With the internet such a convenient place to shop these days, many people are considering diving into the world of ecommerce. It can be, if executed correctly, a very lucrative business. However, there are many pitfalls that new ecommerce businesses do not account for and thusly end up shutting down within the first year. If you’re thinking about jumping into ecommerce, ensure that you succeed by taking steps to ensure you don’t run into the following problems:

Succeeding in Ecommerce
Succeeding in Ecommerce

Your Website

This is the heart of your business. If it’s in bad shape, then your business fails, simple as that. You must create an aesthetically pleasing website, but it must be user friendly. The navigation must be slick, but not so much that it slows down the loading time. Everything has to be done with careful precision, because one slight misstep and your potential customer will leave. This isn’t a brick and mortar store where you can attract customers with plenty of shiny things…this is cyberspace, where their next shopping adventure is one click away, instead of five miles away. So you need to make things eye-gripping and easy for your customers.

One of the biggest problems with the makeup of an ecommerce site is checking out. People get so fed up with the frustrations of a shopping cart that they leave and go somewhere else to find the product. Make sure that your shopping cart is easy to find, easy to navigate and most of all, easy to finalize the order.

Security

Even though the likelihood of your credit card being stolen is greater in a brick and mortar store versus the internet, security is a huge concern to your customers. Ecommerce revolves around security. If people do not feel secure, they simply won’t buy from you. The most critical step in security comes when they are ready to check out. 128 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is an absolute must. This allows sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, to be encrypted so theft is impossible. Ensure that you include the fact that you have the best security in your privacy policy. People need to feel secure.

Promises

If your shipping policy states that an order will arrive in 2 days, make sure it arrives in 2 days. Do not give false information just to make customers more willing to purchase products from you. If you cannot keep the promise, then make one you can keep. This goes with everything about your business. If you state that you will reply to emails within 3 days, then be sure to do it. People are very impatient in today’s world, and they want things to be on time.

Marketing

You must get your site out there. If you don’t, then who will know that you exist? If you do not understand search engine optimization (SEO), then get to know it and fast. This is critical for your business if you wish to attain success. Being familiar with SEO will allow your pages to rank more highly in Google and Yahoo, which in turn will provide you with more visitors. But it begins with having solid, SEO friendly keywords in your code, your title and having links that link to your site, and links that link to other sites. But don’t forget about true marketing: telling people that you exist! Spread word around everywhere — make your site’s name your signature in forums, tell your friends and family. You must tell people that you’re out there for them to come.

Update!

Would you keep going to a site that looks the same week after week, month after month? Neither will your customers. If you do not update your pages; at the very least your front page, then they will think either you no longer are in business or don’t care. Keep them engaged with new pictures, new products, new articles/links. New is good in ecommerce. It allows the customer to have a new experience each time they visit your site, and that keeps them hanging on. Running an ecommerce business in theory sounds simple enough, but there are several obstacles you must prepare yourself for. If you do, then you have a chance to succeed, but if you don’t, then you’re committing the equivalent of business suicide.

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