A recent study showed that almost 40% of the eCommerce transactions in the world happen through Amazon and more than half of all the startups in any category fail. The truth is, it's never easy to run a successful eCommerce startup considering the risk involved.
Amazon doesn’t operate in Bangladesh and even though there are successful eCommerce sites in town so it’s possible here. In this article, we will look at some of the beginner's mistakes that one should avoid in new eCommerce platforms.
Not getting things Down to a Niche
Unless you have an angel investor to back you till it reaches a break-even point, it’s almost impossible to succeed with a broad range of products. Narrowing it down to a specific niche product/consumer group is critical. Broadening the niche requires higher volume of communication to the client base which is never easy. It means one is competing with the existing and often established market players. The best course would be to focus on a specific niche to build customer loyalty as well as brand image.
Poor UI/UX design and Navigation
Before assessing the product of the platform, a client first interacts with the website itself. if the design of the website is not of quality and the navigation complicated, visitors would be discouraged to be there. The best thing is to hire a professional web developer to ensure a quality, responsive and sales facilitating site.
Lack of Product Research
Let's say you are passionate about skiing. You love everything about skiing and would like to sell skiing products on your website. However, given the climate of Bangladesh, it is pointless to sell skiing materials as there is virtually no demand for snow gears. A lack of demand means your product won't sell, no matter how good it might be. So it's better to conduct proper market research on your niche before listing products on your website. Understand what the customer wants and then act on it.
No Marketing Strategy
An eCommerce platform isn’t like a normal business where you open an offline shop and wait for customers to arrive. You need to promote your platform so that people get to know about it and the product. One problem with eCommerce startups is that they focus on the product and the platform, but not enough on the marketing strategy. You need to create a concrete marketing strategy to attract customers and convert them to sales.
Undercutting or Overdoing
The key to a successful eCommerce platform is its simplicity. As long as a user feels at home on your platform, they will end up making purchases. But keeping things simple doesn’t mean you will underserve your customer. This might often happen with a lack of product description or poor product photography as well as a lack of customer engagement mechanism.
There are also instances of overdoing with too much information that confuses the customer or overselling a product. Focus should be to create an amicable environment for the customers.
Failing to Add Value
If your business strategy only revolves around selling products and not creating value for your customer base, there's a high chance that you won't be able to retain these customers, ultimately depleting your business potential. Focus on personal interactions and relations with the customers to better understand what they require and sell products that will bring value for them.
Failing Back-Up Product Claims
Your product is only as good as its reviews. You can make bold claims on your platform regarding a certain product but if it's not backed up by sufficient reviews, it's not much good. You should incentivize your customers to write reviews on the platform to make the purchasing process easier for the next customer. A unified review scale across product denominations will help to better certify your platform and increase its reliability.
Not Defining Correct Metrics
A common mistake of beginners in the eCommerce platform is that they may tend to look at the wrong metrics to define the success of the platform. For example, an eCommerce platform might exclusively focus on driving more and more traffic to the platform but that isn’t a success unless the traffic is converted to sales. The best way would be to reduce acquisition costs and convert the sales to profit.
As a startup eCommerce platform, the margin of error is very small. You need to make sure everything that you do, aligns with the overall business goal of the startup. It's very easy to make these rookie mistakes. Make sure that you follow the best practices to ensure the success of your eCommerce platform.