E-commerce might as well be one of the easiest ways to become a young entrepreneur, but it’s not a field that doesn’t have its difficulties. There’s a lot of competition in this growing sector of retail, and getting to the top would require you to successfully traverse a digital minefield where many young entrepreneurs’ business ideas failed.
Do you need to be scared? Of course not. But you need to be careful and vigilant. A couple of small mistakes can snowball and make your time spent in e-commerce much more difficult than it should be.
For that reason, here are five sentences which, if you ever hear yourself saying them, will be a sure sign you’re heading for trouble.
1. They’ll Find It Eventually.
No, they won’t. Whatever it is that you’re hoping your website visitors will find, they won’t. And it’s not because it’s not possible, but because people have better things to do in life than spending their time looking for things you’ve hidden in your e-commerce website.
Poor search function and lousy website navigation are two things your website’s visitors will not tolerate. They go hand in hand with slow page loading and other things that will cripple the speed at which they are able to find and purchase the products they want. It’s never a good idea to force your customers to wait for too long or jump through too many hoops on their way to a purchase. So, invest in a custom search engine for e-commerce, and start creating intuitive navigation menus.
2. I Can Just Use the Manufacturers’ Product Descriptions Instead of Writing New Ones.
No one in their right mind would reprimand you for trying to cut corners and minimize the overhead when starting a fledgling business. And there are plenty of things you can give up in the critical first couple of years when your e-commerce site is trying to stand on its own legs.
Custom product descriptions are not one of the things you can get rid of. Without them, you’re left without one of the most useful sales and SEO tools — good copy — and by the time you figure that out, you’ll stoop to using the product descriptions from the manufacturers. And then you’ll get slapped with a penalty that will ruin your site’s visibility because the manufacturer is probably using its own product descriptions online, and you’ll be in trouble for pushing plagiarized content.
3. There’s No Need to Have User Reviews on the Site.
The problem with user reviews is that they’re sometimes bad. Of course, they would be completely useless if they were always good, but to some online retailers, those bad reviews are the stuff of nightmares. And bad reviews can hurt a company’s reputation or make a product less desirable, that much is true.
But should you purge all user reviews from your site just to avoid getting the negative ones? Of course not. User reviews are an important trust signal for your users, and they can help your store thrive. So maybe let the good reviews be, and learn how to deal with the bad ones.
4. We Should Focus on Desktop.
E-commerce and focus are two words that go together particularly well. If you have an e-commerce site, you focus on your key demographics, you focus on one kind of digital marketing that gets you the most visitors, you focus on offering great service. But there are also some things you don’t focus on, such as lowering your conversion rates. And desktop.
The best time to focus on desktop was the time when desktop was the only thing to focus on. Right now, if you’re thinking up different ways you can futureproof your e-commerce site, you have to include as many features as possible that make it mobile friendly. You shouldn’t discount desktop traffic yet as it’s still there, but your focus should be on what’s ahead. And desktop isn’t.
5. It’s Not Outdated, It’s Classic.
On one side, you have familiarity and cost savings as the reasons for not updating your website’s design or features. On the other side, there’s the fact that the world is rushing by you, and that the businesses you compete with are doing their best to stay on top of web design trends. Which strategy should you choose?
You’ll see the signs that your website needs a makeover. You’ll have complaints from the customers, or you’ll notice that the bounce rates are higher than usual. You might also do some competition research and find out that you have the ugliest website on the virtual block. In business, you’re either going forward or you’re falling behind — there’s no standing in place. And being behind is not a good place to be, so move in the right direction and keep your website up to date.