Let’s do a deeper dive into each of those seven reasons so you can understand how to avoid problems with your business.
Ecommerce Startups Fail Because They Don’t Plan Their Startup Costs
Lack of investment is one of the main reasons why ecommerce launches come crashing down. Many people imagine they can start an ecommerce business for very little. While that may be true, it just isn’t realistic. There may be a unicorn success story like this, but it certainly isn’t common.
Instead, a new ecommerce store needs to plan its first steps to account for all the costs involved in launching an online store properly to break into the competitive retail market.
Solution – Develop a Realistic View of the Costs and Then Plan Capital Investments
To help you develop a better plan, we’ve put together a list of most of the areas of investment your new venture is going to need.
Setting up Your eCommerce Store
- Domain registration
- Web hosting
- SSL certificate
- Ecommerce platform costs (WordPress, WooCommerce, etc)
- Payment gateway subscription fees
- Payment gateway transaction fees
- Merchant account costs
- Initial inventory purchase
- Shipping for inventory renewal
Launching Without a Business Plan Leaves You Vulnerable to Retail Giants
Your business model should take account your customer base, product categories, and how your product offering differs from everyone else. That last one is about finding the right niche for your business. If you’re trying to sell everything to everyone, then your biggest problem is going to be retail giants such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and eBay.
Instead, take time to consider what you’re going to sell, how to market it to people, and why anyone should buy your product in the first place.
Solution – Determine Your Niche
By having a specialty or a niche, you can target your ideal audience and sell unique products that won’t be found at a big box retailer. Do a bit of research to see how you can create a sought-after specialty.
Here are five steps to find your niche and get going:
- Discover what people are interested in and will buy. There are a few ways to do this:
- Do some keyword research. If people are searching for your product idea, then you’ve got a chance.
- Look for things people are passionate about. No one spends huge money on a good garbage bag. But people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on their golf equipment, fishing gear, and exercise accessories.
- Try to solve someone’s problem. Posture correctors were all the rage a few years ago. Businesses that solve problems have a future.
- Check Out Your Competition. Don’t try to compete head-on with companies that dominate their markets. Look for a different product or a different angle.
Examine Your Margins and Profits. If each individual sale doesn’t make too much money, then scaling up will be difficult.
Buy into your niche. Websites with some performance history are for sale. Buy one you are interested in and then focus on making it work. This could save thousands in startup costs and months in development time.
Poor Ecommerce Website Design
Designing an ecommerce website with a few nice pictures to show off your products and hoping for the best sinks many business owners. Poor website design directly harms your conversion rates. To be successful, ecommerce businesses need to focus on developing websites that work beautifully.
Solution – Partnering with an Ecommerce Website Development Company
By investing in your website and working with a company who specializes in ecommerce website development, you can avoid failing due to a poor website. An experienced design team can work with you to create a great looking website that reflects your brand and looks professional while making sure it’s organized, secure, and quick to load. Visitors to your website will convert to customers, allowing your business to thrive.
Complicated Checkout Process
A complex or lengthy checkout process leads directly to cart abandonment. Customers frustrated by extra fields to fill in or confusing payment gateways will click away from the sales process. Your best plan is to make the checkout process simple and seamless.
Solution – Streamline the Payment Process
Make sure your ecommerce web design includes a quick, simple checkout with popular payment gateways, like Payfast, OZOW or PayStack. Avoid having multiple payment screens, include the option to register with social media logins to save time, and build trust with a secure checkout.
You can design your own payment process, of course. However, there are many steps to be completed and you may benefit from expert customer support.
Poor Photography and Product Descriptions
Pictures aren’t the only thing you need, of course. You should also describe each item you sell with an effective description and confident sales copy.
Pictures and sales copy will increase your marketing performance. Instead of running ads that bring in shoppers who don’t buy, use attractive pictures and effective sales copy to increase your conversion rate.
Solution – Adding Value to Your Brand with Quality Content
Adding multiple high-quality images of your products will make a great first impression. However, you also need to pair it with an in-depth, easy-to-scan product description that gives clear information and specifications while also connecting with the needs of your ideal customer.
While you can attempt these steps yourself, it may be better to partner with professional consultants to ensure consistent quality and results on every page.
Ecommerce Business Fails to Show Up in Search Engine Results
Research shows that 35 percent of shoppers begin their purchasing journey on a search engine. This is second only to Amazon for where the buying journey begins. For specialty and niche retailers, even more of their traffic comes from Google, Bing, and other search engines.
It’s impossible for an online store to stay open, much less experience success, if new traffic isn’t coming to their website. That’s why one of the biggest reasons an ecommerce business fails is because it’s not showing up on the first page of search engine results.
Solution: Ecommerce Search Engine Optimization
Ecommerce search engine optimization simply means leveraging key ranking factors to make a website more visible in search engine results.
Using specific keywords in your product descriptions and throughout your website.
Ensure your site’s performance meets expected standards. Site speed is a ranking factor, and it is almost entirely in your control.
Publish a blog to capture more search traffic and generate leads.
Stores that do not look after their SEO will struggle to have the necessary traffic to generate sales. Traffic can be boosted by paid ads, but this could severely damage profit margins. Instead, work with a team of experts to boost your SEO and traffic.
Lack of Digital Marketing Strategy
A common misconception in ecommerce is that once the website is running and the inventory is ready for purchase, shoppers will start visiting the site. However, these business owners are missing a crucial step: getting the word out about the business and attracting customers to their new online store.
Even if a business utilizes ecommerce SEO best practices, it takes time to rise to a highly visible spot in search engine results. In the meantime, there’s no site traffic and the business is losing money.
Solution: Creating an Ecommerce Digital Marketing Strategy
There are multiple ways to build your online presence for your ecommerce business. Pay-per-click advertising for ecommerce businesses allows you to place ads on social media sites, search engines, and other sites, putting your business in front of a targeted audience.
Developing a strong social media presence where you’re providing valuable, relevant content to your ideal audience will also attract customers to your site.