Ever since online shopping became popular, we have seen rapid development in the e-commerce sphere. Previously, only large companies had the technology and infrastructure to create their own e-commerce websites. But now, thanks to modern technology, even small businesses can make substantial revenue online.
However, a lot of small businesses make mistakes when they are just starting out. Although mistakes are a common part of growth, there are a lot of ways that small businesses can avoid them altogether and start with good traction.
Here are some of the most common ones and how to avoid them:
1. Ignoring SEO
SEO is imperative to growth, and when you’re a small business going against thousands of others in the e-commerce world, you’ll need all the growth you can get. A common mistake that new businesses make is ignoring e-commerce SEO. Even if you have the best line of products in your niche, no one’s going to see them if you don’t invest in professional SEO services. Keep in mind that the hardest part of bringing a business from the ground is to get people to see it, and SEO is one of the best tools to get your brand and your products out there.
2. Not optimizing for mobile
More than 90% of global Internet users use their mobile phones to go on the Internet. That said, it makes perfect sense to optimize your e-commerce website for mobile browsing. If your website appears wonky on your audience’s mobile browsers, you can’t expect them to be pleased with your brand, much less make a purchase. With that in mind, optimize for mobile first, desktop second.
3. Writing poor descriptions
Online shoppers want to find as much as they can about the product before they buy it, especially when it comes to small businesses that need to gain their trust first. This means that if your product descriptions are poorly written or undetailed, you may be missing out on revenue because your website visitors aren’t finding out enough information about the products.
The only solution for this problem is by writing detailed descriptions about each product, including size, weight, dimensions, color, material, and other pertinent information that your visitors would want to know. If you can’t do this yourself, hiring a freelancer is an affordable alternative and is a great option for small businesses that have limited budgets.
4. Not investing in product photography
Online shoppers want to see detailed pictures of the product they’re going to buy before they actually buy it. Moreover, they expect professional-looking product photos to know that the business is worth their money.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an expensive camera to take great product photos, and you also don’t need to hire a professional photographer. With a high-quality smartphone or a mid-range DSLR, a white backdrop, and basic photography skills, you can take professional-looking photos of your products inexpensively.
5. Having no valuable content
Having a blog on an e-commerce website is not just for the sake of having a blog. A blog is a source of content that can help web visitors form an impression of your small business. Furthermore, it is a way of showing your audience what the business is all about and that you’re not just trying to sell them products.
For small businesses, maintaining a blog can be daunting. The easiest way to go around this challenge is by outsourcing to a freelancer who can create and manage content for you. While this may be an extra expense, it is an excellent way to bring valuable content to your audiences and increase your e-commerce website’s quality.
6. Launching too early
We get it, you’re excited to finally introduce your business to the world. You have the business plan, the photos, the products, and the website ready. But unless the final details have been taken care of, you are not yet ready to launch.
Until the website has been tested, all the product photos are uploaded, the descriptions are formatted, and the check-out process has been fine-tuned (plus a lot of other details), resist the urge to launch your website, even if you’re only opening for pre-orders. You’ll want your website to be complete and tested before the first visitor comes, even if it’s just your friends.
For small businesses, running an e-commerce website is one of the best ways to reach a wider audience, build brand recognition, and basically get the business off the ground. However, it is often easier said than done–but avoiding these mistakes can reduce the chances of running into preventable roadblocks along the way.