Don’t try to launch your ecommerce store without planning on this first
Hi, I recently got asked: Since you launch new stores all the time, what is the biggest mistake that you see new store owners make.
I found this question interesting because I instantly had an answer ready.
It is not any single particular small thing. Rather it’s a big mistake that will affect the store owner all the way during the stores life cycle.
And the biggest sin of all is the lack of a clear plan.
You need to plan the following things out:
- where you will get your traffic and how?
- Where is your competitive advantage?
- What is unique in your store?
- Why should people by from you?
- Is the plan viable?
These questions are important no matter whether you are an experienced ecommerce veteran or whether you are just looking to build your first store.
Because if you cannot answer these even the highest converting store will not make you a big success.
There is an ecommerce boom going on right now and it seems to be the new thing that people are going in for. It is trendy, sexy and appears easy.
And that attracts people who think ecommerce doesn’t require effort.
I don’t want to be discouraging but the statistics say: The vast majority of the stores fail.
We have moved on with the times, the competition is tougher now that it has ever been and it is not possible to just quickly but together a stre and hope it converts. That is a path of hopelessness. And as an ecommerce agency I get a lot of dreamers contacting me. They want to put together a shop but inside they are not willing to put in the sweat to make themselves successful. They are chasing the quick dollar.
This problem seems to stem from our culture where media bombs us with the ‘overnight success story’ of entrepreneurs.
Let me tell you, ecommerce is hard work. You really got to deal with it as it would be a regular shop. It needs maintenance. You need campaigns, blog posts, product updates, you need to work on your marketing etc.
Because if you are not going forward and striving you are slowly moving back in time. Becoming old and obsolete as your competitors adopt and improve.
However, the perks of running a successful ecommerce store can be amazing. If you want to you can work anywhere, enjoy freedom that you would never have in regular job and work on a very interesting & challenging atmosphere.
But these perks come after the work, not before it.
So let me give you a few insider tips that only the successful clients of mine understand:
In any business take care of three things:
- Generate leads.
- Convert those leads.
- Deliver an awesome product.
So since there are millions upon millions of websites on the internet, how will you make it?
First lets start off by thinking: what is your strategy to get leads?
I suggest you focus on just one to start off, once you have mastered one you can always expand on it later.
Just choose one from the 5 most popular:
-Social media marketing.
-Redirect from Amazon.
-SEO / Content marketing.
It could be argued that traffic is the most important thing because you have no shot at step 2 (Convert the visitor) and step 3 (Deliver the product) if you don’t get visitors. But in reality getting leads to visit your site and converting them go hand-in-hand.
Because, you wouldn’t want to pay for traffic and get no sales. But you also wouldn’t want to have the most amazing site and get no traffic. It is a balance that requires both to be taken care of.
And in fact: The better your site converts the more you are able to pay per visitor and still be profitable.
So… You cannot really be good at only one of these things.
Now let’s move on to the second step of the process: Converting the leads that visit your site.
You need to develop an idea of what is working and what is not.
-What could be the potential objections that the visitors have for NOT buying.
-Where are you dropping users?
-How does your users customer journey go?
-How does purchasing from your store feel?
-Does a customer trust you?
In conversion optimization the idea is to break down everything and the great thing is that you will have a lot of metrics to support you in your analysis.
So get inside of the mind of your customer and start thinking like they do. I understand it can be difficult because this takes effort but I guarantee you it will be well worth it.
Not understanding the customer and lacking empathy is a big subsin of not having the plan. Often I hear store owners defend their solutions with ‘I like this’ and they just automatically assume that others like this too. Its natural for us to think this way and if you have ever though this way I understand, it is not easy to see things like others do.
Some things might not confuse you because you have been on your site countless times but have somebody view it for the first time and you might be shocked by the reaction.
This is mostly where my expertise ends as an ecommerce consultant. The part three, delivery is largely on you.
But I want to finish off by saying that there are an endless number of little details that you can do to optimize a store. This has just been a quick overview designed not to confuse you.