Owning an online store can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time. With their growing popularity among people who want to experience the convenience of shopping on the go, online stores are the Internet’s answer to the equally growing demand. Even if they cannot personally see or touch the items that they put in their carts, customers are content with the high-resolution images and detailed descriptions that online merchants provide.
However, great popularity comes with a price. You will experience disappointment many times because customers will leave your site for seemingly no apparent reason.
You may not realize it, but the reason they are leaving your e-commerce site is because of the blunders you have been committing!
Abandoned carts, bad checkout pages and lost profit, and high bounce rate – imagine the money you are leaving on the table because your online shop is unable to engage your customers until the end!
Unless you plan for your online business to die a slow and painful death, read on to find how you can stop the bleeding.
Entering a Saturated Market
Market saturation happens when a particular product becomes too diffused within a market, or when it has become too maximized in any given marketplace.
The best way to thrive in a saturated market is simply to keep up with the tough competition. There really is no other way, unless you consider backing out from your niche and throwing away all the hard work you have put into your e-commerce site.
You may succeed in doing this, but realistically speaking, you also may not. To avoid the latter, why not think of new ideas for your products? Or stick to a theme for your online store? There are a lot of ways on how you can keep up with trends—this is especially important because you’re an entrepreneur trying to penetrate a fast-growing market. You won’t succeed if you won’t be willing to take risks.
Tip: A proven tactic to make a good impression with your customers is to launch a raffle giveaway. Determine the items you want to give away and use Rafflecopter to launch your giveaway campaigns. Run these on a regular basis (bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) so keep your buyers engaged with your site.
Not Having a Business Plan
Setting up an online store without a sturdy marketing plan is primarily online suicide.
Formulate an effective marketing strategy first before you take the plunge. Write down realistic goals and objectives, plus how you can execute them within your means. Having an outline or guide is very much vital in making your online business really work.
List your capital, expenses, and prospected income; also take note of what would make your customers tick and what you can do so they’ll keep on coming back.
A good business plan is what would save you from further losing your ground while running your online business.
Fix: Refer to this Ecommerce Retailer Business Plan at Bplans to get a better account about developing an e-commerce business plan. The plan covers all the bases that you need to consider for your store to ensure optimal growth and development.
No Target Customers
So who exactly are you putting up an online store for? This is a question that you should ask yourself before you pick what products to sell and where to sell them. Knowing who your target audiences are helps you execute your business strategies better. Also, you have to understand that not everyone will like what you’re selling, so it would be a good move to limit your scope because this guarantees you of more stable sales. Moreover, you should not just guess what will work—gather responses and comments from your chosen customer bracket and start from there.
Fix: A very effective way of profiling your target audience is by creating a buyer persona for your online shop. The persona is broken down into different factors such as demographics, online products they buy, mobile or desktop users, purchasing power, and more.
By determining these factors, you can serve your audience with content that they like. This can increase not their stay on your site, but also their chances of buying from your shop.
Letting Your Shop Suck
Launching a page that takes more than four seconds to load is just annoying and would make you want to instantly close it. At least, that’s what 25% of visitors thought of slow-loading sites according to Quicksprout.
Just think about your customers who go to your site in the hopes of finding something worthy to buy, but end up leaving because the page takes too long to load.
This is part of user experience—if you don’t make sure that everything works smoothly, be prepared to kiss buyers goodbye. To keep your customers from getting impatient or agitated, fix network and programming glitches that your website might have. And to help you monitor how well your online store is doing, work on your analytics so you can measure your conversion rate, keep track of your return on investment, and determine if your business is gaining favorably.
Fix: If you are having lots of technical problems with your e-commerce site, maybe it is time to set up your online shop on a new platform.
A site like Spaces lets you sell physical and digital payments, as well as accommodate different payment methods on the go. This is perfect for sellers who are simply focused on turning in a profit and let the shop take care of itself.
If you already have a shop set but want to improve how your customers can pay for your products or good, a site like Gumroad and Intubus can help you streamline the payment process. Just upload the digital good/s you are selling (or describe your physical products for sale) and funnel your customers down to the payment page of the site.
Part of making your ecommerce site user-friendlier and less sucky is to optimize your landing pages. This means figuring out the reasons why your visitors are leaving your online shop.
A tool like CrazyEgg will help you pinpoint the exact locations on your site pages that are driving your customers away from your site. Once you have the data, you can make the necessary improvements to ensure that visitors are doing exactly what you want them to do on your site – buy your products and services.
For cash-strapped ecommerce owners, go with SumoMe Heatmaps and Content Analytics instead. While they may not provide a comprehensive overview on how your pages are performing, these should nonetheless give you an idea on which elements in your pages are getting the most attention from visitors.
Lastly, the problem may lie on the actual landing page you have for your products. In this case, look no further than Unbounce. This tool will help you shore your landing page creation needs using its simple drag and drop page builder. It also has a built-in analytics feature so you can see how good (or bad) your landing page is performing.
Keep in mind to not commit the mistakes mentioned above when running an online store. As simple as they may seem, these could have a big and negative impact on your business. Be conscious of the steps you take, and always think of your customers in every single move you do!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community