What mistakes are most often made when opening and starting an online store? In the article, we have collected and considered the mistakes that are most often talked about by experienced online store owners and offered specific advice on how to avoid them.
According to statistics, about 80% of young online stores around the world close in their first year of operation. Another 50% is waiting for the same fate over the next 2-3 years. In order not to get into their number, it is better at the start to get acquainted with the most frequent mistakes that the owners of new online stores, and bypass them in their own business.
1. Wrong goal statement
The majority of novice entrepreneurs substitute the goal with the means to achieve it.
Open an online store!
Earn a lot of money!
Work for yourself!
Of course, any business begins with a desire to earn, but all this is done not only for profit. It’s a big mistake to see your customers stuffed wallets and try to profit from them. Your products have to solve buyers’ problems, satisfy their needs and make them happy.
Formulate your goal so that it is:
- inspire her to achieve it;
- was valuable in itself;
- was a reference point for the reconciliation of actions;
- meet SMART criteria, and thus be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
If you’ve always dreamed of living in Bali, conquering Everest or making a round-the-world trip, let the online store help you realize your dream. Moreover, it’s important to use eCommerce analytics (here for example).
2. Wrong niche choice
We’ve already stopped at how to choose a niche and not to miss it. However, most newcomers to e-commerce choose either a niche that is too competitive or too distant and complex for them. For example, the niche of goods for animals is very highly competitive, and to start in it with a small budget simply does not make sense. And if you don’t like animals very much, it’s a little too much.
Cover 10-20 or even 100, at first glance, promising niches for yourself. And then exclude niches that do not suit you, for example:
- Too wide niches (more than 20 000 requests to “buy + goods”);
- Too narrow niches (less than 300 requests to “buy + goods”);
- Too boring topics for you;
- Difficult conditions of delivery (weight, dimensions);
- Specific storage conditions (temperature, humidity);
- Seasonal interest in the product (summer holidays, New Year holidays);
- Too high threshold of entry on finance (if capital is limited).
As a result of selection, you will have several promising and interesting niches for you with the possibility of expansion, simple conditions of storage and delivery, constant interest in the product and small capital for the start. This will allow you:
- Clearly articulate a unique selling proposition;
- It is easy to position the business and build up from competitors;
- minimize financial risks at the start;
- Predict interest in products;
- segmentation of the audience;
- fine-tune the contextual and targeted advertising.
3. Lack of an Action Plan
Strange as it may seem, many people open their business not only without a business plan, but even without a clear idea of what will happen after the opening of the online store. You don’t have to order expensive market research, but you should have an action plan for at least the next three months.
Break all the tasks of the online store into components and make a plan for their development by months. For example, the attraction of customers to the site can be broken down into stages.
4. Delayed start
Realizing that your online store – it’s quite a risky and responsible step, many newcomers are buried in terabytes of information and never reach the start. After all, before you buy a product and start selling it, you need to come up with a name and domain, create your own design and screw it to the content management system of the site, integrate it with payment systems, popular sites and social networks, set up advertising, train employees and take advantage of somewhere else on the analytics and development.
Get acquainted with the principle of the online store, the main business processes and start. In the course of you will understand, in which direction it is necessary to develop taking into account specificity of a niche, target audience and the most effective channels of advancement.
Otherwise, you risk spending months or even years to study the information, but never start your business on the Internet.
5. Creation of a unique site with great functionality
The desire to implement on the site all the most fashionable chips and outperform the competitors is very commendable, but only if it does not delay the start for months and even years. After all, until you start selling, you will not be able to understand what features of the site will be necessary and in demand by buyers.
To not merge the entire budget for unnecessary eventually lotions, start with a simple site and provide for the expansion of functionality on the funds from the profits.
What really should be unique is:
- Logo and design of the site;
- Your proposal for buyers.