Think about Running an Online Store.
Also now imagine of a world in which you never began that shop. Would you have ended up in a totally different place in your lifetime? Can you even envisage it at all?
In case you have found success in the world of ecommerce business, the likelihood are you can’t gauge the idea of not working on whatsoever it is you are selling or marketing.
Conversely, with regards to folks that are playing around with an idea or only at the starting point of launching a shop online, they may have some issues or worries about the entire endeavor.
Certainly, a fresh new entrepreneur is going to be inexperienced at the beginning, though they also might be going through some pressure.
Where do such worries or stress originate from?
The reality that they cannot even prepare for the unanticipated!
What if you do not sell or market any products/items or you cannot manage/handle the orders during the holiday periods? What if folks bash you in reviews of your provisions?
There is no telling what sort of hardships you might encounter or endure, but one thing’s certain, and that is – Lessons will be learned.
As far as such uncertainty lingers, we decided to take some time to put some of you newbies at ease. Well no, you won’t be able to escape from the hardships by merely reading this article content, but the tough lessons you will learn when operating or running an online store will at least present you the arsenal or ammunition you need to prepare for future encounters or problems.
Thus, without further ado, we present you the 50 hard lessons that you might encounter when running an online store.
1. Your Competitors Are Most Probably One Step or Two Steps Ahead of You
Face reality! Competitors are continually thinking about ways to undercut you, & you are better off accepting the fact that they know much more than you do. In this way, you will be prepared and ready for the attacks and equipped for hitting back.
2. Your Customers/Shoppers are Also Thinking Steps Ahead of You
Customers/shoppers usually think of new ways to enhance your products/items. After all, they are the ones utilizing these goods. Thus, it is wise to continually reach out to them to comprehend their needs or desires.
3. Customers Anticipate Little Short of Flawlessness
When a customer/shopper receives a package late, they require an explanation for such. When they receive below average customer service, few of them will go their way to tear your business apart online. So be ready for backlash, & even develop a strategy for handling such without causing more issues in the process.
4. You Must Get Trained about Running an Ecommerce Store
Your competitors are learning about the industry and niche, so why shouldn’t you also? You can follow blogs, subscribe for email newsletters & go to events that permit you to network & learn of what to anticipate in the future.
5. This Process Will Be More Challenging & Costly Than Expected
It isn’t that costly to setup an ecommerce site, though if you begin scaling up (as most businesses are trusting to do,) the expenses will begin growing. So enter into this venture understanding that you are going to have some hard moments, & you will have to take out the checkbook.
6. The Volume of Time You Spend on Your Business Venture Will Grow as Time Goes By
Putting work off on other folks is seldom going to occur when selling on the web. Likelihoods are, you will be doing diverse tasks a year from now on, though you should never assume that you will slowly sit back & watch others do all the job.
7. You Also Won’t Be Expending Much Time on the Beach
This tally with the foregoing lesson learned, though it more so touches on the popular books you will peruse about only working a few hours daily or sitting on the beach while you pull in streams of cash. Majority of these books and contents are merely fantasy.
8. If You are Navigating to Ecommerce from a Physical Shop, Your Activities Will Change Radically
Since shoppers/customers are going to anticipate diverse stuffs, you may have to alter around your point of sale. You will also require folks to fulfill orders, manage/handle online customer service & much more.
9. Customers/Shoppers are Often Better Informed than You
With blogs, reviews, comparisons, ratings, & every kind of tools on the web, probabilities are your customers/shoppers have loads of info already prior to them buying a product/item from you. How do you pile up in the comparisons?
10. Do not wait for Your Client/Customer Lines to get too lengthy to Develop Your Support Team
You will lose loads of customers/clients this way. Reflect on developing a small customer support team before you anticipate a huge traffic surge to start.
11. Uniqueness Helps You Battle the Big-Guns
Not every of the big competitors are that distinctive. Thus, it’s important to standout with gifts, grander client service, quicker shipping, tailored service & more.
12. Data is Usually Better than Advice from Folks
It is simple to get advice from your family member or even from one of your employees for that matter, however – data is always going to reveal the truth to you.
13. A Basic Website is a Great Way to Improve Sales
Dawdling, cluttered websites can be perceived by customers from distance away. You may not be observing boosts in sales due to this, thus it’s wise to test how simple your site is occasionally.
14. Employing the Right Folks is Important
Are majority of the folks on your staff smarter than you are? If not so, you are not hiring correctly.
15. Placing Folks in the Right Positions is Vital
Did you allocate someone as a client/customer support representative that should be handling/managing your social media?
16. Recompensing Your Workforce Builds Promise
Think about how much quicker your warehouse workers would function if they got occasional bonuses or rewards. You get faster shipping – in return.
17. Regular Product Recommendations is a Must-have
Amazon.com pulls in loads of cash with recommendations popping up every time of the day.
18. Your Payment Processor & Gateway Could Be Eating Into Your Revenue
Contrast alternative options on an annual basis.
19. A Reliable Fulfillment Service Has Loads of Advantages
Would it not be simpler to have a company that picks & packages and also sends out your items/products? To mention more, these fulfillment service providers also stock some of your inventory.
20. A One-Click Checkout May be Valuable
Talking about Amazon, it has had great success with this.
21. Retail Best Practices Still Apply to Your E-Store
Shoppers/Customers still look forward to awesome customer service while talking to you on the web or on the phone. You will also require handling inventory in a similar way, alongside with product exhibitions. Customers desire to feel & touch their products/items also, thus it’s important to offer them all the media they require to feel like they are in a real shop.
22. A Perfectly-Developed Social Strategy Offers You a Leg Up Above Competitors
You have loads of social media outlets to select from. Several firms try to get on all of them, which isn’t a bad notion, though you must have a plan for managing/handling these & pumping out top quality content.
23. You Leave Loads of Cash on the Table When Not Selling/Marketing on Other Outlets
Right from Etsy to eBay to Amazon, most prospective customers only purchase from those locations. These are great places to find and connect with new customers, & they serve as spots for expanding your opportunities for boosted profits.
24. Several Folks Don’t Buy Because the Risk is Very High
In a situation where a person doesn’t feel like their data is private, they won’t purchase from you. The same applies – if they do not feel like they can return a product in a rational time. Reveal to people that they take on small risk when shopping products/items via your shop.
25. Client/Customer Frustration is reduced with Continual Visible Shopping Carts
Consumers/clients often get irritated when they have to backtrack to see what is presently within their shopping cart.
26. The Checkout Pages Should Be as Few as Likely
If one checkout page is a choice, then go for it. Fit as several details on that page as you can, possibly.
27. You Should Own a Strategy & Keep Focused to Avoid Disruptions
Few successful ecommerce businesses have grown to great mega-stores without having a strategy/plan.
28. Expending Cash on Vital Technology is hardly ever a Bad Idea
Software aids you manage/handle shipping, keep track of financial dealings, test which buttons are functioning on your website and stay in touch with customers. They may appear as costly expenditures at first; however they’ll make up for it in due process and time.
29. Not Offering Out Free Shipping Builds up Your Competitors
You have to figure out a way to offer out free shipping. Majority of companies are in some way doing this. It is smart and prudent to consider creating a sales benchmark for free shipping if you cannot swipe it for all orders. For instance, every order at $50 or more can get free shipping/delivery.
30. If You Hold On Too Long, It Becomes More Expensive & Tedious
This largely applies to every decision. Holding on or waiting too long to launch your ecommerce store is practically going to cost you in the long run. Holding on for so long to carry out A/B test is also going to affect your margins.
31. Your Payment Choices Must Be Abundant
Few shoppers/customers pay with PayPal, and while others utilize vague credit cards. Ensure the options are all there for them.
32. If You Desire Your Customer Doing Something, Then Let the Words Standout
Are you trying to drive folks to a specific new product on your site? Then make it so that the buttons or links are clear enough & not encircled by a bunch of other garbage.
33. Keep Looking Out For What Works, & Tweak it to make it Better
This is exactly what the largest & best companies in the world implement.
34. Beginning an Email List Late – Makes You Lose Tons of Cash on the Table
Even if your site is not completely operational, you can begin by bringing in prospective customers that are interested in what you are trying to sell/market.
35. Analytics – The main Key to Personalization
Is one client/customer more concerned about shoes while another is seeking out for t-shirts? In such scenario, you shouldn’t be forwarding shoe emails to the one that has only purchased t-shirts. Personalization is all there within the analytics.
36. If Your Website is at the Point of Creating or Initiating Something, Let People Know about it
Sometimes most people think that a website is broken or is not functioning if you don’t tell them.
37. Target Marketing & Analytics Will Sooner or later pay for themselves
All productive ecommerce pros will tell you this, thus do not hold back on targeting or analytics.
38. Staying Too Far Away From Your Niche Repeatedly Hurts Your Margins
A gardening shop that begins selling/marketing computer gadgets may find that consumers/shoppers get turned off or confused.
39. One Bad Shopping Experience Could Lose a Client for Life
Folks tend to be loyal, though once you tick them off with a poor experience, they may never return back, ever.
40. Trusting on Huge Shopping Days Can Spell Disaster for Your Business
The whole year is your best shopping period. So put as much effort into March or May as you do with the holiday periods.
41. Poor Performing Products/Items May Not Be Getting the Ideal Volume of Exposure
Prior to cutting off a product from your inventory, you can look into posting some ads & banners within your website to see if it does really fine. It also may only require being packaged with another, better selling item/product.
42. Time-Sensitive Deals are Gold-Mines if Utilized Correctly
Customers/shoppers seem to freak out when they see that timer-counting down. So take advantage of that urgency and make them freak out and buy.
43. A Website without a Mobile Orientation Will Eventually Die Off
Google is quite clear about your rankings dropping down if you do not have mobile responsive site. Additionally, customers are starting to purchase loads of stuffs via tablets & phones.
44. Clear-cut Instructions are required for Online Shoppers
It may seem monotonous, but you must reveal to folks how to checkout, ways to reach/contact you, and how to utilize the product/item and more.
45. The Next Step should be Super Apparent for Shoppers
Testing is generally the best method to find out if all of your checkout stages are clear.
46. One-Step is Usually Better than Two
This could be the difference between 35 percent of your shoppers purchasing or abandoning your site forever.
47. Shipping Supplies have much to do With Branding
Consider how Amazon.com does its shipping supplies. You can identify a box from Amazon from down the lump. This company has branding on the tape, within its shipping label & right on the box.
48. If There’s One Spot to Prevent Skimping on Investments, Then It’s Customer Service
Your client-facing workforce & tools should never be ignored when your budget consultations come around.
49. Do not Ignore Your Local Customers
Maybe you can provide swift shipping to those in the region. Maybe you can organize events to get people motivated about new products/items.
50. An Ecommerce Shop Will Be the Best or Maybe Funniest Experience You Will Ever Have
Well said, Good luck!
Awesome! This is quite the list as mentioned. You may doubt whether or not beginning an online store is such a good idea after reading this content. However, I want to reassure you that having a list like this is only going to reinforce your doggedness & push you into a frame of mind that lets you to adapt when the issues/problems start to crop up. Yes, obstructions are certain to knock you down along the journey, but when you prepare for the worst; you will be capable enough to battle through with lesser repercussions.
You should feel free to drop a line in the comments area below in case you have any queries about the tough lessons you will encounter when operating an online store. If you are more experienced & would like to add some nuggets to the list, please let us know about such lessons that you’ve learned and acquired. Cheers!
Feature image curtesy of Michelle Vandy