Be it an online business or a brick-and-mortar shop, starting a business is not easy. Online businesses, however, can be appealing for many budding entrepreneurs. There are, in fact, several companies in the marketplace that trade solely online.
Additionally, having an online business is a must nowadays. More and more people prefer the benefits that come with shopping in the comforts of their own couch. A lot of consumers also prefer both digital and physical browsing of products.
Some customers begin a purchase by researching the product online before actually visiting the physical store to make the purchase. Conversely, a customer might start examining a product in-store but closes the sale online.
According to the US Department of Commerce Statistics, sales from brick-and-mortar shops rose by 2% from 2016 to 2017. On the other hand, e-commerce stores observed a 16% increase in purchases within the same year.
Whether it is about providing a service or selling contemporary women’s clothing online or selling homemade food, shops do not have the traditional hurdles that many new ventures face. However, these businesses could still end up being a costly nightmare.
Here are some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when starting an e-commerce business :
Waiting too long for the launch
The most significant risk of starting a business is to fail. And this risk should be faced head on. There is never going to be a perfect time to launch a product or a service. Now is a good time as any. Many people get stuck or simply talk themselves out of creating a product because they are waiting for that “right time.”
This could be when they hit a certain audience size or reach 100,000 subscribers or hear a specific feedback. This, however, is one of the most common mistakes when starting a business. It is a fatal trap.
Creating a solution (product) before identifying the problem
It can be very tempting to jump on to a business idea right away, but so many companies fail because of this. When there is no concrete research and framework behind a business plan, there is a good chance that the whole thing could end up a flop.
A successful business plan should start by finding a problem to solve. And the problem should be significant enough for a broad audience to care about. If the problem is important enough, there is no need to look for customers for the business — case in point, a cure for cancer.
Not listening to customers
While researching on strategies for a business, many entrepreneurs overlook one of the best sources of information available: the customers. There is much to be said about the importance of customer feedback and listening to them.
A 2017 study by the Spiegel Research Center found that online reviews influenced nearly 95% of customers. Another research showed that around 72% of shoppers do not finalize a purchase until they have read reviews.
Starting a business online shares many of the risks and problems inherent in any business. But starting with an online shop also has its own advantages, and it could be a cost-effective start to launching an empire.