the results will not happen overnight. You need to focus more on the big picture. Understand what need you fill for your customers, where the most growth opportunities are and how you can stay current and innovative when building your product or service up step by step.”
– Jessica Baker (@ALIGNEDSIGNS), Aligned Signs
Using non-descriptive copy
“There’s one mistake I see happening with digital storefronts more than anything else, and that’s low-quality product descriptions. These are sales pitches for your products. They need to be well-written with high-quality photos. Keyword stuffing and boring, cookie-cutter copy isn’t going to sell.”
– Steven Buchwald (@steven_buchwald), Buchwald & Associates
Underestimating unexpected costs
“E-commerce is an area where a small startup organisation can grow very quickly. Too often, though, low marginal costs and the ease of selling can tempt you to think that competing on price is a strategy for success. The best approach is to determine your true product cost and build in margin for the unexpected; like legal expenses, above-and-beyond customer service and online security.”
– Tony Banta (@Tonybanter), Venture Greatly, LLC
De-emphasising customer service
“When maintaining an e-commerce business, most entrepreneurs don’t place much emphasis on customer service. This is a major mistake as most businesses are built on reputation and referrals. Without a solid way to respond to customers, you cannot get the customer satisfaction that will help you grow your business.”
– Ajmal Saleem (@suprexlearning), Suprex Learning
Thinking existing is enough
“Too many business owners fall victim to the erroneous way of thinking that once they launch a website, their online work is done. Wrong. Building a website is the easy part; bringing high-quality, targetted traffic to it on a consistent basis is the real challenge, and that’s the only way you’ll ever grow your business online. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses.”
– Jasmine Pickel (@JasminePickel), Atlas Communications
Focussing too much on product amount
“E-commerce business owners get caught up in feeling the need to continuously add products to their site before they try to get customers. They forget that it’s not a brick and mortar shop that has empty shelves. You only need core products that people want in order to start getting sales. Then you can build out your store with more as you go.”
– Todd Giannattasio (@tresnicmedia), Tresnic Media
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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