Are you an E-commerce start up? Did you know taking the wrong route early on in your planning stages can be costly for your start up. To help you avoid the most common mistakes, we have compiled a list of DON'Ts you can use when starting your online business.
Starting your own business requires in-depth research. To begin with, you need to understand your customers and know your competitors. E-commerce businesses must be clear on the value your product delivers to the customer, compared with other similar brands. Make sure you know where you are positioned in the market and why you are different.
Online businesses receive a lot of pressure and backlash from customers when the deliveries fail to meet deadlines. Excellent communication is essential and will help you get those five-star reviews even when the shipping took longer. Ignoring your clients is not going to leave a good impression and will quickly loose you any potential of returning customers.
Manufacture, shipment and storage are the core processes of every e-commerce business. Choosing the right vendors and locations is essential and should be done in the early stages of the business planning process. Make sure to discuss your expectations and goals with the companies you want to collaborate with. Initial communication and discussions about growth expectations will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Returns are the nightmare of every online business, especially those working in the fashion industry. Having your orders returned will cost you money. Standard issue is shipment damage, but a more common problem with online businesses is clothes and accessories returns. Customers often order the same items in different sizes and then return those that don't fit. Sometimes the returned merchandise comes used, damaged, stained and even smelly (eeew!). Take these factors into account and plan in advance how you will handle such situations.
Finding the right price for your product can be tricky; however with thorough market research, you can determine the right price point for your product. Be mindful of overpricing your product, as that will not help you gain and retain customers. Make sure that the price reflects the value of the goods and at the very least covers your costs. Your business cannot stay afloat for long if it's not gaining profit. Also be very careful of settings in your ecommerce store that allow you to update prices en masse (all at once). Regularly check how your product pricing looks at the front end of your store to catch any silly pricing mistakes.
Customers want to buy from stores that are known for continually providing excellent quality services. Put standardisation high on your checklist. By doing this, you will ensure your business has returning customers who will likely recommend your store to others.
Networking is a crucial part of establishing your brand. Connecting with other entrepreneurs will help your brand become recognisable through word of mouth. Make sure to stay in touch with the people whom you have met. Such a relationship can result in new clients, valuable knowledge exchange or investors who will be interested in investing in your startup.
If you found this article interesting and would like help with your business, then contact us to find out more about our business coaching and mentoring programmes. You can also enrol in one of our online courses specifically for ecommerce. We provide entrepreneurs with online eLearning training that will help tackle those challenging start up days.