Tips for website owners.
Creating an eCommerce website can be an extremely rewarding endeavor. When it’s done right, your site can provide you with a steady stream of cash flow to supplement your income, or in some cases, even replace your annual work salary entirely.
In fact, many people make hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars from their eCommerce sites every month.
Unfortunately, there are also many people who give up on their eCommerce website before they even earn a single dollar.
Often, a lack of eCommerce success boils down to people making several common mistakes. In this post, I’ll tell you what these mistakes are, and how to avoid them.
eCommerce Mistake #1 – Not Picking a Niche
The internet is a competitive place.
Not only will you be competing with giant brands like Amazon and eBay, but you also have thousands of individuals with their very own eCommerce websites.
So, how do you get a leg-up on the competition?
By picking a niche.
A niche is a subcategory (or even a subcategory of a subcategory) of a certain topic or product.
For example, as you can imagine, if you were going to try starting up an eCommerce site for sports equipment, you can see that this is a very broad niche. You’re going to get crushed by the major online retail businesses and you likely won’t sell much sports equipment.
Instead, if you were to narrow down your market to a specific sport, say basketball, you’ve eliminated a major chunk of your competition. But basketball is still pretty competitive.
You might consider niching down further to something like basketball shoes. Or even something like basketball shoelaces.
When deciding what products they’re going to sell, many people feel like if they choose a niche, they will limit their earning potential. They believe that because there are fewer people looking for the product, they will have fewer people to sell to. But the opposite is often true.
Because there are fewer people looking for a product, the market will be less competitive, and therefore, you’ll be able to land more sales and quickly establish yourself as an authority!
eCommerce Mistake #2 – Failing to Research Demand
Remember above where I said the process for picking a product goes something like this:
Sports equipment —> Basketball equipment —> Basketball shoes —> Basketball shoelaces.
But before you commit to creating an eCommerce website for basketball shoelaces, you need to first establish that there’s a demand for this product.
How do you establish demand?
I believe the best way to do this is by performing some initial keyword research.
To do so, go check out Google Keyword Planner. Here, you can type specific keywords into the search box and you’ll be provided with an estimate of the number of people who search each term on a monthly basis.
Because you’re going to be selling a product, the key here is to include specific keywords that include buyer intent.
For example, don’t just search “basketball shoelaces.”
Instead, try a few of these:
- Basketball shoelaces for sale
- Best basketball shoelaces
- Basketball shoelace reviews
- Basketball shoelaces 2020
If your results show you that there’s a decent amount of people searching these terms every month, that’s a signal that your products are in demand!
eCommerce Mistake #3 – Not Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy
The third mistake that is often made by beginners when building eCommerce websites is that they don’t develop a clear digital marketing strategy.
Trying to sell a product without a marketing strategy is like throwing a rock into a lake and hoping it floats. It’s just not going to work.
But what factors should you consider in your eCommerce digital marketing strategy?
Here are some questions to help get you started:
Who are you selling to?
It’s really hard to sell a product without first understanding the exact customer persona(s) of the people your product is for. This includes evaluating the demographics you are most likely going to have success selling your product to. Things to consider are:
Take a look at these elements and come up with an ideal customer avatar that you’ll keep in mind throughout the rest of the marketing process.
Where can your target customers be found?
Now that you know who your target customer is, where can you find them? Which social media sites are they most active on? What books do they read? What subscriptions do they have? Do they visit any forums? Are they more likely to engage with you through a PPC campaign, blog posts, or email?
What channels are you going to use to market your product?
Once you have established where your customers can be found, you can then decide on the appropriate channel to market your product to them. Here are a few examples:
- Print ads
- PPC Ads
- Email Campaigns
- Network marketing
This list is nearly endless. Pick a few and get started!
But be careful – it’s not enough to just pick a couple platforms and start marketing, you need to first establish a goal and schedule.
What is your goal with this marketing campaign?
- Sell more products?
- Increase web traffic?
- Encourage sign-ups for your email list?
- Getting people to attend an event?
How much time can you commit to this marketing campaign?
- How many posts can you write per week?
- Are you going to outsource ad/content creation?
- Do you have the skills and knowledge required to market effectively, or are you going to hire an experienced online marketing company?
- What is a good return on your time investment? Ex. If you spend 1-hour marketing every day, how many leads do you hope to generate?
So there you have it – three of the most common mistakes beginners make when building their eCommerce websites.
To learn about the next three fatal eCommerce mistakes and how they can be avoided, check out part-2 of this article here!
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From website design to marketing, Oil City Web has helped hundreds of clients build effective eCommerce sites so they can spend less time stressing and more time earning. Contact them today to learn how they can service your eCommerce needs!