Business owners, in general, face many challenges. They could lack customers. They could be dealing with money problems. They could also be facing some stiff competition. eCommerce businesses face these challenges, too. However, they also encounter some difficulties that are platform specific.
The purpose of this post is to give you, the would-be eCommerce business owner, an overview of some of the issues you might face as you set up your businesses.
1. What’s Your Niche?
Online businesses that don’t have a niche face an uphill battle. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of new websites go up every day. That’s a lot of competition for SEO rankings, a fact that’s particularly important for eCommerce site owners to note. The more people in the niche, the harder it is to attract potential customers.
When you narrow down your niche, you actually stand a better chance of attracting more viable leads. If you have a picture of the ideal person in your audience, it makes it easier to create marketing campaigns for that ideal person. It also prevents you from having to compete with more prominent businesses, with more marketing dollars. It takes some time to find the right niche. However, doing so will pay dividends over and over again.
2. Lead Conversion
Ideally, if you’ve done your marketing correctly, your eCommerce site should provide you with plenty of leads. However, that’s only half the battle for the online marketer. Lead conversion, or more specifically, a lack thereof, can be the death of an online business. If people come to your site, and they don’t either buy or join your mailing list, then you’ve lost that lead.
Elements like a shopping cart that’s difficult to maneuver or no greeting video can negatively impact your lead conversion. The best way to determine what is causing people to leave your site before converting to a sale or a newsletter recipient is to test each element. Add a video to the landing page. Test it to see if works. Change your shopping cart set up. See if it works. Keep doing that until you have effectively solved your conversion problems.
3. Keeping Track of All Your Sites
Many online business owners run more than one business, which means that they must do financial accounting for all marketplaces. That’s a lot to keep track of, especially for business owners who run 10 to 20 or more websites. (Many affiliate marketers do this.) To solve this problem, it’s recommended that business owners use dashboards that keep track of their cash flow and finances.
Some of them, like Xero, are web-based, which allows for a more seamless integration of the financial accounting for all marketplaces. The dashboard allows you to add bank accounts, plus credit card and PayPal information. Dashboards like these give you an at-a-glance look at all your business numbers.
4. Products and Their Presentation
Product presentation can mean the difference between a sale and no sale. Many eCommerce business owners don’t really understand how the online environment can affect how products look. Without the proper lighting on products, compelling ad copy, and other sales-y elements, the conversion rate from lead-to-buy can be affected. In light of this, it behooves online marketers to learn how to present their products in the best way possible. You need to invest in your photographs and your descriptions.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good quality photos. If you learn the right techniques, you can even use your smartphone. Aside from choosing the right setting on your smartphone camera, you want to make sure that you have a light background and a solid table to place your items on.
Finally, remember that your sales page replaces your in-person pitch. You’ll want to learn how to sell through your written words, instead of your spoken ones. Becoming successful as an online business owner requires time and patience, as well as the willingness to continue learning.
Running an online commerce site comes with its own set of challenges. Many business owners, who are used to brick-and-mortar setups, flounder a bit when they take their businesses online.
Some have multiple businesses that make the financial accounting for all their marketplaces difficult. Others do not understand how to present their products so that their potential customers will want to buy. Still, others have challenges with lead conversion and niche selection. It’s vital that the would-be business owner take care of these elements before undertaking an eCommerce business.