There are now tools available to allow any budding entrepreneurs out there to put together their own e-commerce website without the need for any prior web design skills. While this has definitely lowered the barriers to launching such a business, it has also meant that many entrepreneurs dive in to the venture before they are truly ready for it. The following common mistakes harm businesses, and ultimately their sales.
Assuming Customers Will Find You
This is known as the ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality. Simply starting an e-commerce business and getting a website online isn’t going to generate you any revenue. If you want to start turning a profit, you will need to make an effort to promote your website and let other people know of its existence. There are in excess of a billion websites on the internet today, meaning that, if you don’t actively advertise your website, it’s unlikely many people will stumble across it.
Even if you have the most elegantly designed website in the world, offering the most fantastic range of products, if you don’t tell anyone your website is there, they definitely won’t come. Launching your business is only the first step. But you should be thinking about how you will promote your business before your website has launched.
Going Without a Logo
When we arrive on a business’s website for the first time, we expect to see a logo prominently displayed. But a logo is much more than an aesthetic feature; there are in fact several purposes to a logo.
Of course, brand recognition is an important part of a logo’s purpose. You want people to come to associate your logo with your business. In this way, a logo behaves like a shorthand, where when people see your logo, they will instantly think of your business.
The absence of a logo can also make your website look a lot less professional. Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that a logo needs to be professionally designed in order to be worthwhile. There is nothing wrong with a simple placeholder logo to begin with, upgrading to something a little more impressive when you have the money to spend on it. Having even a basic logo is better than having no logo at all.
If you elect to use a tool such as webeden.co.uk to build your website, your logo will be important in setting your site apart from others made using the same service. Web Eden gives users plenty of ways to customise their website, but inevitably your tastes will overlap with someone else’s, and there’s always the possibility they will be one of your competitors.
No Organic Marketing
Organic marketing refers to things like customer reviews and testimonials. These are marketing materials which are designed to look as natural as possible. Consumers are more trusting of organic marketing, because it doesn’t trigger the same self-defence mechanisms that we tend to put up when we are faced with a normal advert.
When we know that what we are looking at are marketing materials, designed to part us with our money and encourage us to buy a product, we instantly become more sceptical of any claims that are made. For example, an advert on television which tells us that a product is “the best ever” doesn’t carry nearly as much weight as someone we know and trust telling us the same thing.
Difficult to Contact
If you have a well-designed website underpinning your e-commerce business, your customers shouldn’t run into too many problems when using it. However, it is inevitable that a customer will sooner or later either require your assistance or will have a query that needs answering. If they aren’t able to easily contact you through your website, it will reflect poorly on your business as a whole.
The simplest solution to this problem is to ensure that you either include your contact information in the footer of each page on your website, or you make a ‘contact us’ link clearly visible.
As you are putting your e-commerce website together, be sure to keep checking for any signs of the above mistakes. It is these mistakes more than any others that lead to e-commerce businesses underperforming, and in some cases folding completely.