What Not To Do When Starting In E-Commerce

So many people online say they have the answers to e-commerce success. That if you follow this one simple trick, you’ll be rolling in cash before the year is out. That you can become an e-commerce success story without doing any of the actual work.

Unfortunately, there is no one simple trick. And there’s a lot to do before you’ll be a success.

But here are some things to not do.

Don’t rush launching your site until you’re sure

Just because you don’t see anyone in your market, that doesn’t mean you have to rush right away to be first. Make sure you’re happy with the site, with the products, and with your plan before you launch. Do a soft launch. Check with people you know to make sure it’s all working. Fill in the details of your big e-commerce marketing plan and then launch the site.

Don’t be that company with a broken website filled with “Example Product” and no pictures, just because you want to be first out there selling Product A.

Don’t jump into a niche market without understanding it

You think there’s an untapped market just waiting for you to come in and show everyone how it’s done? Are you sure about that? Often, once you do a bit of research, you’ll find that the market already has a range of suppliers already working hard to provide customers with what they need, and while there’s always room for improvement, you’re not going to revolutionise, say, the model train online retail industry, or the vinyl action figure market, or even the custom engraved seashells field.

It’s never about bulldozing in and dominating the niche market no matter what it is — it’s always about understanding what that market wants.

Don’t just copy/paste your suppliers’ details into your site

While your suppliers might have great copy, great photos, and a great understanding of your market, you can’t just use them as the basis of your e-commerce site. Aside from the SEO hit you’ll take from competitors who aren’t as mindful, you can’t be sure the copy and photos will work with your site. Often, if your products are coming from another country, the descriptions will have the occasional mistranslation, and you’ll want to make sure you catch it — even if it is just using “color” instead of “colour”.

Rewrite the copy, edit the photos, and just make sure everything says exactly what you want it to say.

Don’t spend too much time trying to undercut the competition

If you’re constantly adjusting your prices to match what your competitors are doing, you’re spending way too much time on their websites and not enough on your own.  How is your traffic doing? Where are you losing customers in the checkout process? Do you send out emails about abandoned baskets? Have you run any sale campaigns? What are you doing on social media?

Rather than focusing on the pennies, think about the experience, and how you can get those customers to spend more time (and more money) on your site.

Don’t seek controversy just for engagement’s sake

You might be thinking that if you jump onto the latest viral trend, if you have a bit of an edge in your responses to customers, if you do something that draws attention, that attention will lead to sales which will lead to profit. Maybe you want to share your opinion on the latest political crisis. Maybe you’ve seen a certain hashtag is trending. Maybe you see how certain types of videos get a lot of views.

The best result is that you’re ignored. The worst result is that the backlash is sharp, strong, and lasts for years. And with either result, it’s not worth it.

Those are five things you shouldn’t do when you start your e-commerce business. Do you have more you’d like to share? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram!

(Featured image by John Schnobrich on Unsplash.)