When launching a new E-Commerce platform, getting the site just right is very important. To help you avoid rookie mistakes, look into the following ideas.
Don’t: Assume Visibility
The first mistake many people make is an assumption of their visibility. Don’t just assume that people will come across your site just because you really want them to. You need to think larger, and instead look at how to make yourself stand out. Think of your E-Commerce store on the web as being a store in a high street. A massive, winding street with countless shop options to pick from.
How are you going to make sure that your business is visible? What’s your plan to make that possible? Everyone who finds your site was recommended to it, saw an ad or found you in an organic search engine request. We recommend working with an advertising firm at first to help you get your marketing up and running; find a company who can listens to what you want to achieve; someone who promises you the moon on the stick might not deliver, yet someone who doesn’t offer any projections might not put their heart and soul into getting your desired end result - it’s a fine line.
Don’t think some quick DIY SEO is going to be enough - because there isn’t any quick solution when it comes to SEO no matter what people may think! With so much competition, you need to do more to stand out.
Do: Marketing Automation
One of the most useful tools that you can use when launching your first ecommerce site is marketing automation. Automation plays an absolutely critical role in making an E-Commerce business possible to run. You could have potentially hundreds of unique customers right from the off, and multiple numbers of unique requests-- I know it’s not listed, but do you have this in black? Or I ordered this and want to return it, but I don’t understand how!
The first thing that those customers should get is a quick message that says something like We just got your message, and somebody will respond to you by XYZ. That puts them at ease, and let’s them know you’re ‘legit’! The same goes for emails you send to your customers when they place an order (or transaction emails). Getting an email after you place an order lets you know that it went through, and we’re so used to receiving them that not getting one will make anyone suspicious.
Aside from that, make sure you can easily respond to and manage customer queries, all the while improving response rates. Be fast, be active and always be honest with the people in question. After a certain point, automation won’t cut it; sometimes you need a personalised touch. The trick is to find the balance.
Do: Set Two Marketing Budgets
The best thing that you can do is have not one marketing budget, but two. One for marketing the successful marketing avenues, and one for testing out new marketing campaigns. It always costs money to run any marketing campaign, but you need to be able to branch out without having to scale back on your presently successful strategies.
If SEO is making you find scaling easier but you want to try out something else, like pay-per-click marketing, set aside a smaller secondary budget. Around 25% of your full marketing budget should be saved up in a second pot. Use that to try out new forms of marketing.
A budget being set aside purely for testing is much more likely to actually help you see how lucrative it can be without reducing other marketing campaigns success rates. From the flow of your site to the colour scheme used, you can use a small portion of a second marketing budge to experiment.
Don’t risk what already works.
Don’t: Forget to Build A Foundation
This might be a little late for you if your site is already live. However, the worst mistake that you could make is trying to start without a foundation to build on. Get as much in place as you can before launch: your CRM, your newsletter, your site (naturally), a starter budget and anything else you might need. Ensure you have a plan for customer analysis and tracking, too, so that you can see what works and what doesn’t.
It’s harder to put things in place further down the track than it is to implement them from the beginning. Don’t try and save money today but skipping on key factors like having a strong customer analysis platform. Not only that, but it’s more expensive to add-on later than it is to start because of the need to retrain and refocus.
Do: Find Help When Needed
We get this is your first E-Commerce venture, so budgets are tight. You might not think that you can afford to hire someone, not in the traditional sense. Can you afford to try and do it all alone, though? Most people simply don’t have the time.
We recommend that you look to use automation and outsourcing to reduce the time you spend working on the site. If you are spending every waking moment doing a 5/10 job on everything, how can you expect to grow? If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, so do it right from the start by hiring in support where you need it.
If you are still spending 12-hours a day doing everything from marketing to mailing and support, you need to bring in help. As the business owner, your hours should be spent scaling and strategising; invest in good people to handle marketing, site building and SEO.
With all this in mind, you’ll be able to make a better impact right from the get-go. So get out there and start making some money!